Renhui Zhao

As FORMAT closed a few days ago, I just want to bring up a couple artists works I enjoyed looking at while I was visiting there.  Renhui Zhao was one of those.  His work at FORMAT looks at a cloaking device that he found being used by the Institute of Critical Zoologists.  He stumbled upon this technology while going for a walk China while working on another project.

© Renhui Zhao

I was absolutely perplexed and couldn’t help doubting myself while I looked at this work.  A cloaking device?  Already?  I’d heard that there have been a few scientists that have been able to bend the reaction of light and create a device that “works” as a cloak.  But a device that actually works in the field and without a power generator or anything to make it somewhat bulky and obtrusive?

Well, that’s what Zhao wants us to think.  He wants the disbelief to overpower the imagery in some respects.  In many ways this cloak represents the idea of truth in today’s world.  We are given information every day by friends, relatives, media, neighbors, co-workers and it is always on the pretense that it is correct and true.  But in looking at this cloaking device, this realm of science fiction that Zhao has made real, we can either accept this notion of man being able to conceal his whereabouts in nature and disguise himself or question it.  Thankfully I didn’t bite… at least too hard.  I of course am writing about it now and did some investigating to assure myself that this technology was not readily available.  In doing so, I stumbled upon Zhao’s creation of the Institute of Critical Zoologists, which is more brilliant than “The Blind” project itself.

© Renhui Zhao


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