Liking for a new medium

Weekend Glitz | Trista Yeung 7 Apr 2017

One World Exposition 2.1: #like4like isn't the first exhibition to discuss the relationship between art and technology, but it's certainly the first to focus on the voice of a group of Generation Y artists.

Jointly organized by K11 and Videotage, the exhibition assembles a collection of mixed-media works, including 3D animation, kinetic art, and video imaging by 10 artists, born after 1980, from Hong Kong and the mainland.

According to curator Isaac Leung, the chairman of Videotage, the exhibition is a continuation of the One World Exposition five years ago, a project aimed at initiating conversations between local and mainland contemporary artists through active collaboration.

The success of the last edition encouraged Leung to generate a more sophisticated and thought-provoking dialogue between the two groups. He thus decided to create a new-media art exhibition to respond to a social flux in which technology and social media platforms became inseparable from daily lives.

"The millennial generation emerged under a booming economy where instant information, education opportunities and technological knowledge were bountiful," Leung said. "These artists are vastly different from the generation before them. They are technologically savvy and open- minded. The topics they discussed are no longer limited to the Cultural Revolution or economic reforms largely found during the 1970s and '80s, but to a more global and versatile context."

He added that technological innovations had brought about new forms of interaction, and that for many young artists, artistic production and distribution were profoundly influenced by the internet and social media.

Kyle Chung, a post-90s generation co-curator, said that the way in which technological advances would alter future art trends remains an issue of concern, and many artists have already changed their art practices in response.

"Popular platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have been regarded as essential spaces for emerging artists to share their works," Chung said.

"They not only provide a free and accessible space for artists to publicize their works, but also quietly shape the way art is produced and shown. Artists and art institutions are already considering featuring works that look attractive on digital platforms."

Chung added: "The visitors' behavior changes as well with the rise of a new and young art crowd. The latter don't really care about the fame of an artist, they just look for artworks that have visual appeal and impact, which earn them more 'likes' on social platforms."

The exhibition title, #like4like, drawing reference from Instagram's hashtag function, isn't the only effort the organizers made in response to a technology-driven world.

Together with several selfie corners, a pair of Snapchat's spectacles are also placed at the exhibition for audiences to record their visits, and instantly upload to social media platforms.

With 10 emerging artists - Carla Chan, Chris Cheung (h0nh1m/ XCEED), Chen Tianzhuo, Chen Wei, Double Fly Art Center, Lu Yang, Morgan Wong, Sun Xun, Tang Kwok- hin and Wu Weiyi - a new kind of experience is delivered through the use of various digital mediums.

Lu's Delusional Mandala and Delusional Crime and Punishment is a video installation investigating two primordial questions concerning existence as points of departure: the origin of human life, and the moral dialectics of crime and punishment.

To answer this perplexing dilemma, she created a 3D animation and several crystal models to dissect the human brain and organs.

In Chen Tianzhuo's Picnic and Yogamaya, a fictional man-god figure continuously appears as a means to scrutinize human existence and spiritual exploration in the modern world.

An extensive use of symbols from the holy cross to Buddhist swastikas manifests the artist's interest in religion and art.

A Virtual Reality Special Exhibition by artist Feng Mengbo is showcased at the entrance, allowing visitors to try out his newest virtual reality game that centers on a naked girl with a a bunch of roses as her weapon.

The exhibition is on display at chi K11 art space, B2, K11 shopping mall, Tsim Sha Tsui, until May 21. The admission fee is HK$20.

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