Weihang Zhu is a visual artist and digital media designer based in London. She graduated from the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts and won a national scholarship. As an interdisciplinary artist, she excels in utilizing various mediums and skillfully combining them.
My research stemming from the perspectives of existentialism and absurdism aims to unveil certain phenomena that are often avoided in discussions. My practice encompasses reflections on self-cognition and explores the relationship between individuals and the world. I am adept at using metaphors to describe the tingles and sensitivities of life.
As above, so below
Death is the ever-changing pattern that appears on our eyelids when we close our eyes. Although we know it is there, we are still unable to see it clearly. Burial, however, gives a shape to death. It makes us aware that death is right there, in that place.
Soil, as one of the essential conditions for burial, has a very unique position. It exists between life and death, serving as a crucial medium for the continuous cycle of life and death. After being buried, beneath the soil, the “celebration” of death takes place in full swing, which is decomposition.
Therefore, I won’t consider death as a single moment in time. I believe that death begins from the moment vital signs cease, undergoes the entire process of decomposition, and only ends when decomposition is complete. This process is active and vigorous. From this moment on, both mentally and physically, we will no longer be ourselves. Our “existence” will come to a complete end.
Due to the abstract nature of death, I hope to provide an immersive experience that expresses my understanding of death and the feeling of being surrounded by it. Therefore, starting from the perspective of soil burial, I visualize the “intensity” of death by real-time monitoring of soil temperature and humidity. My artwork will consist of two parts—the physical installation part and the projection mapping part. The physical installation is connected to a soil sensor, and it uses real-time data from the sensor to control its movements, visually showing the active level of death. The projection also interacts with temperature and humidity data received from soil sensors. As the temperature and humidity increase, the images change faster, which represents a higher activity level of death.
Nowadays, there is an excessive emphasis on the 'concept' of science and technology by capital, such as the creation of buzzwords like 'metaverse'. This has led to a spectacle where people blindly worship these ideas, resulting in a carnival-like atmosphere. This raises the question of whether people will continue to repeat this cycle of worship as new waves of technology emerge and fade away. The development of science and technology always involves small peaks and is in line with the natural progression of things. However, for most of us, this doesn't necessarily mean we live in a great time. People's blind reverence for this sector further intensifies the level of detachment, which often goes unnoticed. The alienation caused by science and technology is not the alienation itself; rather, it is the growing alienation between people due to the way technology affects their behavior. This principle is similar to Marx's theory of the 'alienation of labor', where the products of human labor control individuals, causing them to lose their original subjectivity and creativity. To shed light on this cyclical nature, we have adopted interactive installations that briefly remove the audience from this cycle.
Sending you a death poem
Death is a recurring sting
Death is a long dull pain
Death is the memory of oblivion
Death begins under the dirt
And ends above it
Death is a tiny leak in life
Death is a forgotten dream
Death is loss
Death is gain
Death is a fading night
Death is a long sleep
Death is inevitable
Death is necessary
Death is death
Death is us