Grew up in Wuhan China, Yuyang Zhang is a multi-disciplinary queer artist currently living in Portland, Oregon. His works often revolve around topics related to automotive culture and cultural identity and the millennial life on the interweb.
umm no, these are not the propaganda posters you thought they are;
umm no, these are not photographs that disclose the self-explanatory narratives you thought they do;
umm no, these are not a real depiction of the past nor the future of the environment that I was born, grew up in, nor will I move forward to.
The past year has been challenging, say the least, for a lot of people. Added with the nature of political and ideological discourse, it also gave me a reality check that the Chinese community here in the US needed to navigate through deep water mixed with disappointments with hometown authorities, the baggage of the birthplace written on the documents and mental exhaustion from dealing with authorities on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. I often wish my country could just get along with the mainstream players, and this feeling has never been more robust for the past year.
Using primarily found propaganda posters, screenshots and personal photographs, these digital collages present an introspective on cultural and political identity. They also painted an imaginative path to an alternative and presumably better reality by using contemporary life and humor elements. Through found images, they become relevant; via the language of humor, they twisted the narratives and dismantled the seriousness of the authority that is barely possible in other ways. Will those scenes in the works ever come true? Umm no. But should one stop hoping for a better future? Umm no.
To view more of Yuyang Zhang’s work please visit their website.