Yishu - Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art

Virtual Voices by Lu Yang, Zhang Lehua, Ge Fei, Lin Zhen, Forget Art Collective, Remon Wang

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

The Charles H. Scott Gallery is pleased to present Virtual Voices: Approaching Social Media and Art in China—an exhibition of Chinese artists who utilize social media as a platform for their art practices. The internet has become the people’s cyber discipline committee in China because it encourages members of socially excluded communities to use their virtual voices. Dissidence and public critique has become more covert, pushing citizens to become netizens expressing their opinions via the internet.

Social media such as Weibo, Facebook and personal Blogs have given a new voice to the contemporary art scene in China. Virtual Voices presents works by Lu Yang, Zhang Lehua, Ge Fei and Lin Zhen, Forget Art Collective and Remon Wang. The exhibition explores how meaning is communicated through social media today, from different perspectives and approaches. Lu Yang examines communication technology and the growth of artificial intelligence. Zhang Lehua’s Facebook is a video narrated by an animated portal of Friedrich Engles instructing students on how to create a flipbook of faces with their classmate. The end result is a government approved and endorsed “Facebook”. Ge Fei and Lin Zhen commissioned two Beijing bands to compose music which they make it available to visitors via an online music sharing application. Forget Art Collective established a series of programs to challenge both social and spatial constructions in China. The Youth Apartment Exchange Program (YAEP) encourages the temporary swapping of residences. Remon Wang has 100,000 followers on his Weibo account where he posts comic illustrations commenting on national and local politics. Regulators have closed his Weibo account more than one hundred times, but have not stopped him from re-inventing new ways to get his message across.

This exhibition is curated by Yishu Managing Editor Zheng Shengtian and Diana Freundl.

Virtual Voices is part of Yellow Signal: New Media in China, a series of exhibitions coordinated by Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art.

image (top): Forget Art Collective, Youth Apartment Exchange Program, 2011, Wang Zheng’s apartment advertisement for exchange on YAEP. Courtesy of Wang Zheng and Forget Art, Beijing.

On View: June 6 – July 8, 2012.

Opening Reception: June 5, 7pm

Venue: Charles H. Scott Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 1399 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC, V6H 3R9, Canada

Visit: http://chscott.ecuad.ca/exhibitions/2012/virtual_voices.html

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