In his film Boat, the Beijing-based visual artist Xinjun Zhang shows the social disparities in the population of Bejing through a contrast of different speeds. In his performance, he traveled down a train track on a human-powered »wheel boat« while a high-speed train rushed by right next to him in the opposite direction.
»If you look at the map of Beijing, you can find a ring in the North-East. This is a ring rail for fast train experiments and tests. Inside the ring, lies the transition area between the big city and the rural suburbs. I made a wheel boat and boated on this rail in the opposite direction to the running train. The relation between the rural and the city area was mirrored in the different speeds with which me and the train traveled in opposite directions on the same rail. The performance lasted for two hours when I was stopped because the traffic controller found me.«