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FENG MENGBO   - Born Beijing, China, 1966. Lives and works in Beijing

Meng Bo, 'Game Over: Taking Tiger Mountain by Storm' 1994 (2)

"...I'd rather be considered a game artist than a Political Pop artist...This doesn't mean that I don't care about history, simply that I can't be responsible for it." Feng Mengbo

Feng Mengbo is an artist with an international reputation. He arose out of a 'Political Pop' movement in China, during the late 80's and early 90's, when many artists were using deconstructive techniques and Western iconography to comment on contemporary China.

Although he considers himself more game artist his work has never been exhibited in China because of his connection with Political Pop. Nevertheless he continues to live and work in Beijing.

 

 

You can see more of Feng Mengbo's work, and even email him at his website:

http://member.netease.com/~mbgame

Feng Mengbo is a young Chinese artist whose work uses the the styles and structures of contemporary electronic games. He combines this with cultural influences of China, from traditional opera legends to more recent stories from the Cultural Revolution and Hong Kong action cinema. The icons from Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution and those of Hong Kong cinema both use a romantic, heroic style to tell moral or political tales.

Mengbo has worked in paint, video and more recently digital media, to produce narrative pieces, full of computer game images, mixed with symbols from communist China. His 'Streetfighter' painting series (see below) features a revolutionary soldier, in Red Guard uniform, in conflict with a series of computer assasins and monsters. His weapons range from ninja stars to crushed Coca Cola cans.

Meng Bo, 'Game Over: The Long March' 1994 (3)

"My art is concerned with the commonplace lives of ordinary people. I'm facinated by the fact that despite all of its travails humankind battles for survival, struggles to maintain its basic dignity, ever hopeful and often humourous." Feng Mengbo

Since 1996 Mengbo has worked with computers, not as a passive player, but making CD-Roms and games. The first CD-Rom piece by Mengbo was 'My Private Album' in 1996, which is an interactive family photo album.

Following that he has made a series of interactive multimedia works using the structures of commercial software with Chinese themes such as: 'Game Over: The Long March' and 'The War of Resistance against Japan'. He has said that he would like to collaborate with a games company such as Nintendo, in order to develop and distribute these ideas fully.

GAME ON...

Feng Mengbo uses gaming rules and ideas to create interactive multimedia art about contemporary life.

  • What would you make, inspired by this artist's work?
  • What if an everyday part of your life - a trip to the shops, a date, a boring Sunday - became a computer game? You could work in teams to design characters, backgrounds, stories, goals and levels for your game...
  • Computer games are very often about fighting and speed, but what it you were to fight a slow-motion battle? You could work with dance or drama to choreograph it and with music to create a soundtrack.

 

Feng Mengbo, Streetfighter IV, 1995 (4)