Artists showcase innovations in new media in Beijing
Yang Yan

The 2021 Asian Digital Art Exhibition is underway in Beijing's Times Art Museum. The pieces on display explore the impact of technology and innovations in digital art from seven countries and regions. 

The works of 60 artists were selected for the Asian Digital Art Exhibition. It's a collaboration of new media and art, and also a dialogue between the present and the future. 

The works showcase trends shaping and influencing digital art such as artificial intelligence, NFTs or non-fungible tokens, the use of new material, as well as the disciplines of ecology and biology. 

"First, we hope to reflect, comment, and touch on technology's huge impact on human life and the world. We hope to apply innovations in technology by exploring new technical fields. The second criterion, of course, is the standard of being an artistic pioneer," said Qiu Zhijie, curator of the exhibition. "Third, since we are exhibiting in a public gallery, we want it to be emotional, socially influential, interesting and intense."

"Unknown Living Object No. 2" by Ye Kaohua. /CGTN

"Unknown Living Object No. 2" by Ye Kaohua. /CGTN

Zhang Zizhan, 11, is the youngest featured artist. His installation "Mars Collides with Earth" combines lasers and loudspeakers and was inspired by science fiction. Curator Chen Baoyang says children's imaginations and creative abilities should be encouraged.

"I think the aesthetic education should not be limited to higher education, it should go down to the kindergartens and to elementary schools," Chen said. "I think people's creativity needs to be developed or cultivated from childhood."

Artist Bai Xiaomo, who is exhibiting two impressive works titled "Evolution" and "Your Moon," says the medium expands artistic horizons.

"With the development of science and technology, because we can't see the boundary, there are infinite possibilities. So we are always curious to find a new possibility, to find a new space to study and explore in, and that's the charm of it," he said. 

Three fresh graduates, Peng Haomin, Huang Yue and Luo Yuchao, joined forces to create a 90-minute long video installation called "Return to the Peach Blossom Wonderland." Peng said that in the text, they found an interesting phrase: "neatly arranged buildings."

"It was used by the author to describe the utopian landscape of the village that fishermen encounter in the story. We think the same is true of the modern landscape of where we live today, which is so packed with people and residential buildings," Peng said. "So by creating this piece we would like to establish dialogues with the author to ask the question of have we returned to such a utopia." 

The exhibition runs until the end of August.

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