Looking like Angelina Jolie, but actually several Chinese. The artist Zhang Wei put together deceptively genuine portraits of stars from the faces of his fellow men. But something is missing in these copies.
Monday, 01.Aug.2016 11:52
For Zhang Wei, sexual frustration and much time at the computer were the inspiration for his project “Artificial Theater”. Since 2008, wrote Zhang on his website, he has played the erotic game “Artificial Girl 3”. Part of the gameplay is the creation of your own character.
Inspired by the creation of artificial beings on the monitor, he begins to assemble faces with images cut from different photographs: "The experience from these two years brought me to the idea of creating an artificial person or even a virtual world."
The raw material was from one of his previous works. For the project “Temporary Performers”, he photographed more than 300 Chinese, mainly migrant workers from poor areas. He sought in their physiognomy the components for his portraits. Then he rendered on the computer the faces of famous personalities from those image pieces.
Zhang, who lives in the backyard of a movie theater in Peking, observes with discomfort how western influences and the culture of his homeland blend. Many Chinese follow an ideal of beauty created in Hollywood, he criticizes. Zhang calls it “fast-food-aesthetics”.
At first glance, Zhang's photographs look similar to their real prototypes. But one important detail is lacking: the charisma of humanity. Zhang wants to "warn people through these cold, manipulated images that everyone in our society plays only one role".