ZHENG BoWelcome to Hong Kong 2004

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What this is about

A tour guide introduces major sites in Hong Kong Island to travels from Mainland China. She is not a tour guide – she speaks with two voices, offering different and sometimes conflicting “facts”.

About the artist
Zheng Bo was born in Beijing in 1974 and has lived in the US, Europe, and Hong Kong. His art projects have been exhibited in numerous museums in China and abroad. He has a PhD in Visual & Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester.
In Zheng Bo’s recent practice, he attempts to transform art from objects for contemplation to platforms for participation. Though network and wireless technologies have lowered communication barriers, face-to-face conversations and heart-to-heart connections have become increasingly precious. Since 2005, Zheng has been working on the Karibu Islands project. Different groups are invited to collectively imagine a time-reversed heterotopia, which serves as a mirror for us to look into our embedded reality and to re-examine social imaginaries such as “progress,” “identity,” and “marriage.” Phase II – Birth has been staged in Guangzhou, Beijing, Taichung, and Stockholm, where nearly a thousand viewers have completed their “Karibu Islands Birth Certificates.” In Phase III – Marriage, proposals for “Karibu Islands Life-Partner and Family Law” were collected through an online competition. Six of them were shown in the 4th Auckland Triennial where viewers selected the final code.
Zheng’s practice can be described as a creative “thick description.” He often attends to local minority groups, carefully collecting their stories. But he does limit his efforts to straight-forward recording. Instead, he leverages fantasy and performance to nudge existing power structures.
Zheng Bo currently lives in Hangzhou and teaches at China Academy of Art.