chi K11 Art Space is pleased to present The Screen Generation, solo exhibition of artist aaajiao (Xu Wenkai) and also the finale exhibition of 2013 at the space. As one of the young generation artists sponsored by K11 Art Foundation, aaajiao is a leading new media artist in China. His work features exploration and application of data in various forms, endeavoring to present a full picture of his practice and his thought behind it through the modulation/demodulation of data and reality. Known for his ingenious and innovative experiment in integrating computer software with art, in this upcoming solo exhibition, aaajiao will be presenting six of his latest works. Different from the artist’s previous solo exhibitions which showcased logical enquiries and research on data itself, The Screen Generation will share with the audience a more personal experience. The exhibition will open to public on December 14, 2013 and run through February 15, 2014. In the meantime, a series of public education events and seminars will be held during the exhibition at both chi K11 Art Space and Minsheng Art Museum.
According to the artist, as a generation who have long been surrounded by information technology, “we” have gradually become information nodes. The screen in the broader sense is non-flat, mobile, movable, constituting a complete ecosystem. Screens are ubiquitous within our culture, allowing us to be interconnected as a whole. The previous definition of screen as “electrical appliance for the display of images and colors” has long been obsolete. As digital screen users, we have been developed into a screen generation where we become the screen itself.
The six pieces that make up The Screen Generation are Soft, Repeatedly, Hard, Pure, Static, and Noise, which all exist and begin as digital applications developed by the artist. The screen might then be understood as a somewhat arbitrary container and frame for the visible and audible components of these applications. But by suggesting that the results of these applications exist less in the various images and sounds produced by them and more in the reception of these components by the audience, it can be said that the screens play an important role in the work of the pieces, and - taking this further - that these works are then human-oriented.
Different from aaajiao’s previous works, the six new pieces all cast light on the self-display of technology – technology using itself to represent itself. The “self-display” in the works found here is not such a one-way operation – from machine, outwards, without regard to the presence or absence of a receiver. Here this operation exists as interactions with the human senses and understanding. Ultimately the works exist not in themselves, but in these interactions with a human that takes in the sensory information provided by the work and makes something of it. This “something” is not just an expanded understanding of the work, it is that expanded understanding.
The display medium used in The Screen Generation is flat screen. In some of the works, these screens appear to display various aspects of themselves. In the other cases they work with the cultural understanding of technology and present certain commentaries on it through their own ability to represent.
In asking “What is ‘human’ in relation to aaajiao’s works?” a fundamental aspect of his work is then seen to be these screens. It might be interesting to think that the human is in some way constituted by the information that the screen projects out, which then meets the human, the audience, half way. The human is the other to the screen, as the screen is to the human. aaajiao is the creator of an ecosystem between the human and the screen, one that constitutes each from the other.
About the team
The Screen Generation is made possible with the collaboration of Liu Xiaoguang (media artist), Zhang Tao (designer/artist), Tan Shuoxin (sound artist) and Xu Cong (media artist).