Zong Bo Jiang
Interview by Jessica Wan
Published in July 2022
Shared Planet, installation view, 2022, at BETWEEN REALMS. Courtesy of the artist.
Your work Shared Planet (2022) was recently on view at BETWEEN REALMS, a multi-media group exhibition organised by FARBE.io in Munich, Germany. Can we start with the narrative behind the bizarrely digital characters and virtual worlds you have created?
Shared Planet captures a glimpse of the moment in time when the world came to a standstill for humans during lockdown and the environment and wildlife began to thrive. It’s influenced by the documentary ‘The Year Earth Changed’ and explores nature’s response to the low human activity during the global lockdown.
Looking at wildlife, noise pollution, air and water quality the work acts as ‘visual activism’ to explore global warming, reflecting data and research to share the issues in an alternative form. With the hope to open a conversation about how we can identify more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to co-exist and how this can have a profound impact on nature and give us hope for the future of our planet.
Shared Planet, film still, 2022. Courtesy of the artist.
Yeah and I think this also echoes the enhanced digital transformation led by the pandemic. It seems to me that your work is moving away from the human settlement as a default, but instead features different animals and botanical beings. How can we understand the development of media environments from an ecological perspective?
Over the last few years, it is clear that our relationship with technology and how we use it has changed a great deal. As someone who began to explore digital work more in depth close to the start of the pandemic, I have seen the changes as my practice has developed. In terms of digital fashion and design this development has opened many opportunities for brands, other designers and myself to explore areas that have never before been possible. It has expanded the way that we see and experience everything, not only within fashion and design, but in everyday life. The future is unpredictable, however the development of technologies and our connection to them look assured to be a large feature.
Jump (Shared Planet), 2022. Courtesy of the artist.
I also want to talk about your latest NFT series Wildlife, a speculative looping video that depicts thriving species due to the lack of human activity during the global lockdown. What are each of the characters about?
This piece is a further development of the original Shared Planet work and focuses on the same issues, concepts and characters which represent each of the areas referenced in the original work; Wildlife, Air, Water and Noise. These characters are positioned in a circle in this piece referencing this idea of togetherness and how we need to work with each other in order to make a positive change.
Can you also tell us what are you listening to and reading at the moment?
I am reading a book called How to see the world by Nichholas Mirzoeff. I have only just started, but I wanted to read it as it looks at visual culture and all the different images we consume and how we consume them.
As a visual artist I want to understand more how the development of images, culture and history has an impact on how we observe different types of images.
Oh, and I am absolutely grooving with Chicago singer Ravyn Lenae’s New album Hypnos.
How would you imagine a post-pandemic world to be?
I think that the world will return back to how it was before, but the pandemic has definitely changed some people’s perspective and awareness. As someone who looks to inspire hope and change, I think this will cause people to be more considerate of each other and the planet as a whole.
Zong Bo Jiang is a visual artist based in London. With a background in Graphic and Digital Fashion design, his design philosophy has always been true to sculpting a narrative. Jiang considers himself an earthling and his practice to be visual activism. Focusing on issues such as mental health, animal rights and the environment Jiang endeavors to offer an alternative digital representation of the dilemmas within these areas, to open and continue the conversation of how we can improve the way we all live on this planet as earthlings.
Jessica Wan is a Hong Kong-born, London-based independent curator and writer whose practice focuses on an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to exhibition-making at the intersection of art and new technologies.
If you like this why not read our interview with Bohdan Svyrydov.
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