Exhibition commemorating Marco Polo’s legacy held in Venice
Published: May 06, 2024 03:43 AM
Poster of the exhibition Photo: Screenshot from website

Poster of the exhibition Photo: Screenshot from website

The Third Annual Metaverse Art @Venice exhibition is being held in Venice, Italy, to pay tribute to the 700th anniversary of Marco Polo’s passing under the theme “Weaving Through Time and Space.”

Initiated by curator and artist Lu Rongzhi, in collaboration with the Università Ca' Foscari Venezia and the Università IUAV di Venezia, the exhibition will last from April 20 to June 12, bringing together more than 40 artists from around the world to explore the intersection of virtual and physical realms.

This exhibition blurs the lines between AI-generated content and human ingenuity, granting AI an active role as co-creator to explore the expansion of temporal dimensions. By combining AI’s nonlinear understanding of time and limitless imagination of space with human emotion and narrative, the exhibition aims to create immersive experiences across multiple overlapping dimensions.

Interactive installations allow visitors to freely roam in redefined spatiotemporal realms, blurring the boundaries between creators, artworks, and audiences. Digital artworks weave AI-simulated past and future artistic forms, challenging fixed definitions of time flow.

Echoing Marco Polo’s intricate explorations, ULTIMEDIA Hong Kong contributes to the exhibition with works from 8 contracted artists, resonating with Marco Polo’s spirit of optimistic exploration and cultural integration, reflecting on his historical narratives while envisioning the symbiotic potential between human creativity and artificial intelligence.

Among these, the collaborative work “Marco Polo 700 Years”, an AI film by ULTIMEDIA artist Zhao Bozuo and Professor Xue Lei from the ESCAC Cinema and Audiovisual School of Catalonia at the University of Barcelona, showcases the incredible creativity of AI technology. 

Controlled under the guidance of generative AI artistic style models, the artists depict various cultural regions Marco Polo traversed, blending the 13th century with the contemporary world. It reimagines Marco Polo as the “identity of world cultural communication” within AI’s visual logic and viewing experience.

The film premiered on April 20, 2024, at Marco Polo’s former residence in Venice, marking the opening ceremony of the Third Annual Venice Metaverse Art Exhibition. Subsequently, it will participate in the Global Sinophone Classicisms symposium at the University of Frankfurt.