The Old New Thing
In recent years, technology has opened up a new battlefield for multimedia and interactive device experiments in artistic creation. In many exhibitions, visitors may engage with works that are cross-border, interactive, participatory, immersive, virtual/augmented reality, cyberspace, etc. Recent changes and have taken place in space, vision and experience. Now, looking at “animation" as an artistic medium, it seems like still life painting can no longer bear the novelty and excitement of the past. Similarly, sculpture is undoubtedly considered more old-fashioned than it is. However, the current state of the media, whether it is old or new, does not indicate whether the concept itself is old or new, and the old media sometimes contain powerful experiments. For example, the photographer Muybridge conducted his far-reaching media experiment in the 19th century. He used multiple cameras to capture the movements of humans and animals, opening the door to modern experience with the addition of time factors and the deconstruction of space. Since then, avant-garde artists have continually attempted to establish new aesthetics based on the methods and photography studies of Muybridge. Talking about the combination of art, technology and human beings from its origins is not a new topic; what is important are the new media theories, cognitive thinking and experience extended from the methods and concepts.
Those who have had a museum experience in their lives may notice the 4D cinema that we set in the venue. History is a product of ruins, the afterimage of people, things and events, whereas museum is the ruins in the ruins and it is a Descartes-like space for contemplation. One of the unique characteristics of 4D cinema is that the historical scenes are arranged in accordance with the narrative framework, and, at the same time, it tries to bring history back to life by employing sound, light, temperature and other means. This is undoubtedly a positive space created by technology. The audience will feel that it breaks the contemplative narrative and makes time disintegrate. When they walk out of the cinema, there are dews on their arms that are not evaporated yet, delaying the historical experience of being briefly resurrected. In our time, the works of art engaging new media should be seen as activities carried out in the positive space.
About the Works
As the preceding discussion provided an explanation of the context, a clearer discussion can ensue about the works featured in this exhibition. Firstly, the artists participating in the exhibition create works using intermedia. They each have their own backgrounds and working methods and further push the boundary of the language of the medium. In other words, the importance of boundaries is to break them. Secondly, the artworks are inspired by the daily scene full of surprises; the perception and experience of the physical body and sound in space; the criticism of the real, rational order and technology in the virtual space; and the stories and actual situations involved in identity. The works are practices resulting from these perspectives. Finally, the sculptures and animations featured in the exhibition are created in two different ways, but in terms of the experience of time, procedural and experience, both are in a perpetual state of extending their own concepts.
Are human experience, perception and judgment still relevant in a digital age? As science and technology are constantly evolving and changing people’s lives, how will our inertia thinking and logical thinking change? How do we adapt and respond to the emergence of new orders and new experiences? These questions reveal the way that the artist thinks and responds today. The exhibition of this unit provides a clue to these questions in the exhibition space that still require constant examination from the perspective of images, media and realistic landscapes.
Chen Qi, "People With Stories"
Dimension Variable, coat hanger, vibrator, projector, text, sensor, 2018
Concept: The audience will see a variety of worn or unworn clothing with symbols indicating their professions and social statuses, and these words are projected onto each set of clothes, telling the stories of the different owners. Meanwhile, the voices of these owners will be played slowly. The sensor will be triggered by the audience's attention. As the sounds are superimposed, the clothes start to shake until they disappear like dust. People from all walks of life have different stories. Every set of clothing that symbolizes identity and social status seems to want to tell its own story and reject the definition imposed on it by society.
尺寸可变，铝箔氦气球 / 光敏感应迎宾器
Li Liuyang “Greeting Guests”, Dimension Variable,
Readymade (helium balloon)/ Photosensitive welcoming device, 2018
Concept: The common cartoon balloon on the street is hung with an electronic photosensitive induction welcoming device. It floats freely in the space. When the balloons meet each other or meet the audience, the light changes, and the welcoming device will issue a programmed voice saying, "Hello! Welcome!" Over time, as some of the balloons slowly fall, workers continue to release new ones.
Zhang Zengzeng, “Full of Happiness” 360×544×120cm, striped fabric, light bulbs, succulents and steel frame, 2018
Hundreds of bulbs are embedded in red and blue striped cloth, and the plants are arranged in neat rows. The light bulb matrix in the background repeatedly plays the image of the "column" falling and collapsing.
Tang Yong "Nesting" 5×5×7m video interactive installation, Steel pipe, lamp, machine tool, color strips, 2018
The criss-crossed, staggered steel pipe frame breaks through the ground in the city, creating the sense of a city expansion, conflicted between generation and disappearance. The unpredictable urban form and the infinitely extended illusion space show the dignity and greatness of the city, but the imprints, the faint light and the noisy sounds in the memory are crying out the joys and sorrows of life.
Jiao Xingtao "Beautiful New World" 320×120×220cm, three wheel motorbike, neon lights, speaker, instant food, 2018
Concept: A three wheeler with a rollover, various numbers of neon-shaped figures, English characters and phone numbers, flashing orderly according to the rhythm of the music. The neon lights are placed in random shapes and spread out in the space. Several empty instant noodle boxes are exposed from behind the wheels. The work demonstrates the rough texture of low life, and the rich narrative feeling exudes the feeling of fading under the kitsch of the vulgar light.
Zhang Xiang, "Sewer", Dimension Variable, PVC pipe, water, screen, animation, 2018
Conception: Set up several scenes related to sewers, sewer pipes, ground drainage wells, etc., all of which are filled with water. The audience can view innocuous animation through the water: the white clouds floating in the blue sky and the small fish swimming in the water. At the end of the magnitude of life that is easily overlooked, it seems to suggest that another philosophical truth can be found: “Where is the road?” “The road is in the filth”.