“Green play” is a joyful orchestration of one of the great meeting places in New York City—Central Park, a utopian playground and repository shared by locals and tourists alike. The spliced footage choreographs a single summer Sunday and encapsulates an optimism that is central to American life. Green Play is part of an on-going video collage series where I am exploring the ritualistic characteristics of different American cities. The Green Play piece is the September featuring piece at the UMW media wall moving image exhibition at the University of Mary Washington. [The University of Mary Washington, located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA, is a public university that focuses on undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences. The core of its main campus consists of roughly 4,000 mostly residential students.]
My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings—both the physical and the psychological world they live in. I am deeply intrigued by the history and distinctive characteristics of American urban cities, and the collective idealism, attitude, and pace of the lives of their inhabitants. I use my camera to document ritualistic moments of urban life and rearrange and assemble these documentations into a metaphorical city collage. This process helps me to distill and understand these spaces, which, as a native of Beijing, I find both familiar and mysterious.
The minimalist approach of structural film, as well as the harmony and flow of energy in traditional Chinese landscape painting have both inspired my work. The massive reconfiguration of the Beijing landscape throughout my young adulthood is also a lens through which the work develops. Most of all, the work comes out of the scenes that play out by chance in front of my camera. When these scenes aggregate, a rhythm emerges, an essential rhythm that in some way defines a place.
Please click to play the video below
Sound design by Zige Zhang
Yuge Zhou 周雨歌 is an artist and graphic designer from Beijing, China. She currently lives in Chicago, IL and works as a curator, creative director and contributor for the 3300-square foot Riverside Wall, the largest new media and video art installation in Chicago (due to launch in 2017). The installation will feature commissioned artwork by world-renowned media artists, emerging artists as well as collaborative groups of students and educators. Zhou earned her MFA from the Visual Communication Design Department at School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. She also holds a masters degree in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University.
Zhou has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including SIGGRAPH Asia 2015 in Kobe, Japan; Chicago Design Musuem; Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (CICA) museum in South Korea; New York State Museum; ISEA 2016 in Hong Kong; Santa Fe New Media Festival at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe; Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art in NYC; The POWERHOUSE Arena in Brooklyn NY; Chicago Art Department; West Bund Art Fair in Shanghai China; and Mexican Digital Culture Centre in Mexico City among others.