Zhang Yue, Welcome, 2017, single channel video and Pen on black-and-white photograph, Videos | 20 × 28.5 cm × 60, 108 Video files | 2017
Chinese artist Zhang Yue has been experimenting with video games for a long time. In his recent video installation Welcome (2017), Zhang plays the role of a watcher in the action game Watch Dogs 2, monitoring through hundreds of surveillance cameras every single event in a futuristic version of San Francisco. In the game, Zhang Yue became a surveillance man, and also drew up plans to take criminals under custody. The images of surveillance and the process of actions are shown on twelve computer monitors and sixty drafts. The work focuses on surveillance and control in the age of video games and playful technologies.
In the single-channel video The Massacre of Los Angeles (2017), Due impersonates a criminal in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, roaming the urban landscapes while killing everything that he encounters. The work examines the representation of violence and destruction through digital media.
These videos were exhibited at Gallery Yang, in Beijing, last March, as part of the solo show “If I Could”. Curator Cui Cancan wrote about Yue's game based work:
In the third part of the exhibition, various violent events took place in a “city” of a e-game. As a player, Zhang Yue became a 24-hour surveillance man, hiding himself behind the hundreds of CCTV cameras, and drawing up plans to take criminals under custody. There is a big screen too, which displayed another scenario: Zhang Yue played an opposite role, a killer in the city of “Los Angeles”, a “thug” who could be arrested at any time. The switch of role gives us a warning: who really are we? One who constantly surveil possible violence, or who are under surveillance? A victim of violence, or a potential gunman?
Zhang Yue was born in Jinan in 1985. His solo exhibition includes You Miss the Truth (Gallery Yang, Beijing, China, 2014). His project includes: About the War in Northern Myanmar (Gallery Yang, Beijing , China, 2015). He has participated in group exhibitions at a number of institutions and galleries, including MAXXI Museum (Rome, Italy), White Rabbit Gallery (Sydney, Australia), Minsheng Art Museum (Beijing, China), Today Art Museum, Klein Sun Gallery (New York, America), Whitebox Art Center, LIN & LIN Gallery (Taipei, China), and Pace Gallery (Beijing, China).
LINK: Zhang Yue