Junwei Zhang


    From West to East
    A Well
    My Aunt
    Out of Date
    3:30 AM





Junk tires, projection mechanism, kinect camera, slide, wood platform 
Dimensions variable

↓ Artist Statement

Only during crisis, disaster, war time, humans become equal, sort of, I prefer to say "Humans become raw". This rawness means either being crude and natural or a need to be developed.

Being a Chinese passport holder in the United States at this moment, I am experiencing how different local societies with different mindsets, doctrines and mechanisms view and cope with the uncertainty and potential fatal COVID-19. At the same time, our robust man-made systems including institutional education, transportation system, medical systems and etc are not functioning normally.

Our human way of living has been chasing after so-called modernization and globalization, however, the self-isolation, social distancing period can be considered as de-industrialization and de-globalization. Suddenly, without any preparation, it’s sending us back to the time before the Age of Discovery in which access to other physical areas was limited and time-consuming, and people are stuck in their local community. This is also the background of my project. After the Age of Discovery and Industrial Revolution, the following era became the Age of Invasion, Colonization and Exploitation. We have discovered or exploited enough. It is a perfect time to ask "Have we discovered too many things that are not supposed to be discovered? If we don’t have the capability or knowledge to handle consequences, why bother to discover?"

While never overtly alluding to these issues of the struggle of the individual in relationship to the dark side of globalization, my work Pseudo-well is a response to and enacts an experience related to these tensions. I use tires as a means to reflect the most essential need which drives our revolution — moving. I realized that the need is not food, not sex, not humanity, it’s about conquering, discovering. Each individual is like the junk tire which has conquered more than 50000 miles, but they end up in the junkyard. They are exhausted, you don’t know if they are dying or resting, especially comparing to the playground slide. Although there is no water at the bottom of this Pseudo-well, it's still reflecting the moving sky and viewer images through a Kinect interactive camera. The whole installation under this pandemic poses a dilemma: Should we keep looking for magic-like transformations or being crude and natural?

Front view

Side view

Back view

Bottoom view

Top view (interactive video inside the well)

Top view (interactive video inside the well)

Top view (interactive video inside the well)