Wai Yi Chung is a multi-disciplinary visual artist from Hong Kong, who is currently studying for an MA in Fine Art at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK. Her works explore her existence through personal history and the relation to the history of her hometown, Hong Kong, with specific reference to technology and the senses. Questioning both what it means to be an individual and what it means to be human in general, particularly in the era of post-humanism and the threat of AI taking over.
She invented her visual language, called the “entanglement”, which mainly comprises intricate labyrinthine 2D/3D line drawings on different kinds of surfaces, physically and virtually, as an analogy to her life story and philosophical view of life and being.
The entanglement is a labyrinth structure, manifesting the contradiction about the human condition, or in general, life—seeing the labyrinth and walking into it, trying to find the goal. Although one is not forced to do so one will always be lured and destined to fall prey to it.
The highlight of the entanglement is the artist’s labour of hand drawing and painting that first follows an unidentified logic behind the unconscious automatic movement of the hand and then the focused mind to complete it. Wai Yi’s “labyrinth” is one that only a human would be able to solve.
In view of the inevitable technological development in the age of posthumanism, it is believed that one day, machines such as neurocomputing will be infused with the human body. Wai Yi believes as a human artist, she would choose to “co-exist” with the computer. Starting at the age of 8, she has been an enthusiastic high-level amateur Go player. The game of Go not only informs the black and white colour scheme and wood pieces or wooden structures in many of her works but also because of the rise of AlphaGo in 2016, she began to see AI as a learning tool rather than a mere rivalry.
Subverting the idea of “artificial intelligence”, as a digital human, she attempts to think like a computer through this drawing process, which is too complex and illogical for computers to replicate, challenging the omnipotent generative image algorithms.
Storytelling is also important in Wai Yi’s work, especially in her paintings. Using disorientating visuals, she conveys her worldview and the struggles and tension between memories and the future for Hongkongers. She started working on irregular paintings, encapsulating people and events from different times and spaces into deforming architectural structures.
Through motifs of loops, optical illusions, impossible shapes, labyrinths and reflections, Wai Yi Chung invites her audience to play with perception and contemplate on our existence.
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