Let Me Play My Game
Opening 01.05.19 6-8pm
Artist Talks 23.05.19 6-7pm
‘Let Me Play My Game’ is a response to the controversial clinical psychiatrist, Yang Yongxin, who practices Electroconvulsive Therapy as a cure for alleged ‘gaming addiction’ in contemporary China. Yang practices this therapy without anesthesia or muscle relaxants. Most of his patients are 12-30 years old, and are abducted by their parents and forced to participate in Yang’s anti-gaming bootcamp. During the program Yang trains his patients in a military style. Attempting to access the internet, contact parents, leave, cry or oppose Yang results in Electric Shocks. The hospital has became a cult where Yang is worshipped, obeyed and feared.
Why do so many teenagers choose gaming? Why do Yang and his supporters torture those gaming teens? China’s current socio-political climate produces intense stresses through the institutions of Gaokao*, forced marriage, air pollution and a culture of commercialisation among teenagers. By imagining the gallery space as an internet cafe that permits the free expression of suffering due to these social issues, it becomes a safe space to escape, rest and recover. Gaming can be a form of protest that becomes most relevant when all other forms of political activism have failed to make significant progress. The right to game should be reclaimed from morally corrupt forces such as Yang, who profits from torturing China’s youth. The act of playing these games allows us to discover the truth, heal our trauma, and pay respect to a generation of tortured teens.
* Gaokao is the National College Entrance Examination.
Content Warning: This exhibition contains graphic images of violence against children.
If you or someone you know has experienced, or is at risk of, violence and need help or support, please contact one of the support hotlines below:
1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14
Fei is an artist and dancer. He was born in Beijing and grew up in Tianjin. He moved to Sydney in 2016 to study a Bachelor of Media Arts (Honours) at UNSW Art & Design. Since then he has been experimenting with art a way of exploring China’s current social issues. Through combining traditional Chinese cultural representations with alternative approaches, his practice presents the uncensored version of events, whether they be empowering or disheartening. Fei has exhibited in spaces such as Kudos Gallery, Mosman Art Gallery and Gallery Lane Cove. Fei has also competed at Sissy Ball and many university street dance battles.
Many thanks to: Ella Byrne, Loc Nguyen, Jesse Rye, Xi Li, mom and dad
Fei pays his respects to the traditional custodians of the land on which he lives and works - the Gadigal people of Eora nation. Fei pays his respects to all elders, past present and future.
Fei Gao, Pokémon Gaokao, 2019, game made out of Pokémon Essentials, dimensions variable
Fei Gao, Hard Choices, 2018, game made out of Orange Light Game Maker, dimensions variable
Fei Gao, Polluted Minecraft, 2019, game on Minecraft, dimensions variable