Tian Xiaolei, Unfinished Poem, video, 7 min 11 s, 2014

Tian Xiaolei, Unfinished Poem, video, 7 min 11 s, 2014

From the very first moment that a “cave man” picked up a piece of flint to carve and cut meat 3.6 million years ago humans have become reliant on a growing number of tools, from compasses, to reading glasses, abacuses, and modern day computers. Today, with the exception of tribal societies we are all mostly living within the network. Katherine Hayles defines the posthuman body as the “original prosthesis” and all of the other tools we use to communicate are merely an extension of that process. Donna Haraway described us as cyborgs “chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism”.

Using this idea of the networked human being—now inseparable from our tools–the curator selected four artists from four regions of Asia to explore the question of human identity in a post-human world. Tian Xiaolei constructs a world where actual bodies have become virtualized and human encounters are re-cast in the language of anonymity and gaming. Wu Tzu-ning looks at our networked existence and both in terms of the identity and the mobility of the networked being — a world of surfaces. Katsuki Nogami examines how is the technoself (our online identity), when left unprotected, can be easily hijacked and repurposed by other bodies and Shinseungback Kimyonghun use technology to help humans extend their boundaries of perception thus challenging our anthropocentric view of the world.

Katsumi Nogami, Yamada Taro Project, multimedia installation, 2016

Katsumi Nogami, Yamada Taro Project, multimedia installation, 2016

Wu Tzu-Ning, GFP Posthuman Farm, mixed media, 2016

Wu Tzu-Ning, GFP Posthuman Farm, mixed media, 2016

Each artist group will present a solo project to be exhibited consecutively from November 18, 2016-April 28, 2017. Exhibitions will feature artist talks and a publication, “Foreign Bodies: Human Identity in a Posthuman World” with a series of texts by artists and academics to accompany each project.

The exhibition series “Foreign Bodies” contributes to the regional project of Goethe-Institut “Data Dreams”.

Shinseungback Kimyonghun, “Stone”, sound and video, installation, 2017

Shinseungback Kimyonghun, “Stone”, sound and video, installation, 2017

About the exhibitions

Foreign Bodies: Human Identity in a Posthuman World
Dates: November 18, 2016-April 28, 2017
Curated by: Rebecca Catching

Solo Exhibitions
Tian Xiaolei
Exhibition Dates: Nov 18-Dec 9, 2016

Laza Wu
Exhibition Dates: Dec: 16, 2016-Jan 13, 2017

Katsuki Nogami
Exhibition Dates: February 24-March 24, 2017

Shinseungback Kimyonghun (Shin Seung Back + Kim Yong Hun)
Exhibition Dates: March 31-April 28, 2017

Text Contributors:
Sun Shaoyi, Ming Turner, Kensuke Sembo and Kok Yoong Lim

Location: Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai (101 Cross Tower 318 Fuzhou Lu, near Shandong Zhong Lu, Huangpu, Shanghai)

Courtesy of the artists and Department for Culture and Education of the German Consulate General Shanghai.

Related posts: