Heart of the mat­ter

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - LIFE -

HeartoftheTinMan. FallingCat,

to real things, such as their emo­tions.

Bri­tish artist Gil­lian Wear­ing show­cases her project Your Views, which she put to­gether af­ter invit­ing peo­ple across the globe to up­load onto her web­site short video clips taken from win­dows.

It is “the largest col­lab­o­ra­tive film ever made”, says Wear­ing.

As cur­tains open, the screens show vis­tas from Kobe to Alaska. It re­minded peo­ple at once of the world’s vast­ness and con­nec­tiv­ity through dif­fer­ent ways.

“In places where tech­nol­ogy is fairly un­der­de­vel­oped, for in­stance, Africa, we get the most fab­u­lous views,” Huang says.

“The ex­hi­bi­tion is fo­cus­ing on the two sides of tech­nol­ogy, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to quit tech­nol­ogy for a while and to feel the world with their orig­i­nal senses.”

An­other co-founder of the mu­seum, Lei Wany­ing, bet­ter known as Wan­wan, says the metaphor of the “tin man” comes from The Wiz­ard of Oz, in which the char­ac­ter is look­ing for a real heart.

“With the in­creas­ing forms of art and the in­te­gra­tion with tech­nol­ogy, the essence of art is never changed by its medium or shape, be­cause it has heart,” says Lei.

Lei’s fa­vorite part of the ex­hi­bi­tion is a replica of a room, where artist Yang Zi works and lives when she vis­its the Labrang Monastery in the Gan­nan Ti­bet au­ton­o­mous pre­fec­ture in Gansu prov­ince.

In the 4-square-me­ter room stands a ta­ble on top of which are placed sev­eral smart­phones with draw­ings cre­ated by the artist.

Yang used to live in a big city be­fore she moved to the lesser de­vel­oped re­gion. Now, the fo­cus of her daily life is ob­ser­va­tion and med­i­ta­tion.

“My mind is very clear, I don’t even dream at night, and I get up very early ev­ery morn­ing,” Yang says.

“I know ex­actly what to do, one thing that does not change is that I crank the prayer wheel ev­ery day.”

The liv­ing con­di­tions aren’t per­fect in Gan­nan, with lim­ited daily re­sources and the lack of en­ter­tain­ment op­tions.

Yang re­lies a lot on her smart­phone for draw­ing af­ter she found out about soft­ware she can use to cre­ate her new worlds, es­pe­cially in red, yel­low, blue, green and white — the colors rep­re­sent­ing the el­e­ments fire, land, wa­ter, wind and the sky. These five colors are found in prayer ban­ners that flutter in Gan­nan and other places where Bud­dhism is pop­u­lar.

“It’s not im­por­tant for the au­di­ence to see my draw­ings, the im­por­tant thing is to make them sit down and spend a minute to think about how I made them, and then they must be con­nected to my art,” Yang says.

“We should pay more at­ten­tion to our hearts, and it’s the aim of the ex­hi­bi­tion to ac­ti­vate the emo­tions in­side us.”

An­other eye-catch­ing in­stal­la­tion on dis­play is Dom­i­nae Il­lud Opus Pop­u­lare by Bri­tish artist Ryan Gan­der.

With the tech­nol­ogy of fa­cial recog­ni­tion and mo­tion sen­sor, a pair of an­i­ma­tronic eyes is re­ply­ing to peo­ple’s fa­cial ex­pres­sions with emo­tions in­clud­ing sur­prise, anger, cu­rios­ity and con­cern.

The re­la­tion be­tween art­works and au­di­ences is over­turned — the ob­servers are now ob­served by the art­work, the artist ex­plains.

Xu Haoyu con­trib­uted to this story.

Con­tact the writer at xingyi@chi­nadaily.com.cn


EmailTrek, an in­stal­la­tion by Chi­nese artist Xu Wenkai, is on dis­play at the Bei­jing ex­hi­bi­tion

by US artist Sean Raspet and a paint­ing by US artist Austin Lee.

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