Friday, September 24, 2010


Nina Boys
Contemporary Art and New Media in China
Blog Entry #3

This past weekend I was able to visit a unique and engaging
gallery in the art and culture community known as "789" located in the
Dashanzi Art District of Beijing. The gallery was inside an
industrial warehouse with cement walls, floors and ceilings. There
were various installations sprinkled around the room and I noticed
that almost all of them were interactive. This being the case, the
audience (a mixture of Chinese and foreigners) were all physically
engaged with the art around them. While I did not see anything
indicating that there was one large umbrella theme, I found most of
the pieces to be "trippy". For example one piece was comprised of a
screen on a wall that when you stood in front of it, acted as a
mirror. You could move and see your reflection in a blurred,
slow-motion. What you did not know was that you were being
video-recorded throughout and after a couple of minutes, the screen
would replay for you the footage it had been shooting. I interpreted
this as being a manifestation of "Big Brother" imparting on the
audience that they are being not only watched, but recorded, without
their knowledge. Another unique installation requested that its
audience "water" a plant pot sitting on a pedestal. Upon pouring
water into the pot, a screen that was set in between to walls of
mirrors would start shooting different streams of bright colors that
would intertwine and "dance" with each other and that were reflected
in the mirror walls, providing for an intensely visual experience
(photo attached). These two installations, among others, employed the
use of interesting and new technological media which made them not
only unique, but also very "contemporary." One could not know what
the next piece would offer, but rather the gallery fostered a sense of
excitement and anticipation for the new and unexpected.

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