The entrance to David Zink Yi’s video instillation is dimly lit and evokes a feeling of fear. Once you enter the illusion of fear continues as the room is pitch black with two massive screens. As well as the room invoking fear, the feeling produced by being a tiny person in a huge room with nothing but two screens is quite unsettling. However once the instillation begins you are treated to a different atmosphere than what was expected.
Suddenly, your vision and sound are overwhelmed by a drummer who appears on the left screen. Zink Yi shoots the drummer in a sepia tone. As the drummer continues drumming, the right screen begins to show an image of three women moving to some unseen music.
Zink Yi places emphasis on the act of the music and the human interaction which occurs during the making of these things by zooming in on these figures. Technology as well the inferences our brain makes is an important part of this instillation. Because as you are watching this scene it is unclear whether these women are dancing to the music being created by the drummer or dancing to some unheard music of their own.
Zink Yi’s multi-cultural lineage plays an important role in his depiction of the Afro-Cuban musical culture. What could have taken a patronizing tone instead takes an inspirational tone regarding Afro-Cuban culture.Image Courtesy of: http://www.midwayart.org/exhibitions/11_01_david_zink_yi/images.php