• Location:
    HOW Art Museum,Shanghai
  • Artist:

“Throughout, information—as a carrier of culture, its flow and transformation has been my continuous interest and focus. The utility of tools, the evolution of technology, and the manipulative power of content are all inspiration and origin for my creations. These three elements are interrelated yet transformative. For a while, I’ve attempted multiple times to work on material level of the real world yet often found it inefficient, which has deeply distressed me. In comparison, I prefer to manipulate the immaterial for it is always real-time and reversible. Thanks to the instrument system of game production and advertisement after effects, as well as the comprehensive supply chain system in China, this manner of working has become possible for me.

Overall, this exhibition is the result of my attempt to reflect on image communication. My phone stores a large number of images, regardless of whether they are taken by myself or at any rate related to me. The massive amount of time spent on the internet every day makes me particularly clear about things I have never seen: through the push of big data, information has been always presenting filtered facts in front of me. There is always a guidance, though we know it’s only superficial phenomenon, which makes me extremely eager to depict images—the original form of information.

Exercises series adopts common forms of showcasing the virtual world—screens and wallpaper. Its unique sense of form allows me to focus entirely on the virtual space. Usually, I start by making the most basic brush strokes with brushes and fingers in reality, even directly taking brush strokes from others, and photograph them to continue working in Cinema 4D. In this process, I finish each frame quickly and unconsciously, then retreat, modify, and save satisfactory results. I expand on existing frameworks of painting methodologies. 3D software interfaces have helped us overcome the limitations of visual perception while shifting the logic of viewing. Here, the physical posture of traditional painting is replaced by the action of controlling the mouse with only the wrist. For example, the evolution of the picture content by repeatedly drawing textures in the software, or using the “camera system” to present the spatial sense of painting, and so on.

Likewise, Witness series regards the instrumental logic of 3D as a source for sense of form. The size restrictions of the printer require printing to be completed within a limited cubic space, which forces a modular effect. Utilizing the depth-sensing functionality of the smartphone’s camera, I firstly displace each pixel of the image, squeezing out a virtual thickness. Once the model is confirmed, it is sent to a 3D printing farm for batch printing, which produces a geological visual effect, with each layer recording the information position of the pixels in the image. Throughout the process, I have been remotely transmitting recorded data in real time through the app, controlling the texture, lines of the print, and even retaining accidental defects.”

——Li Hanwei