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  • Zheng Yuan, The Last Step of Touch Down, 2020, 3-channel video installation, black and white, color, stereo sound 64’00”, Courtesy the Artist

Zheng Yuan

Zheng Yuan (b. 1988, Lanzhou) currently lives and works in Sanhe, Hebei province. He graduated from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015 with a master’s degree. Working primarily with time-based media, Zheng’s work often operates at the intersection of fiction, documentary and investigative studies. His media practice focuses on identity and evaluation, and its relationship with history, society, and representation.
The Last Step of Touch Down features assorted footage of national leaders, ambassadors, and visiting delegations disembarking from airplanes. It then extends from this gesture to the history of politics, diplomacy, and imported technology in Cold War-era China. The installation focuses on the two stages during which China accepted foreign technologies on an intensive scale: the first Five-Year Plan from 1953 to 1957, structured around assistance from the Soviet Union; and the technology transfer from the West to China after Nixon’s visit to China in 1972, in the context of attempting to suppress the Soviet Union’s development. The work focuses on the history of civil aviation and media technology in China, which would later play an important role in the process of globalization, as well as how the process of importing technology impacts the people in China who hold and use these technologies.

Zheng Yuan