Twin City(2020)

Twin City will comprise a series of multiple works. This includes: a virtual reality work, an embodied physical kinetic sculpture, and also a collection of videos, photographs, and ready-made materials and found-objects related to the artist’s research.

 

​This work gives voice to the collective memory of people who lived in Shengli Oilfield. The Shengli Oilfield is the second largest oil field in the People’s  Republic of China, located in the Yellow River delta, in northern Shandong province. It has made a huge contribution to China's early state building. The decades 1980-2000 were the golden age of the Shengli Oilfield. However, as a resource-dependent city, this peak was followed by an economic decline. With the restructuring of business enterprise and the decline in international oil prices, the  region faced more and more social problems. Will it become an empty city like other resource cities or will there be a new turn? This documentary work captures  the group memory of people in the city. The city was built for oil, but it will be abandoned for oil. When a city inevitably declines, where should the people living in the same period go? What’s become of their lives?

 

​In this virtual work, using non-linear narrative and juxtaposition of narrative,  and parallel time and space coexist. There are chaotic times, spaces, and places in the folded and interlaced space. The most important scene is an abandoned amusement park called Shaoniangong. It was an important cultural center in the golden age of Shengli Oilfield. It is a microcosm of the rise and fall of Shengli Oilfield. And the other important scene is an oil platform of Shengli in a future time. This work was built from three levels. One is the real world part which tries to restore the actual scene. The second part is the world of the surface. This world is divided into the past and the future. The third part is the inner world, the space of consciousness, floating in outside space. The audience shuttles between the real world and the surface and inner worlds.  Passing through the trigger the audiences realizes the scene changes.

 

​There is also kinetic installation in the same series. It is the embodied physical, kinetic sculpture of an oil platform in a future time, depicted in virtual reality space.

 

​Finally, the work also contains a series of audios and videos which are the interviews from people who live in this city, narrating their memories of former times; bearing witness to the rise and fall of the city.

©  YIMIN ZHENG 

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