Xu Zhen, who lives in Shanghai, engaged with the concept of “build your own world” by attempting to alter the earth’s topography in his video 8848 – 1.86 (2005). Zhen and his assistants used saws and rudimentary tools to cut 1.86 meters off the peak of “Mount Everest.” Their low-tech expedition is documented in overstated narration and grainy video footage. Zhen endeavored to trick the viewer into believing an unlikely event: this video was actually filmed on the roof of an art gallery in Shanghai. As in many of his works, Zhen commented on propaganda and the manufacturing of reality, themes particularly relevant in present-day China. Zhen is featured in Retro-Tech as part of the Shanghai Celebration, a year-long San Francisco Bay Area festival exploring one of China’s most cosmopolitan cities.