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Ma Yongfeng [Videonale.10]

*1976, in Shanxi CHN, lives and works in Beijing CHN
Studied at ZKM | Institut für Bildmedien, Karlsruhe GER and at University of California, Los Angeles USA

Exhibitions [selection]:

2011 GLOBAL HOUSE, kunsthalle gwangju & Spinnerei Leipzig GER The Folded Plane, Mingyuan Art Center,    
         Shanghai CHN 

2010 Dongxi-Things, Kunstverein Baden, Wien AUT No Soul For Sale - Festival of Independents, Tate Modern,
         London GBR 

2009 Beijing's Warm Winter, Gallery Artside, Beijing CHN 

         Crossing Landscapes the environment in international video art, Fondazione Sandretto re Rebaudengo,
         Turin ITA 

2008 China Under Construction II: China's Contemporary Art of the Everyday Comes of Age, Deborah Colton
         Gallery, Houston USA 

         Digital Passages: Journey Beyond Reality's Threshold, Yuanfen New Media Art Space, Beijing CHN 

2007 Rejected Collection, Ke Center for Contemporary Arts, Shanghai CHN 

         The Cretaceous Period, Artsway, Hampshire GBR [S]


Ma Yongfeng x

The Swirl, 2002, 15:06 min., sound, colour [VIDEONALE.10]

The Swirl is a work that is as innocuous as it is brutal. In spite of its compositional simplicity and optical beauty, it is difficult to look at. The gaze is directed into the open drum of a washing machine that is loadable from above. In an uncut shot, we observe a 15-minute wash cycle. However, in the drum there are not brightly colored pieces of clothing, but six goldfish. The pointlessness of the torment and the helplessness of the tormented can be read as a metaphor for torture. But it may also be understood as social criticism and a cynical commentary upon the artist's existence, if one takes into consideration that the fish functions as a symbol for prosperity within Chinese culture. During the rapid transisition from authoritarian communism to untrammeled capitalism, independence and distance from the mechanisms of the system continue to be difficult. Atrists tell us of this experience, not least of all fostered by the recent boom of contemporary Chinese art in the West.

Dorothée Brill

Ma Yongfeng [ Videonale.10 ]