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November 25, 2021

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Interpersonal communication in age of pandemic

Artist Chen Wei’s solo exhibition “Make Me Illusory” features an immersive environment of photographs, installations, video and multimedia works at West Bund Museum.

According to Chen, it reflects the experience of isolation brought about by COVID-19, where people had to keep social contacts via digital devices. Do people living in front of a screen still need intimacy and physical interactions?

The artist invites visitors to look for the answer together with him through this exhibition, where he blurs the boundaries between time and space, anonymity and identity, reality and virtual.

The work “Light Me” is a visual crossover between photography and short video, a new communicative medium in the digital era. A man sits in darkness with his back turned to viewers. The only light in the room is a flashing computer screen. Is he lonely or just immersed in the virtual world? It’s up to viewers to decide.

Chen’s latest sculpture and installation “Bloch Sphere” (a geometrical representation of the pure state space named after physicist Felix Block) forms a visual image of blocking-up and contradiction.

The spheres in various colors and sizes scatter about against a pink wall, which might be a metaphor that individuals exist separately during the global public-health emergency. However, they are still connected by digital social communication, which oddly has become a perfect excuse for people to elude person-to-person contact.

Born in Zhejiang Province in 1980, Chen began his art practice with sound and stage performances. He then turned to images and installations. In recent years, he has extended his work to multimedia devices, capturing the upheavals of everyday life and social relations in a country in the throes of transformation.

Dates: through February 27, 2022 (closed on Mondays), 10am-5pm

Venue: F/1, West Bund Museum

Address: 2600 Longteng Avenue


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