In Wim Wender’s film “Until the End of the World”, a scene depicts several characters in an underground laboratory carrying out a series of experiments on superhuman technology. Brainwaves were converted into digital photographs to create an image of sleepless nights, where one could watch their recorded dreams and feel submersed within them – like a drunken state of narcissism, ignoring the surrounding and submitting to paranoia. As quoted in the film, “At the end of the world, there will be nothing left but images.”
“Image” in the context of the film is a strong representation for the concept of “image” in contemporary art. It is not the image we see in daily life, as when we open our eyes to the world to only see image-types and all things visual. Instead, “image” in Wender’s Frankenstein-style drama is manufactured into a dream-like web of imagery, as heavily and artistically processed projections of human psychology.
Contemporary video art is better understood through the context of realistic examination, giving perspective and attention to reflections of everyday life. Through the construction of images, artists can virtually control or edit subjects of life experiences through artistic style and language, reflecting their personal styles of visual syntax and context. Here, the sociological significance of artists interacting with the language of visual culture, goes beyond the anthropological sense, and reveal more profound meanings of image art.
This exhibition explores contemporary image art through the five different styles, works, and generations of artists Zhang Peili, Wang Gongxin, Lin Yilin, Liu Chuang and Chen Zhou – to test different strategies and methodologies, narratives and expressions of interest.