LIFE / CULTURE
New exhibition in Nanjing probes essence of technology, future, art
Published: Jul 26, 2022 09:13 PM
 
Artwork <em>He Didn't Even Know He Was Watching the Sunset</em> by Lin Ke is displayed at an exhibition named <em>In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds</em> at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of BANK Gallery

Artwork He Didn't Even Know He Was Watching the Sunset by Lin Ke is displayed at an exhibition named In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of BANK Gallery


After a year of preparation, the renovated Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province has just held an art exhibition, featuring contemporary art installations combining reality and virtual reality.

The exhibition, named In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds, opened on Thursday.

The COVID-19 epidemic has caused many difficulties for the world, but it has also stimulated the development of science and technology in various ways. As a pioneering art form, tech art has been the focus of international discussion in the past few years. Supported by the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and curated by the internationally renowned curator Zhang Ga, this exhibition includes artworks from top cross-disciplinary, cross-generational, cross-media contemporary artists and art groups at home and abroad, namely Alex Da Corte and Jayson Musson, Pierre Huyghe, Lin Ke, Lu Yang, Tomás Saraceno, Hito Steyerl, Zhang Peili, and Zhou Xiaohu. 

Artwork <em>Love Actually</em> by Dorian Gaudin and Zachary White is displayed at an exhibition named <em>In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds</em> at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of the artists

Artwork Love Actually by Dorian Gaudin and Zachary White is displayed at an exhibition named In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of the artists


Their works will be displayed in the "Contemporary Art Special Exhibition Hall" inside the Deji Art Museum, where visitors can immerse themselves in a splendid future world measuring more than 1,000 square meters.

During the opening ceremony, both online and offline audiences and artists imagined and discussed a future world that will completely break through physical separation. This prompted questions, such as whether human thoughts and emotions will be able to meet freely through the limitations of time and space, amid the future technological development. 

Entering the exhibition hall, visitors can go on two different journeys in time and space: On one side is a neon world created by Alex Da Cote and Jason Merson. Their art installation tells a grotesque and brilliant urban story.

Artwork Primal Tourism by Jakob Kudsk Steensen is displayed at an exhibition named In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Jakob Kudsk Steensen

Artwork Primal Tourism by Jakob Kudsk Steensen is displayed at an exhibition named In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds at Deji Art Museum in Nanjing, East China's Jiangsu Province since July 21, 2022. Photo: Courtesy of Jakob Kudsk Steensen

On the other side is a surreal journey back to the original world by Jakob Steensen, where visitors walk into a transparent square and need to wear VR googles to see the green surroundings, and even the oxygen.

Hito Steyerl's Submarine is driven by artificial intelligence, shuttling in a dreamland intertwined with technology, power and art.

Lu Yang's artwork presents a world of tools, allowing visitors to plunge into a crazy game world. Players in the game become protagonists in the "Knights of the World of Tools."

At the end of the exhibition, an engine drives a series of gears running non-stop, with the first gear to the last gear representing 13.82 billion light-years, which is the time from the estimated moment of the big bang that started the universe. 

It allows visitors to look at the Anthropocene epoch from a more grand perspective, suggesting the humility we need to understand the insignificance of human beings, and the courage we need to continue to explore the future.

The exhibitions in the Deji Museum in the future will welcome more similar works, including the upcoming Co-here curated by Sun Dongdong.

Global Times