In this multi-medial, theatrical artwork, artist Zhang Zhaoying adopts a method of expression that he refers to as “reclaiming the space”. The viewer is presented with an adapted European tale dating back to the Renaissance, in which a giant named “Titan” is taken prisoner by a Lilliputian kingdom. The artist uses this story to reflect on altered social states brought about by human interaction and cannibalistic urges. Since the visual language of painting alone cannot convey this unconventional story with sufficient clarity, the artist resorts to a multi-layered method of “reclaiming the space”. He organically combines painting, installation and video works in a quasi-operatic format, allowing him to express his artistic views in a more comprehensive way.
Zhang Zhaoying is interested in forging a distinct relationship between his work and the space in which it is exhibited. By applying this “reclaiming of the space” to the visual language of painting, he leads the viewer into a spatial “pitfall”, meticulously planned out and prepared by the author. This specific work concerns the collective unconscious, which can be seen as a state of hypnosis. The mood of the work and the space are transmitted to the mind of the viewer, allowing him/her to tap into experiences different from his/her usual, innate personality. It’s utterly important to “reclaim the space” to be able to express these primitive forms of collective unconscious. At the basis of our psychological motivations lies not only the concept of ontogeny: humankind’s phylogeny also serves as its immense and solid foundation. By means of so-called “on-the-spot art” (xianchang yishu), the artist attempts to retrace the primitive intent underpinning the unconscious.