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Visual Communication (MA)

Zhaohua Zhang

Zhaohua Zhang is a visual communicator who was born in Liaoning Province and studied in Beijing. As a child growing up in China’s most important industrial base (the Ruhr region of China), he witnessed the prosperity of his hometown as a child and the struggles and decay of transitioning to a market economy. Therefore, his work focuses on the deep-rooted issues in Chinese society, and how these have shaped the values of his parent’s generation of Chinese people.

Zhaohua graduated with BA in Digital Media Arts from the Communication University of China in 2020.


2021 That Thing, Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing

2020 That Thing, Chaoyang Joy City, Beijing

2020 That Thing, School of Animation and Digital Arts, CUC, Beijing

2019 Qigong Pot, China Advertising Museum, CUC, Beijing


Silver Award of the 20th National Design Master Award

Bronze Award of the Seventh Beijing Student Animation and Design Competition

machine detail

Favourite websites were suddenly blocked by the Great Firewall, long-awaited films were censored or prevented from being released in cinemas, and there were no financial resources in a blocked city for three whole months. More or less, we all acquiesce to these things, even reassuring ourselves that life actually doesn't change.

What about going further? What would a society be like where there are no individual values at all, where individuals exist only for the sake of the collective? In my project, I made this speculative design, assuming a situation using the human body as energy just like artificial intelligence did in the film The Matrix.

Silence in the face of unlimited power has become our most common choice. The goal of my practice is to explore the boundaries of individual rights and social values. By showing this convergent future, my work attempts to warn and break the silence, and promote the viewer's reflection through speculative designs and fictional futures.

Is it really what we want to keep silent when such a society is our future?

4 pods
One for All
Instruction booklet

Welcome to a society where the boundaries between individual and collective values are blurred. It is a society where total collectivism is practiced and where the existence of the individual has no value. Each person is a tiny cog in a complex social machine, and the whole point of life is to work constantly to produce value. So when the cogs fail to turn, the Humineral Project, which recycles materials and drains them of their last value, is a way to renew the meaning of life. 'One for All' is no longer an empty slogan, but a practice for this beautiful new world.


Resin, pigment


All for One

Announcer Tone

In this video, I sought out a broadcaster to do my voiceover who used an announcer accent. This is usually used to deliver an official message. This also means he is serious and accurate, it is totally different from normal Chinese speaking. It is a key part of the whole propaganda system.

His words were adapted from a famous quote from the Soviet novel 'How the Steel Was Tempered.'

'Man's dearest possession is life. It is given to him but once, and he must live it so as to feel no torturing regrets for wasted years, never know the burning shame of a mean and petty past; so live that, dying, he might say: All my life, all my strength were given to the finest cause in the world --- The fight for the liberation of mankind'.


Video base