iris zhang

(๑╹∀╹๑), January 2021, 3D Animation (Maya, DAZ 3D,
          AfterEffects),  00:32

Song: Wish - KIRARA

artist statement
An exploration of the vanishing boundaries between the digital and the real, filtered through the lens of my personal experience with early Chinese internet culture.. And its entailing quirks, some of which are no longer prevalent, but transcendental nonetheless

Such as → “非主流”/”alternative, non-mainstream,” a subculture that loomed over the Chinese internet’s nooks and crannies in the form of emo aesthetics and ineligible text/language or “火星文“/”Martian language,” see the floating text in the console

→ “土酷”/”kitsch, tacky cool,” an adjective used to describe anything that is simultaneously atrocious and irresistible, see the background full of images and gifs at the beginning and end of the animation, they’re sourced from a collection of “老年表情 包”/”geriatric emoticons”

→ “杀马特”/”ShaMaTe/Smart culture,” a tenet of 非主流 but also very much its own community, the Chinese name is a direct phonetic translation of the word “smart” as in “looking, dressing smart,” heavily inspired by Japanese visual kei bands and emphasized togetherness and uniqueness, see the rotating WangZai head with visual kei hair (very interesting phenomenon, but the community was essentially bullied online and offline, into obscurity.. I really recommend the documentary “我爱你,杀马特“/”I love you, ShaMaTe/Smart” that’s come out recently, detailing the rise and fall of the community)