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V Art Center
2015.09.26 Sat - 2015.11.05 Thu
Opening Exhibition
2F, Building 3, No.50 Moganshan Lu Shanghai, China
+86 21 5212.2691
Opening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 11am - 6pm
Chao Jiaxing

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V ART CENTER:9.26 |NEW GAMES :Wang Yefeng
[Press Release]

Despite the ubiquity of General Tso’s Chicken in America and the fact that 99% of U.S. store-bought goods are manufactured in China, there remain vast differences between the two cultures.


Chinese-born artist Yefeng Wang (aka “Frank”) has been in America for several years now and his art often employs images that work through these cultural boundaries. Take for instance his latest work, titled New Games. It is a 3D animated video that uses Lego people to demonstrate a series of physically-impossible, not to mention absurd, games.

These include leap-frogging over tall buildings, peeing into the clouds, and bumper cars using 747 airplanes. (That last one may be possible, though not advised.) It all seems innocent and quite silly on the surface, though what Wang is really after is not laughs but a sense of what lies beyond convention.

Nothing is real here: from Wang’s use of Legos, to the action being filmed against green screen, to the absurdity of what the artist makes them perform. We find ourselves trying to comprehend the games as though they have some relationship to reality, even if, like animation or science fiction, that reality requires a suspension of disbelief. Wang’s characters, however, are not relatable because of the emotion they convey on-screen. They are ciphers for something more ingrained: competition.

As icons, the Legos/“athletes” are indelibly Chinese, for the regiment and desperation Wang puts them through stresses the notion that winning is inextricably linked to national pride. Yet there is also something American happening too.

Legos are manufactured in China, though nearly every child in America owns a set or has played with one at some point in their youth. They’ve become a symbol of wholesomeness in a country that prides itself on notions of freedom and equality—ideological forms also embodied in competitive athletics. The irony is that China’s great competitor for Olympic gold medals every four years is the United States.

Systems, however, have a way of marginalizing uniqueness regardless their ideological persuasion. American life, as we well know in the 21st century, is fraught with its own inconsistencies. On some level, Wang’s Legos look less like celebrated athletes that span two divergent governments and more like pawns in their game.

Brian Chidester



Yefeng Wang is a Chinese media artist. Hewas born in 1984, in Shanghai, China. In summer 2011, he finished his MFA studies in Art and Technology Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and has taught digital related courses in the Department of Film, Video New Media and Animation as well as Art and Technology Studies at SAIC as an instructor until 2013. He currently teaches in the Art Department at Rhode Island College as an Assistant Professor.

Yefeng actively pursues his artistic career in both China and America, and continues think and work critically across the medias among Experimental 3D, video installation, Performance in Virtual Environment, and Art Game. Yefeng has had extensive experience exhibiting and working in prestigious venues internationally, which include InVisible (Co-prosperity Sphere Culture Center, Chicago, IL), Currents 2012, Santa Fe International New Media Festival (El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, Santa Fe, NM), Hypercapitalism – East meets West (Herald Square, NY), Power of Copying (Xuzhou Museum of Art, China), Impersonal – solo exhibition of Yefeng Wang (HEREarts Center, New York, NY), There is A Body On Screen! (The Museum of Luxun Academy of Art, Shenyang, China), Post-photography (99 Art Space of Shanghai University, Shanghai, China), Myth and Mutation (Reverse Art Space, Brooklyn, NY), solo exhibition – I-generation (Hong Kong Art projects Gallery, Central Hong Kong), etc. He was also a residency artist and juried panel member in New York Artist Residency and Studios Foundation in summer 2013 and 2014.