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Looking-Glass Self

Multimedia installation, 2018

Text on mirror, TV monitors, photo book, iPhone, iMac

"Looking-Glass Self" is an art project created by artist Jing Zhao in 2018, which reacts to the current digital landscape and contemporary media. It explores how these forces impact our minds, body, and values. The project comprises five independent works mixed with still & moving images and ready-made objects. During exhibitions, they form an installation through a specific spatial relationship. In the digital age, each time an individual browses the information trajectory, it may be recorded and analyzed by big data. The front end automatically displays related information to the receiver. "self-emotion" and "mechanical digital information" interact weirdly in this process. Throughout the series of works, this phenomenon is reflected.

Screenshot 2021-01-11 231508.jpg

(1) I'm not
Text on mirror, 2018

Sometimes, I look at the mirror in my bedroom and I can’t recognize who I am. I think this might because I consist of too many parts. Then I kept looking at myself in the mirror and continuously wrote “I’m not XX” on my mirror, trying to strip the parts that I thought I was.

(2) Journey Round
Video, 4 mins, 2018

I tried to present the mental journey that ran in my head when I was singing the song names Journey Round.

(3) Midnight Vortex
Photo book, 2018

A few years ago, I began to record my dreams and take travel photographs. The two different ways of recording are like ambiguous “evidence” that cannot be independently verified, waiting for me to uncover the mystery and detect the clues. Through the parallel placement of the two and the continuous evolution, I intend to explore the complex relations between various elements such as imagination, viewing, consciousness, cities, and memory.

[Midnight Vortex photo book]


(4) 7:25
iPhone, video, 2018

When I saw the clock on the screen, it often showed " 7:25". This is also my birthday date. It remained my life & death and it is the only period I would escape from the busy schedule and just pay attention to the current. I would keep staring at my phone, focus on the screen, and trying to feel the elapse of that one minute.

(5) Look! I'm walking!
Video, 1 min, 2018

I was starring at my smartphone all the time, even while I was walking. From last year, I started to record my walking at different times and in different locations, trying to present my mediated memory led by the little device on my hand.

(6) Jing Zhao's Story
MAC, E-book, 2018

During the time I feel depressed, I will use keywords to search the person who shared the same experience on a Chinese online Q&A community - Zhi Hu. I always can find a similar experience and feel from other people. When I was doing this, I felt I’m not alone. Then I began to use their words to write my own story.


© 2024 by Jing Zhao

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