Meng Bo, 'Game Over:
Taking Tiger Mountain by Storm' 1994 (2)
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
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:
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
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."
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.
Feng Mengbo uses gaming
rules and ideas to create interactive multimedia art about contemporary
- 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.
Mengbo, Streetfighter IV, 1995 (4)