Born 1974, Jinan, Shandong

A five-dimensional sculpture? Zhou Changyong thought it could be done—by adding time, in the form of a video, and qi energy, or at least a representation of it. What theme deserved such expansive treatment? Freedom, he decided, in the unlikely setting of a cinema. Watching Jamie Foxx’s escaped-slave character in Django Unchained, “I thought I would really like to be this character fighting for my freedom,“ he says. “We all long for freedom, and we are all slaves in different ways.” To make From Django Unchained 35’05″–37’06” (2014), he attached motion-capture sensors to his body, connected them to a computer, and followed Foxx’s moves in a brief action scene, then used the electronic trace of his “dance” to animate his on-screen avatar. The dark cloud of qi was added with computer-generated “glue”, which adheres to the avatar and moves along with it. The sculpture component of the work consists of a 3D print of that cloud’s surface. In that sense, Zhou Changyong says, “the sculpture was created by itself”.

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