[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Jianhang Shi – Digital Meditation from China

Artist Statement

This group of works is a combination of conceptual meditation and digital experiment. We create culture based on various desires and needs, and in turn culture casts multicolors on us as well. They are always in a state of symbiosis. Culture is a sort of atmosphere, just like the air we breathe and the light by which we see and live. We are defined and described by numerous cultural facets: geographical, racial, social, ideological, historical, intellectual, moral, technological, etc. As a result, we are struggling to see through the many layers of cultural filters so as to get a better understanding of others, while keeping in mind not to be misled by the set pictures of different cultures. Modern societies are developing fast, emerging as sophisticated and excessively complex cultural systems. This is accompanied by ever emerging desires and the creation of new cultural sub-groups. This complexity can become fragile and may form a cultural vortex. My work is an attempt to express the concept that culture fragments the appearances of people. Two types of metaphor are involved-portraits and figures representing humanity; and signs characters and formal structures which symbolise culture. These two elements always disturb, contrast and interweave with each other in different ways.

  • Jianhang Shi (China),¬†associate professor and director of Computer Art & Design Center at China National Academy of Arts. After graduating from the Academy in 1986, he began the research and practice of Computer Art. In 1989, he obtained the first MA degree in Computer Art in mainland China. In 1993, he established the Computer Art & Design Center. He has participated in a number of digital art exhi¬≠bitions both nationally and internationally, and received some awards, including ldN Award of ’95 Tektronix Asian Computer Art Contest, Yinfung Art Award, Huoyingdong Award of the National Education Committee, etc. In 1995, he held the first solo show of digital art, VORTEX, at Canberra School of Art in the Australian National University. He was the committee member of the first Computer Art Conference in China in 1995. As a speaker and writer, he has published two books, and some papers on digital art and design.