Skip to main content
Moving Image Design

Zihao Lu

Zihao Lu is an experimental artist and a visual communication designer. 

His practice is dedicated to exploring the connections between space, race, cultures, as well as the boundaries between people. Zihao observes and critically reflects on his surroundings, social issues, and human nature; and expresses his ideas in various media such as experimental moving images, performance, narrative, photography, architecture, installation, and choreography. Every deconstruction and reconstitution challenges his self-perception and professional boundaries. 

He previously graduated from Tsinghua University - Visual Communication Design (MA). Prior to his study at the Royal College of Art, he worked as a Visual Design Consultant and a freelance Graphic Designer and in Beijing.

Show Location: Battersea campus: Studio Building, First Floor

Human beings are living in a divided world. A time of polarisation. From profound rooted issues and conflicts relating to racism to recent events like the pandemic. 

This project involves easing the hostilities between people with different backgrounds (cultural, racial, religious, et cetera). Using machine learning and an interactive dance installation, and a collabrative workshop series as medium to bring people closer together, find a sense of connection with each other and reduce hostility and prejudice.

On the streets, everyone puts their guards up. Within a two-meter-wide pavement, people tend to walk as far apart as they can when confronted with other strangers. We are so closed and guarded into our comfort zones, even afraid to do anything embarrassing, but when we are dancing, we seem to let go of some of those feelings and unconsciously put our guards down, especially on the dance floor. People do not mind other strangers dancing within only half a meter. The connectedness that dancing creates intrigues the author; he wants to understand why it makes us open up like that. 

Zihao combined his previous psychedelic research with the W.I.P. show project together, to keep exploring the connection between people and dancing. The aim of the combination is to merge two experiences together and enhance the sense of connectedness to the audience. During his research, he found that both have similar network systems and both provide a sense of connectedness or a feeling of ‘self-other blurring.’ He used this point as a starter, developed an interactive dancing experience and a workshop series.

In the previous W.I.P. stage, he prototyped the installation and tested it on audiences. After analysing the pros and cons, Zihao strengthened his original installation's shortcomings in encouraging multi-person interaction through his study of psychedelic networks, and explored in greater depth how to continue to bring dance floor connections into reality.


Interactive Experience
'Mural Dance'
'Mural Dance'

The W.I.P. performance installation, which is the basis of the current project. The audience follows the dance movements of the Machine Learning figures (Mural Dance), which are automatically recorded by the app. 15 seconds later, their dance moves are displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. The aim is to strengthen the human connection by copying the moves from human and non-human dancing behaviours, and to continue this connection beyond the dance floor by asynchronous links.

Size:

200cm * 200cm Square
Collective Dance Experience
Iteration
Network Development
'Mural Dance' Updating

Interactive Dancing Experience – Installation. Aim to encourage people to connect each other by dancing with different ‘impacts,’ which is effects, and methodology was found out by psychedelic fungi study and dance floor networks.

Medium:

Digital, Screen

Size:

300cm * 300cm Sqaure
Psychedelic Invasion: Collective Jam 1 - Ganzfeld Effect
Psychedelic Invasion: Collective Jam 2 - Holotropic Breathwork

The aim of this workshop is to combine two remarkable experiences of joy and to see if they can make us connect with each other and our own bodies better. When we dance, we feel the 'self-other' blurring, and when people are having psychedelic experiences, they feel a sense of connectedness; but what if we can combine these two peak experiences together and see how it can make any chemistry effect? Let down our guards, surrender, feel the connection with each other and our own, be open and accept.

So far two workshops have been completed, with collective dancing sessions and the Non-pharmaceutical methods (Ganzfeld Effect and Hototropic Breathwork technique).