He has created prolific images with his Babel Empire series; a haunting reference to an empire dominated by “the network,” an unlimited future without borders and passports.
Du Zhenjun purposely sources images from mass media outlets for his work, giving the world of digital internet a presence outside of our homes and computers. Zhenjun’s work is almost Armageddon and one might think he considers the universe of digital language to only have negative consequences.
Du’s upbringing in Shanghai has had an influence in his personal views of capitalism, honed by China’s communist past and present. “My upbringing was naive, innocent, trusting, moral, mechanical, and stupid!” When asked if he has ever struggled finding a reason to portray his moral views? “Mao said: fighting with sky, fighting with ground, fighting with people….I struggle for my view. It was a difficult but very exciting era.”
The Babel Empire series portrays capitalism through globalization with its global domination. Like any system, there are those who benefit, but also victims. People are capitalized and marginalized, ultimately leading to poverty and an underclass. However, no matter what the negative consequences may be, this is the present human civilization.
Du’s vision for the future is one of digital technology and the networking of technology, “the future of mankind, regardless of its position, will always be the same. Differences will become increasingly smaller.”
“Taoist considerd: There are a positive in negative consequences. There are negative in positive consequences.”