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Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development

Int’l digital art show lands in Beijing, promising an interactive feast


The Lumen Prize, a global award and tour for digital art, is holding its first show in Beijing, at the Today Art Museum. The exhibition, entitled Lumen Matrix, features nearly 20 artworks including still images, installations, and VR works.

Type a Chinese character, and a robot writes it on the sand in an installation called Sand Letter that is dedicated to a “slow tempo” life experience.

The exhibition is full of works like this that encourage interaction. When you approach a dark pond in the Today Art Museum, you will see plastic debris appear and float. This installation called Plastic Reflectic, by Dutch artist Thijs Biersteker, won the 2017 Lumen Prize Gold Award.

It is made up of 601 pieces of plastic waste collected from oceans in different parts of the world. Waste that was once cast out to sea is brought to the feet of visitors, compelling them to rethink the relationship between humans and nature.

The works are made by artists with different styles and from various cultural backgrounds. Besides ocean pollution, the artists used diverse media forms to ponder widely-debated issues facing our age, including privacy, AI and the refugee crisis.

“Personally, my favorite art work is Slide to Expose,” said exhibition coordinator Guan Huijun. “It was made by a young art group from New York. They use a pink room to describe an 18-year-old private life. Audiences come in and out. If they download an app and come back, they can see different animations. It tells the secrets of the girl, a little about death, survival... It’s interesting”

Abstract Playground is a screen-based interactive artwork. Users can try their hand at being an amateur architect. It was designed over five weeks alongside people with learning difficulties.

The organizers said they are satisfied at how visitors can get involved in the exhibition. “There are two different kinds of audience – the normal audiences who take photos… and enjoy the show. And there are audiences who have art background. They can read through art works, they can understand what artists want to tell people. They become part of art work. That’s the beauty of new media art,” according to Guan Huijun

Alongside award-winning artworks of the 2017 Lumen Prize are past winners and finalists. This exhibition is part of the sixth annual Lumen Prize global tour, following shows in the UK. The next stop is St. Petersburg, Russia.


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