Feng Mengbo @ ART SALON: The Culture of Contemporary Chinese Art

When 7 Dec 2010
6:30PM - 8:00PM
Where China Institute
125 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
United States
Enquiry 212.744.8181

Image still from Long March, Restart! Feng Mengbo. Courtesy of the artist and China Institute, New York

Tuesday, December 7 ~ 6:30-8 PM

$10 member / $15 non-member

In anticipation of the New York debut of his Long March: Restart at MoMA PS1 (on view December 12, 2010-April 4, 2011), Beijing-based Feng Mengbo will speak about his long-time engagement with digital technology and China’s youth culture.

Feng’s Long March is a large-scale interactive video game installation in reference to the 1934 retreat of the Red Army led by Mao and other Communist leaders. Its central character is a small Red Army soldier sweeping his way across China, wiping out ghosts, demons, and deities, much in the vein of Mario wiping out Koopa Troopas on his way to rescue Princess Toadstool in the iconic video game Super Mario Brothers. One thing that makes Long March: Restart so special is that instead of sitting in front of a typical television monitor, you, the gamer, are instead dwarfed by an enormous screen, approximately 80 by 20 feet. Your avatar (the small Red Army soldier) and the pixels around him are magnified tenfold and projected behind you on a second enormous screen, the sparkling pixels a fitting homage to the enormously popular (but graphically simple) 1980s side-scrolling video games. A second element that makes the work so unique is, in Mengbo’s own words, the artist’s ‘original intention in designing the installation, which lies in the continued use of the audience’s, i.e. the gamers’, way of motion as the chief measuring mechanism…I wanted to enable the character to move freely along the stretched scroll. Because of the vast space of the exhibition hall and the intentionally designed pace of the character, the gamer and the audience would have to dash to catch up with the character. (MoMA)

This installment of the Art Salon series is jointly hosted by Chambers Fine Art, where Feng Mengbo’s recent exhibition Yi Bi Te was on view from September 16 to November 5.

For more information, please see www.chambersfineart.com/exhibitions/2010.shtml

To register online, go to www.chinainstitute.org/artsculture/programs/contemporaryart or call 212-744-8181.