Zhang Yehong


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Sky-Writing


Zhang Yehong
Solo Exhibition
SIMULACRA, Beijing, China, 2021







The exhibition revolves around a now-defunct commercial tool - "sky-writing" - in which the artist starts with an anonymous sky-writing enthusiast starting with a chance flight pattern left by an anonymous sky-writer, the artist navigates through a multitude of found texts and images, searching for echoes of the different frequencies left by technology on the timeline.

The smoke screen of the First World War inspired a British Air Force major to take business to the skies and in 1922 issued the first introduction to sky-writing - 'HELLO'; PepsiCo employed a large fleet of propaganda aircraft in the 1830s and 1850s to The Germans saw writing in the air as another means of circumventing the Treaty of Versailles, secretly training air force pilots through squadrons of commercial advertising; the Chilean writer Bolaño depicted in Distant Stars a mysterious puzzling skywriter who is both a murderer and a poet ......

The political and the mundane, the fictional and the real, the war machine and the performance apparatus, are intertwined like a Borromean knot, weaving a polyphonic historical situation; in the spiral of the narrative, it eventually comes back to the traumatic dimension behind the poetic image of the "sky-writing.