Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Art is Global

Miao Xiaochun b.1964
The Last Judgement in Cyberspace - Front View 2006
C-Print 279 x 240 cm

Miao Xiaochun b.1964
The Last Judgement in Cyberspace -The Below View 2006
C-Print 289 x 360 cm

Miao Xiaochun b.1964
The Last Judgement in Cyberspace -The Side View 2006
C-Print 320 x 120 cm

Miao Xiaochun b.1964
The Last Judgement in Cyberspace -The Rear View 2006
C-Print 288 x 240 cm

Miao Xiaochun b.1964
The Last Judgement in Cyberspace -The Vertical View 2006
C-Print 120 x 354 cm

The Saatchi Gallery in London has at present an Exhibiition on contemporary Chinese art which is fascinating.


World attention has focused on the economic development and massive cultural upheavals of China, especially prior to the 2008 Olympics

The world is only beginning to wake up to Chinese art.

Truly due to international trade, travel, media and the Internet, art has become global.

Influences from the West have influenced and do influence Chinese artists and vice versa.

With the Church becoming an immense institution world wide, the problem of communication has become critical. Some have seen the revival of Latin as a common language in the Liturgy as one way to overcome cultural and linguistic differences in the Church.

Art used to be seen as the way of communicating the faith to the illiterate. Is it not also a way of communicating the faith to people of many different cultures and languages ?

Modern technology ensures that the speed of communication and spread of the message is virtually instantaneous. Something undreamed of by people in past centuries.

In the above works entitled The Last Judgement in Cyberspace, the artist uses as inspiration Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco.

The website commentary explains:

"Developed on computer, Miao has built a virtual model of the Apocalypse, architecturally structuring the tiers of Christian afterlife.

Replacing each of the 400 figures in Michelangelo’s iconic work with his own image and placing them in corresponding pose and position to the original painting, Miao ‘photographs’ the scene from various vantages, ‘documenting’ the Second Coming from viewpoints both within and outside of the scene.

Printed in black and white. Miao’s photos conceive the celestial as a silvery futuristic tableau that’s enchantingly serene and threateningly industrial. In combining the sublime awe of religious painting with malevolent science fiction theme, Miao uses photography to engage the viewer in an ultra-modern way.

In using digital process to create his subject ‘from scratch’, Miao’s photographs authenticate a virtual world rather than document reality.

Similar to video game graphics and ‘screen shots’, Miao’s images involve the viewer by casting them as ‘avatars’ within the action. Presenting his scenes at obscure angles, Miao positions the viewer as seraphs, saints, or in the case of The Below View, the damned."