Art exhibition in Beijing explores boundary between technology and art

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/30 10:43:39

One art work at the exhibition Photo: Courtesy of Tencent

Many Chinese artists and academics gathered for the closing ceremony of an art exhibition on Friday in Beijing as part of the Tengyun Summit hosted by Tencent, to discuss how culture can be effectively combined with science and technology.

Some vanguard art works were on display at the exhibition, including one recent creation about viruses that involved artist Qiu Yu "growing" his art.

While quarantining at home, Qiu began collecting microbes found around his house and put them in a petri dish so he could look at them through a microscope. 

"It turns out that bacteria and viruses are all around us, but we ignore them all the time and I thought, well, if bacteria can talk, how would they express themselves?" the artist said. 

Examining these microbes, Qiu noticed that they would often display various colors, which he decided to interpret as various sounds so these microbes could have their own "voice." 

Other works also showed how art can be created with technology. For example, another artist Lin Junting, who has cooperated with both the Palace Museum in Beijing and the one on the island of Taiwan, created an interactive exhibition that sees a red-crown crane fly across a screen whenever a visitor enters the room. According to the artist, this connection between the artwork and its viewers creates a feeling of personal ownership in viewers as they appreciate the art. 

Wang Boqiao, the organizer of the exhibition, said that one highlight of the exhibition was how it breaks away from traditional definitions of art and focuses more on art's social functions.

However, some experts noted that although technology helps to improve and display these art works, the boundary of technology and art should still be clarified.

"If [the ancient Chinese poet] Du Fu had a cell phone, would he have written so many famous poems?" Li Jingze, deputy head of China Writers Association, asked those in attendance at the closing ceremony to emphasize that while it is important to make use of technology in art, it must not be allowed to invade art itself. 

Du was one of greatest poets in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).


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