In Exam YANG Zhenzhong illustrates a complicated dynamic between two unexpected topics. The subjects of the video are two young women wearing nothing but suggestive silk undergarments. The way in which they interact is intimate and nearing erotic. They share laughs and seem to play around in a childish nature, and do so on a bed. The camera assures the audience of the erotic nature as it films the bare legs, full lips, and other such highly feminine parts of the women. Still, among this pleasant and questionable scene, YANG places a strikingly surprising topic: politics. The two women play as they read aloud from a standardized political textbook. The highly serious and standard narration seems to clash with the playful interaction. One is left amused by the coupling of such topics, yet wondering why. It is possible that YANG has created a politically powerful video, in which he illustrates the relationship between modern Chinese politics and the youth of a nation. It is also possible that one may appreciate the video in its simplicity, and find complacent amusement in YANG’s ability to once again alter our perception of a common theme by degrading a heavily serious topic with a jovial scene.
Richelle Simon in July 2013