Portrait Series I: Chinese Portraiture

Portrait I:Chinese Portraiture
Interactive video installation art / 2006

Brief Introduction:
The works emphasis on concept rather than technology. The interactive relation between the spectators and the people in the image displays some behaviours and conflicts in one’s life. 31 LCD screen in 16:9, placed side by side. The work is displayed totally in rows by 31 LCDs. According to the space, it can be randomly combined with 10 to 31 LCDs. Each one displays the video of Chinese figure painting of different Chinese age’s characteristics look life still image on the photo. These LCD screens must be setupright when on display, just like Chinese ancient paper and the portrait painting painted on silk.
These figure paintings on the screen, through the infrared electric receiver to interact with the present audience, are controlled by computer program. The first 10 seconds is the first part. When the spectators go close to the screen, the infrared switch will be open and the signal will be sent to the computer, which will play the second part of the film. When there is no spectator, the frame will be always in a round play of photographs.

Chinese Portraiture 中国人物画
video / 12’50″minutes / 2006

Chinese Portraiture of Zhou Hongxiang is a work that is presented in a strong and straightforward way. In this conceptual image work, we see one portrait after another of various Chinese people: they either impersonate or stage a prototypical character, or ‘impersonate’ themselves. We see normal workers, employees, old people, young girls, young men, intellectuals, farmers, but also someone wearing the clothes of the emperor of Qing Dynasty, we see a monk, a judge, and a beggar. Image after image scrolls before the eyes of the viewer. It is a film – the dvd is almost 13 minutes long–but the film is presented like a series of photographs. All the persons that have their characteristic portrait taken stare back at he viewer – they look into the camera. Also in that sense Chinese Portraiture works like a photograph that looks back at you. In its form it also refers to an encyclopedia, and to the tradition of Chinese scrolls – thereby connecting the ‘new’ medium of video to ‘old’, traditional art forms. The work is quiet and still, the viewer watches, waiting for something to happen and over time is captured by the photographs as if he is watching a film.