text by Jonathan Watkins
The work of Yang Zhenzhong is characterized by a stringent logic, often focusing on details of everyday life in order to convey larger truths. It reflects a smart apprehension of the media involved – photography, video, performance, sculpture and installation – brilliantly fusing subject matter with the means of representation. Yang’s still and moving images are often manipulated in some way, for example with motifs cuts from one photographic image and then pasted onto another. The camera doesn’t lie, but its evidence can be tampered with, flirting with the truth. Often informed by the political situation of China, these works raise intriguing questions about the role of the individual, of an artistic identity forged around fakery, appropriation and manipulation.
This catalogue accompanies the artist’s exhibition at Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, 2006. English and Chinese text.