Zoo

 

video  3' 40", sound

December 2019

This particular piece of work was inspired by the stereotypic behaviour in the zoo. Since the living environment for the animals in the zoo is rather narrow and shabby, for quite a long time animals cannot enjoy their lives according to their nature, thus losing the vitality that they possess in the natural environment, as well as becoming dumb and anxious. This unique phenomenon is named as “stereotypic behaviour”, the specific demonstration of which is to repeat an action, such as the elephant shaking its heads and wolves walking back and forth, which is caused by the psychological state of boredom and anxiety.

The artwork of Zoo consists of four videos, and four videos play together on a screen that divide the screen into four narrow spaces(just like cages in the zoo).  From the stereotypic behaviour of animals, the artwork hopes to remind people that in the human society, many people behave abnormally due to the narrow and stressful living space and the huge spiritual pressure of living that they are faced with every day. It is intended to express the defects of the functional structure of human society and the restrictions of rules and orders on human behaviour.

 

At the same time, George Orwell’s novel 1984 also serves as an enlightenment to the artwork, encouraging me to simulate the monitor screen would like to show the visitor an atmosphere—“big brother is watching you” which was depicted in the novel.  While every audience can be the “big brother”, they can “monitor and spy on” the actions of characters in the video when they watch the screening, meanwhile, this artwork is also a way for artists to make a complaint against the leakage of a large number of privacy in the contemporary society, such as our anger for the occurrence of American eavesdropping affair, our mistrust for the society because of the ubiquitous surveillance cameras, and our reluctance for the leakage of our personal information.

Accompanied by four different rhythms, the four characters in the video have repeated the same action that is seemingly meaningless and even ridiculous. Through a large number of observations and interviews, artists found that in the state of depression and anxiety, some people made a series of repeated actions (and even some of them are unconscious behaviour). From the perspective of a normal person, these actions are of no substantive meaning. I hope that through this series of repeated behaviours, the audience will feel the anxious feeling of the people who struggle in the contemporary living environment. At the same time, the action of peeping through the monitor can bring a unique feeling of monitoring and spying to the visitors.

George Orwell

1984

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