30th Dec, 2015

Best of 2015: Our Top 10 Works of Internet Art

By: Hyperallergic       Source: Hyperallergic        Date: 29/12/2015

unnamed-1280-1The concept of art that lives only on the internet is far from novel. For decades, online-only works and exhibitions have popped up to display visuals meant for screens, accessible to anyone with a computer and WiFi. Since 2013, Hyperallergic has been ranking the best art in Brooklyn, New York City, and even the world — but we have not yet tackled the World Wide Web. Unbound to GPS coordinates, internet-based art has no place on these other lists, and since it isn’t fair to neglect the increasing amount of works designed specifically for cyberspace, 2015 welcomes our inaugural best-of-the-internet list.

Although digital art often appears in brick-and-mortar galleries, we decided to focus on net art that only has an online presence, as examples on view in physical spaces are fair contenders for our other best-of lists. From entire exhibitions to individual works, here are our top picks of art from the paths of the information superhighway we’ve traversed this year. Continue reading

29th Dec 2015

‘Rule the party strictly!’: Chinese president ‘Big Daddy Xi’ makes rap debut

Communist party officials release 2min 44s rap with Xi Jinping contributing backing vocals in the form of samples from some of his speeches

By: Tom Philipps         Source: The Guardian     Date: 29/12/2015


Communist party propagandists have traditionally sought inspiration from Marx and Mao when trying to get their message across to the masses. Now they are looking to Eric B and Rakim. Continue reading

December 27th, 2015

In Hong Kong, fears for an Art Museum

By: Amy Qin            Source: The New York Times      Date: 25/12/2015

An interior rendering of the so-called M+, an art museum planned for Hong Kong. CreditHerzog & de Meuron and WKCDA 

HONG KONG — At the waterfront site destined for a vast new center for the arts here, the view across Victoria Harbor is one to marvel at — an urban jungle of high-rises that together make up the city’s famous skyline.

The vista from the other side of the harbor could not be more different. Mostly barren land. A small construction zone. Some temporary buildings. And a sign announcing in big orange capital letters: “West Kowloon Cultural District.”

This is where a “museum of visual culture” called M+ (for “museum plus”) is scheduled to be built as a key part of the new complex, a mammoth government-sponsored project budgeted at $2.8 billion. By the end of 2019, according to the current timeline, many of the area’s components, including the 650,000-square-foot museum, will be ready to open to the public.

But as plans for M+ move forward, questions are mounting about whether the original vision — a wide-ranging art museum that would put Hong Kong on the global cultural map — can ever be fully realized. Continue reading


I’ve just returned from a ten day trip to China, where I was leading a current group of MA students from the Courtauld on a study visit to Shanghai. I’ve been teaching the students as a visiting lecturer on the MA course ‘(RE)made in China: Appropriation, subversion and transformation in contemporary Art’, so the main focus of the visit was to enable them to visit artists’ studios, museums and art galleries and apply the skills and learning they’ve hopefully absorbed over the last few months to an analysis of the objects, exhibitions and images we were privileged to see during our visit.

We visited over twenty exhibitions in various venues and art districts throughout the city and over the coming weeks, I hope to share some of the highlights of the visit on this blog. Several exhibitions were of particular interest given my current research on digital culture, most notably Y世代之歌 ‘The Ballad of Generation Y’ currently on display at OCAT, Shanghai, as well as 亞洲當代藝術空間 A+ Contemporary‘s show 模型演进’Evolution of Model’.

I came back to the UK to attend a three day conference devoted to ‘Digital Culture in Contemporary China, Hong Kong and Taiwan’. The conference starts tomorrow and features a very distinguished line up of excellent speakers, who will be addressing issues ranging from digital activism and internet literature to virtual cinema, screen culture and digital archiving. I was very fortunate to receive an invite to present some of my current research on digital art and will be giving a paper on Miao Ying and the rise of ‘Chinternet Ugly’ on Friday afternoon. I have included the conference programme below and will write a more detailed post on the proceedings next week.




China Centre and Wadham College, Oxford

December 17-19, 2015

  Continue reading

Dec 1st, 2015

Can art exist on social media?

By: Tom Jeffreys               Source: Apollo Magazine         Date: 30/11/2015


Can artists and the wider art world use social media for more than marketing or self-promotion? The most exciting practitioners now working across digital platforms certainly think so.

The arrival of a new passport is not usually newsworthy. But, in July 2015, when the Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei posted a photo of himself with his new passport to image-sharing website Instagram, the world responded with barely contained excitement. The story was covered by the New York Times, CNN, and Time among others.

The photo was newsworthy for a number of reasons: the first was that since his 81-day detention by the Chinese authorities, Ai had had his passport confiscated and was denied foreign travel. The arrival of a new passport therefore seemed to suggest a softening of the government’s stance on Ai’s art and activism. The second is that Ai Weiwei has become something of a cause célèbre in the West. There are cynical reasons for this, for while his activism is widely praised, his art has often been criticised as simplistic or shallow. But by fêting an artist whose work has been banned in his own country, Western art institutions are able subtly to trumpet their own liberal humanist beliefs without offending anyone important closer to home. Continue reading