Zheng declares:
“The Jixi Coal Miners Investigation” provides more comprehensive information about real life. The whole video is based on a framework composed of real facts about time, geographic information and with a strong sense of social responsibility. In creating and presenting the video, the subjective influences such as the artistic medium are minimized wherever possible.
I mean the influence of the artistic training I received in the past. With my previous education, inevitably I become accustomed to many established norms and ways of thinking. Even thought I try so hard to resist their influence, they sill exist in my sub-consciousness.
For instance, whenever I picked up my camera, I would find myself looking for the most sensational image. If I see a very interesting scene on street, but the light is not good enough to make a satisfactory picture I might wait for hours before I can take a satisfactory one. By doing this, I obtain a very beautiful picture, but the contents of the picture do not reflect the real world. Manipulating these pictures with technical tools might also mislead our observations in a reproduction of the scene. Therefore, in “The Jixi Coal Miners Investigation” I tried to minimize all these established norms. Forget about the time factor. Forget about making poses before the camera. What I wanted was to reproduce reality. Of course, I wouldn’t be able to resist my sub-consciousness. I just pick up the camera and shoot, which is different from others.
In creating an artwork, many artists emphasize the importance of ideology, which strengthens the inner power of an artwork. However, in my works, the influence of ideology is exactly what I try to avoid and minimize. One’s subjectivity will have powerful impact on an artwork’s creation and its presentation, which will inevitably lead to a distortion of reality.
I had no particular intention when I created “The Jixi Coal Miners Investigation,” I was even not sure about what form of expression it would take. For me, it could have been anything, a movie, an installation, or a documentary. What I really care about is the event itself: what happened in the past, what is happening now, and what will happen in the future?
As for the media, its special characteristics help me a lot in constructing a timeframe, which enables the artwork to be observed directly and easily. It makes it possible to deliver multi-dimensional information with various factors including time, photos, videos, stories etc. All the factors are incorporated within this single media and develop into a single unit. Further more, adding on the interaction with the viewers, their relationship to the viewer becomes more meaningful. »

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