Zhao Rundong – Growing Up in The Vortex of The Internet

by Rubén Palma
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Zhao Rundong (b.1998), graduated from the Department of Transmedia Art of China Academy of Art, and residencied at PILOTENKUECHE, Leipzig, Germany in 2022. He has received awards and honors such as the Lin Fengmian Gold Award of China Academy of Art, a nomination of Tomorrow’s Vision Award, the Kunpeng Award of Pingyao International Photography Festival, and the China Photographer of the Year. His works have been exhibited at Zhejiang Art Museum, Shanghai West Coast Art Center, ARS AVANTI in Germany, Lichtspieple des Westens Video Art Festival, CAFA ART MUSUM LangFang, The Wrong Biennial, etc. He currently lives and works in Hangzhou and Shanghai.

As a generation growing up in the vortex of the Internet, Zhao Rundong’s creations are closely connected to the current society and youth culture, etc. His creations focus on the state of existence of the new generation of youth groups nurtured by digital, using 3D technology and game technology to explore issues such as post-humanism, the occult, globalization and control thesis, and neo-colonization, and describe them with a romantic perspective of post-Orientalism.

As a generation growing up in the vortex of the Internet, my creations explore important issues such as cultural identity, self-knowledge and state of being in the context of digitization and globalization. As well as cultural adaptation and resistance under neo-colonialism through the use of 3D gaming technology and AI technology. While wandering between various media such as video, installation and painting, I try to discuss the complex relationship between human beings and technology, nature and artificiality. I have been using games and 3D technology in my creations, and have integrated a lot of elements from movies, video games, and internet memes into my creations. There are conflicts and overlaps between different symbols and reality, in the process of collecting materials and editing and melting them on the computer,

– Zhao Rundong

I feel that the reliability and authenticity of real world events are getting more and more blurred, and the contradictions and paradoxes within them constantly come to the forefront, which I liken to electronic alchemy. These images resemble the human beings and things in the real world, but their internal logic is completely different and even conflicting; they are unreadable images. I think that the so-called ”reality“ is a ”hyperdream“ (a kind of virtual reality system in Cyberpunk 2077) that we weave with rationality. People have always used language to construct facts, logic and rationality to calm the brain, and value judgments to tame restlessness. Reality and the virtual are nothing more than this Zion and that Zion (Zion, the dwelling place of Jehovah in the Bible, meaning refuge).

– Zhao Rundong

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