The Dean Collection and Bacardi are pleased to present No Commission: Shanghai, a three-day, digital art and music experience taking place April 7 - 9, 2017, at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.
No Commission is a roving experiential platform organized by The Dean Collection & Bacardi to forge a direct link between the visual and musical arts and art patronage. No Commission is designed specifically to support artists in different cities around the world.
The driving force of No Commission Shanghai is the digital future. China’s population, particularly its youth, is committed to the notion of 21st century human and digital existence as inextricably linked. Shanghai as a unique metropolis, is the hub for artistic communities successfully experimenting with the convergence of creative output and digital terrain. Chinese millennials have therefore staked a claim on the future by going beyond simply the use of digital landscapes—they have designed a whole new creative language out of it.
The intersection of contemporary art and advanced digital technology has produced a new generation of Chinese artists who are leaders of the New Media Art movement. No Commission Shanghai presents the artwork of aaajiao, Cui Jie, Ben Jones, Lin Ke, Tingwei Li, WangNewOne, Saya Woolfalk, Tian Xiaolei, Lu Yang, Wang Yi and Miao Ying, nine innovators in the New Media realm and two painters who incorporate the language of the future into their craft.
By utilizing computer graphics and animation, internet content, gaming algorithms, video collage, performative space, virtual architecture and the history of technology, these artists tell stories of connectedness and isolation, fact and fiction, perception and sensation, identity and species and evolution according to dot-com principles.
No Commission Shanghai welcomes its audience to contemplate the implications of the information age as well as their dynamic impact on art, music and social space. Special daily musical performances accompany the art, making No Commission a unique cultural experience. No Commission Shanghai is the fourth in a series of artist support collaborations. Past editions were held in Miami, New York and London where artworks were sold and artists retained 100% of sales proceeds. To date, No Commission has put $3 million dollars into artists’ hands. No Commission Shanghai provides an international platform for the wider understanding of new art forms emerging from China. No Commission is realized through a partnership between Bacardi, Swizz Beatz, and The Dean Collection in their continued support of cultural visionaries around the world.
aaajiao is the online handle of Xu Wenkai, a Shanghai-based new media artist. aajiao’s works tap into the most current trends of thoughts around the Internet sphere, with a focus on the emerging controversies and phenomenon related to data processing, blogosphere/wemedia and filtered information.
In his most recent projects, the artist has adopted a more extended scope of practices, borrowing elements from architecture, electronic music, performance arts, product design, even medicine, to portray the young generation harnessing the power of cyber technology and the ever-present social media.
Cui Jie’s paintings are largely based on her continuous study of the architectural landscape in the three cities in which she has lived: Shanghai, where she was born and grew up, Hangzhou, where she attended the National Art Academy, and Beijing, where she currently lives and works.
She observed first hand, the outstanding transformation that urbanization in Chinese cities has brought about, drastically changing the cityscape, with a proliferation of buildings, high-rises and plazas being erected throughout. Her large canvases present surreal architectural drawings, in which enlarged sculptures are grafted onto anonymous buildings found on city avenues, on street corners and in suburban areas. She pays much attention to and magnifies the architectural details of structures, buildings and landscape, using the idea of fragments and layers to convey a sense of alienation.
LIN KE’S studio is his MacBook Pro, preloaded with the Mac OS X operating system and standard software including the Safari web browser, Preview image viewer, and QuickTime for video, along with the addition of image editing software Photoshop and Screenium for screen casting. This is his working environment; the Internet provides an endless supply of material.
Though adept with many mainstream software programs, Lin is no geek. In his own work he does not use software as a technical means to achieve particular intended effects, but rather sets each function free from its original purpose in the way that language is liberated from its communicative functions to become poetic. If poetry expresses the joy of language, Lin Ke’s work brings out the pleasure of the graphical user interface. He does not care how the programs work or what they were designed for; he is intent only on making the interface fun and visually compelling.
Pennsylvania, United States
Ben Jones is founding member of the artist collective Paper Rad, known for its fast-paced, pixel- aesthetic, multi-media contributions to early net art. He is also known for Paper Radio, a vanguard zine project with Christopher Forgues. Jones is also the creator of the Cartoon Network animation Problem Solverz, and Stone Quakers on FXX Animation Domination High-Def.
Transmission LAM was originally produced for Transmission LA: AV Club, an exhibition curated by Mike D of the Beastie Boys at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles.
Miao Ying’s work highlights the attempts to discuss and explore existentially, the possibilities of the internet, the Chinese Internet (Great Fire Wall), along with the new modes of politics, aesthetics and contemporary consciousness created during the representation of reality through technology.
Gifu City, Japan
Saya Woolfalk is a New York based artist who uses science fiction and fantasy to re-imagine the world in multiple dimensions. With the multi-year projects No Place, The Empathics, and ChimaTEK, Woolfalk has created the world of the Empathics, a fictional race of women who are able to alter their genetic make-up and fuse with plants. With each body of work, Woolfalk continues to build the narrative of these women's lives, and questions the utopian possibilities of cultural hybridity.
Her work in painting and drawing, video, media, and fiber arts demands that a viewer be open to suspending disbelief to image what’s possible. Her alter world—a future vision of the future—asks that we re-consider what it means to be human and how we co-exist with other life forms in the world. Through a fantastical narrative logic of science fiction, genetics, metaphysics, semiotics, and anthropology, among other subjects, Woolfalk’s work challenges us to question our perception of what is possible, what could be, and what is. In many ways, her explorations of the present, future, and the future of the future underscore the truth that our formation of reality is truly relative.
Wang Yi produces abstract paintings in the tradition of Op Art. His work relies on chromatic variations and geometrical shapes to create an illusion of movement and depth within the canvas. Therefore, the role of human perception is primary in distilling what is real and what is visual phenomena.