Zhang Yunfeng lives and works in Beijing. He graduated from the oil painting department of the Academy of Fine Arts, Xinjiang Normal University in 2011 and then the Experimental Art Institute of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. His shortlisted works in the Exposure Award showcase his thoughts and feelings during the period of home isolation enforced because of the pandemic COVID-19. Zhang Yunfeng sees the photographic paper as a means of communication with the outside world. The images form a metaphor for the struggle between human beings and diseases. This series is an example of our current situation, discussing monitoring, isolation, stranger world, viruses, houses, and future exploration. PHOTOFAIRS Social Media Editor Xiaohui Tang talks to the artist to discover more about his practice.
Can you tell us more about the themes behind your works exhibited in the PHOTOFAIRS PRESENTS: Exposure Award digital exhibition?
The series is about quarantine at home during the COVID-19 outbreak. The series developed into using photographic paper to gradually explore the world around me.
What was the inspiration behind your series?
I wanted to create something about not being able to go out, about being restricted and wanting to break through those restrictions.
Did you have any particular thoughts during the creation process?
That life is really important. If one does not have the ability to observe life, one will not produce good works.
Did this work help you gain a new perspective on photography? If so, what?
While cameras are getting more pixelated our eyes aren't getting more sensitive. Keep learning from things that are more sensitive than we are.