New media art exhibition

Exhibition Director: Power Tian

Globally, under the impact of the development of secularization and social modernization, with the spread of materialism and promoted culture of voluntarism in China, our pursuit for ‘rationality’ and ‘appearance’ are highly respected. Our thinking towards the meaning of ‘essence’ and ‘representation’ seems deranged and unnecessary to the majority. However, the thinking behind philosophy, anthropology and human creations are all based on our understandings and reflections of the essence and the representation in a sense.

The difference and the contrariety between the essence and the representation are the main reasons that arouse our interest. Firstly, the cause of the difference comes from the limitation of our human body and rationality. From Plato’s allegory of the cave, to Kant’s exposition on ‘thing in itself’ and the three critiques, then to Barrett’s reflection on rationality from an existentialism perspective, we can see that the limitations of the human body, experiences, knowledge, humanity, and many other factors are the restrictions that divide the essence and its representation. Additionally, the difference between them is also comes from some unknown forces that beyond the interferences of the human body and rationality. Their existences are like the random perturbations in the statistical model, hidden but impossible to ignore. Such unknown forces can also be seen in mythology, science fictions, alien imaginations and religious culture.

Modern quantum mechanics and Kant’s theory have something in common – the characteristic of a ‘thing’ is related to the observer.  Twins is inspired and created based on the viewer’s functional limitations and observed parameters. Devil’s trick attempt to show how the unknown forces intervene the representation of a thing by twisting the form of light. Essence and Representation 1 is a video installation with abstract animation, light and shadows are used as visual languages to present a variety of possibilities between virtuality and reality, the shadow and the body.