Updated: May 23
Wei Zhang (b. 1991, China) currently lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. Zhang is a filmmaker and visual artist working between moving images, performance, and installation. The hybridity, intersectionality, and transnationality of Queer theory through the perspective of post-colonial theory and classic Asian philosophy, Zhang explored a lot. Zhang researches posthuman’s monsterhood, Otherness, plasticity, queerness, hybridity, and its criticism to anthropocentrism; Zhang gropes the boundary of human, non-human, and transhuman to lead to a rethink towards the relationship between human beings and advanced technologies. Fascinated in collage, Zhang blends various digitalized film footage or mixed-media materials to create a surreal space where queer, body, and technology intertwine.
Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology, and Cognitive science (NBIC) have caught broad attention and developed swiftly in decades. However, these human enhancement technologies cannot dissolve the criticism and concerns of bioconservatists for their dehumanizing features through transhumanism (e.g., “morphological freedom”); the technologies cannot build up convincing human enhancement ethics to lead the public walking confidently to the future. Zhang tries to intervene in the debate by Zhang’s films, performances, sculptures, and installations. Zhang researches posthuman’s monsterhood, Otherness, plasticity, queerness, hybridity, and its criticism to anthropocentrism; Zhang gropes the boundary of human, non-human, and transhuman to lead to a rethink towards the relationship between human beings and advanced technologies. Three anthropomorphic Zhang plans to do through assemblage portrait future humans. In Zhang's escapist fantasy, a daydream, these monstrous and surreal figures, who modify their bodies through NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology, and Cognitive science) and live in between dystopia and utopia, embody Zhang's horror from immanent reality. Zhang's sculptures start with found objects. The physical properties of these materials, including tactile, forms, textures, colours, and scars, Zhang cares for and understands interestedly. The plasticity of the found objects particularly inspires Zhang by thinking of Catherine Malabou's "plasticity" and Heidegger's "change," "transformation," and "metamorphosis." Besides, Zhang also plans to do an experimental collage film, which fuses various digitalised media, including digitalised analogue film, 2D animation, 3D animation, found clips, photos, and live footage. Zhang aims to discuss the relationship between body, technology, time, and death in this work. It is inspired by Heidegger's Being-toward-death. Zhang poetically depicts a cyborg struggling with the concept of "Ship of Theseus", an auto-repairing body and infinite lifespan.