Invites: 00 Zhang

Invites: 00 Zhang
00 Zhang, The Overture of Prototype Series, 2023. Digital collage. Courtesy the artist.
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Zabludowicz Collection is pleased to present an Invites exhibition by Chinese-born London-based 00 Zhang. Motivated by investigations into what she calls ‘a double-sided exile’, Zhang’s practice spans sculpture, installation, CGI animations and interactive virtual environments. In her digital work, embodiment and elaborate cybernetic concepts intertwine, depicting an integration of agent and environment through complex narratives.

Approaching the exhibition site as she would an undeveloped game environment or ‘plane’ – a term from game theory referring to unique levels of game play – the artist creates a void-like portal into her work, showcasing the culmination of a multi-year technological practice. The installation features two interactive digital works and four sculptural pieces constructed from laser-cut stainless steel, 3D-printed materials, and robotic and computer technologies. These physical works appear as gaming assets in Zhang’s multi-level interactive gaming work, The Overture of Prototype Series.

A form of self-portraiture realised through the medium of gaming, the work reveals the artist’s complex and personal expression of world-building. Players enter the gaming space within an East London landscape, a familiar environment with its skyscrapers, construction barriers, locked-up bikes and Tube signs. Transported by lift into an abandoned Tube tunnel, players are teleported to a utopian world. A metaphysical realm, it features an oversized moon and ice sheets scattered overhead and across water. The player navigates this plane until they are magnetically pulled into an AI-generated control room. In the middle of the generative matrix environment sits Fluoxetine, a VR simulation machine, which shows a live stream of the gallery space and reflects the player’s likeness back to them.

Together, this ambitious collection of works utilises narrative, world-building, and futurist gaming aesthetics to explore the duality of existing in both the real and virtual worlds. Offering a curious and hopeful perspective, Zhang’s work envisions a future in which machines, non-human entities, and digital landscapes coexist.

Exhibition Collaborators and Credits:

Academic Support: Kevin Walker
Sound Artist: Yeule
Game Dramaturg: Yinuo
Player Guide Graphic Designer: Ruiqi Li
Management and Interaction Designer: Xiaoting Tan
Mechanical Engineering: Qi Qi
Technical Artists: Graham Wu and Eason Ma

00 Zhang
(b. 1996, Zhejiang, China) completed a Design for Performance & Interaction MArch course at University College London in 2021, and a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins in 2020. Recent solo exhibitions include Shattered Heliocentric Orbit, Broadway Gallery, Nottingham (2022). Select group exhibitions include The Production of Post-Truth, Ugly Duck, London (2022); Kissaten/Tea Room, University College London, London (2022); and Escape Before the Heat Death of the Universe: the Digital ‘Peach Blossom Paradise’ and Virtual Hedonism, Thetis S.p.A., Venice (2022). 00 Zhang has participated in brand collaborations with Nike, Dior, Balenciaga and Shanghai Fashion Week.

The Invites programme is dedicated to solo exhibitions by UK-based artists without UK commercial gallery representation.