Artist Statement

Single-channel video, 2014, 3’54’’

“Metropolitan Triangle Garden”. In this 3D animated video, classical sculptures in the museum participate in a destructive performance triggered by software glitches, distortions, and misused simulation, turning the space into a madhouse theater with both classical beauty and digital chaos. It attempts to connect the sense of space, history, turmoil, and transformation to the idea of technological sublime in a twisted way, breaking the restrictive association between advanced graphics technology and high-end cinema production while attempting to put classical art into a contemporary digital aesthetic context.

The work tries to engage with our cultural heritage in a disruptive way, occupying the static space of a cultural institution and turning it into a chaotic digital performance. In the computer, each of the sculptures has a triple identity: a human or animal figure, a sculptural ornament, and digital data. The original sculptures were crafted by the old masters with care, treasured in their time, broken and tossed in historical turmoil, and preserved and admired again. The original delicacy and the torment of time together created a new sensibility. In the video, they are destructed not only as ornaments, but also as bodies with cultural associations, which resonates with the Greek idea of the tragic and the sublime.
It is also an attempt to reimagine the aesthetic directions we can take using high-end visual effect technologies. Today, moving images are heavily computer generated. The shiny cars or glittering beer in TV commercials are 3D models rendered photo-realistically, not to mention all the collapsing and explosions in Hollywood blockbusters. Taking the tools that big visual effect studios use, but working alone as an artist instead of with a team of hundreds, I try to reclaim the independency of the technology. Most of the “effects” are created through errors or misused simulation, celebrating rather than concealing the “wrong” and “mistakes”.
Architecture model: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects
Generous support: The Media Lab at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

  • RUI HU holds an MFA in media art from the University of California, Los Angeles, USA a BFA in film from New York University, and studied literature at Xiamen University, China

Full Text and photo p. 141-142