“The truth exists; it’s just that we can’t get to it.”
Born 1985, Jinan, Shandong
The conceptual artist Zhang Yue sees himself as an artist of no particular nation, and his works too refuse to accept borders: between aesthetics and practicality, between the local and the global, or between science and artistic creation. He likes his works to be “uncontrollable”; many would also call them bizarre. As a salmon lover, he became curious about how the fish reached his plate. So he spent six months researching the anatomy, life cycle and migration routes of the silver (or Coho) salmon, as well as the way in which it is fished. What for most students would be a term’s worth of study notes, Zhang Yue presents as an artwork. Compiling the 30-page document gave him a strange sense of connection with Oncorhynchus kisutch, he says: it is as if, by getting to know the fish so well, he has acquired them in a virtual counterpart to the way a collector might acquire an artwork. He says he thinks of the salmon swimming far away, and feels with affection that they are his.