Long March: Restart

Feng Mengbo – 2008

A split screen shows a normal and an enlarged view of a street in the Jump'n'Run-game "Long March: Restart"

Since the 1990s, videogames get in the focus of artists. The chinese artist Feng Mengbo is a pioneer in this new, artistic appropriation to digital games.

In the year 2002, it was the first time that an international audience had contact to a artistic game modification:for the »documenta 11« in Kassel, Feng Mengbo exhibits his »Quake« modification »Q4U« (2000/2002). In the »ZKM_Gameplay«, he presents his spectacular artwork »Long March: Restart« which referred to the 2D, 16bit-era of videogames on the aesthetic level. In Feng Mengbos videogame the symbols of communism propaganda merges with pieces of the western consumer world and also asian stereotypes of computergames like »Street Fighter II« (the famous sumo wrestler E. Honda and the chinese fighter Chun Li have cameo roles). The game installation is shown in a 16 meter (52ft) long projection with an ultra wide screen ratio. It is controlled via a wireless gamepad. Via the form and the content, this dedicated political game satirizes the hero myth of the long march of the communistic party in the years 1934 and 1935.

Text by Stephan Schwingeler