Dream Delivery (2018)
Duration: 9 minutes 50 seconds
Single-Channel 4K Video (4096 × 1728)
An exhausted delivery rider sprawled on the bench of a roadside park and fell asleep safe and sound. In the dream composed of a long take, labourers gathered together in a Shanzhai park in the desert where dynamic riders became static “statues,” forming a contrast with the speed and efficiency they pursued inexhaustibly around the clock. The all-star lineup of contemporary labourers revealed the other side of Chinese economic miracle: an increasingly homogeneous urban life infused with technology and capital as well as new kinds of labor and social exploitation — perpetual mobility with speed and labor without rest. In the book 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary, sleep was described as something rarely available in the contemporary capitalist society. And in China, at the forefront of global capitalism, sleep has become a costly risk for these mobile people. In surreal and extremely realistic dreams, the artist made an attempt to capture the elements of fatigue and anxiety in this era — ceaseless mobility day-to-day is frozen in the virtual world, while unremembered faces in real life deserve close-ups in imaginary dreams.
Zheng Yuan, born in Lanzhou in 1988, lives and works in Beijing. Zheng received his MFA in Film, Video, New Media and Animation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. His work addresses questions about image-based representations that embody the state of contemporary visual culture, history, and technology.
His recent solo project includes “Up in the Air”, Taikang Space, Beijing, 2017; “An Open Studio”, PRACTICE Space, New York, 2016. He recently participated in group shows including “HOW NOW: THE LIFE APP”, HOW Museum, Shanghai, 2019; “Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence”, Chengdu Pompidou Biennale, Chengdu, 2018; “OFFLINE BROWSER”, The 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, 2018; “New Metallurgists”, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, 2018; “Long March Project：Building Code Violations III Special Economic Zone”, Long March Space, Beijing, 2018; “The Ecstasy of Time”, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, 2017; “A Map of the World that does not include Utopia is not Worth Glancing at”, Beijing Commune, Beijing, 2017. His works are also screened at film festivals including the 36th Kassel Dokfest, Kassel, 2019, the 65th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen, 2019; 55th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, 2017; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabrueck, 2016; Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago, 2016, etc. He was nominated at the Art Sanya for the Young Chinese Artists Award in 2017.