In celebration of its sixth anniversary, Arario Gallery Beijing is staging an exhibition of works from two prominent contemporary Chinese artists working with a challenging range of computer-generated video art. With concurrent solo exhibitions from Feng Mengbo and Miao Xiaochun, "Limitless" is an exciting glimpse into the development of new media art in China.
Both artists are prominent figures in China's contemporary art scene, and each chooses to mix traditional ideas with modern techniques. Feng Mengbo, the first Chinese artist to begin using with computer technology to create artworks, has been experimenting with electronic games and art since the '90s. In "Limitless," he creates pieces which aim to marry artistic techniques culled from Chinese ink painting with more modern methods. The result is a surreal series that includes pixelated Chinese calligraphy rendered on a metal canvas, a fish tank with 3-D imagery floating out from a screen behind the tank, and video of human figures floating in an underwater space.
Miao Xiaochun shifts his focus west to the art of the Renaissance, using computer-generated video animations and large-scale ink on canvas drawings to explore the contrast between old and new. The viewer is first led through a dark room where computer-generated recreations of a variety of hellish landscapes, with people twisting and burning in flames, are projected onto five sides of a box.
From there the viewer enters a larger space where projections of Miao Xiaochun's works cover entire walls. He recreates human forms using a matrix of interconnected rectangles that imitate the religious imagery of the era, including scenes of Doubting Thomas fingering the open wound in Jesus' side and an angel staying Abraham's hand poised with a knife over the throat of his son, Isaac. The contrast between the emotive and powerful imagery and the starkness of Miao Xiaochun's renditions creates a disconcerting tension.
If you're looking to know where contemporary art in China is heading, "Limitless" is a good place to start.
Where: Arario Gallery Beijing
Tel: through Jan. 27