• Opening hours

    10 : 00 – 18 : 00
    Tuesday – Saturday

  • Location:

    No. 1, -1F Sunken Garden, Lane 9, Qufu Road, Jing’an District, Shanghai

  • Artist:

MadeIn Gallery is pleased to present Mo Shaolong’s first solo exhibition in China, “Hacker, Sufferer, Beggar, Believer”, on July 2, 2023, featuring a curated selection of the artist’s recent portraitures. This is also Mo’s first solo exhibition at MadeIn Gallery. Mo’s paintings illustrate people in the digital age. He extracts the face, the predominant carrier of emotions, to narrate the mentality of alienation and contradiction experienced by individuals yielded to digital power. In this show, the artist selects an alignment of works on face-size canvases to initiate a ritual of gazing at human beings’ status during the interaction with the real and the virtual, calling for the return of our sensual instincts.

With the iteration of 3D technology, virtual avatars aggressively act as the perfect incarnation of real individuals. Simultaneously, the body of information bred by algorithms dilutes entities, holding contemporary people hostage to perceive the world through digital parasitism. Mo seeks immediate data detoxification through progressive portrait painting practice: Undergoing dragging, distorting, and de-forming, the smooth digital surface is peeled off from the virtual bodies, replaced by an uneasy, painted flesh. An artist dwelling in the dual system of painting training and modeling software, by operating on the screen, Mo achieves a spatial deconstruction of the portraits beyond the capability of the naked eye, yet concurrently realizes that the human gene in the hands-on process of painting can barely be replaced by codes. As the characters’ skin is displaced and torn in Mo’s expression rehearsal, the facial glitches seemingly resulting from data malfunction indeed allude to the pulsation of our perception, a pain of entangling and estranging between the aspiration for the real and the matrix of the digital. Only by feeling this incidental pain can we justify our being.

Here and now, the humanistic values of portraiture since the Classical Ages are being struck by technology. The rendering engine also attempts to create the perfect portrait through machine-learning and filtching. Hence, in this case, the “errors” in Mo’s portraitures tend to inherit the indictment of reality in Francis Bacon’s post-war practice half a century ago. Points, edges, and polygons collide via brushstrokes to generate human figures, forming an expressionist resistance to digital violence. While the artist’s hands successively interact with the software and canvas interfaces, the game between data and us unfolds.