At a distance, Yun-Fei Ji’s rendering of the Yangtze River resembles a traditional ink painting from the Song dynasty (960–1279). However, upon closer inspection, images of contemporary life emerge. A crashed helicopter, abandoned cars, and an empty cart appear along the mountainside. Rural villagers carrying heavy baskets scramble up a rocky path, while on the opposite bank, figures in hazmat suits conduct tests on the river water.
Oversized creatures, including a grasshopper, a heron, and a water monster line the banks, dwarfing the nearby figures and vehicles. In combining these elements, Ji’s Bon Voyage comments on the detrimental impact of humanity on the natural world; the outcomes of pollution and industrialization on both humans and wildlife.
—Serena Hildebrandt ’20