This catalogue accompanies the exhibition ‘Chinternet Ugly’ held at the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) from 8th Feb- 12th May, 2019. Tracing the unruly topography of China’s online realm, its technicolour landscape of viral media, gyrating GIFs, satirical memes, mass infotainment, and copy and paste aesthetics, the exhibition invites viewers to take a closer look at the vibrant online culture emerging from the world’s largest online community. Celebrating the messy humanity found between the cracks in a digital world of smooth transitions, polished selfies, blemish correcting software and autocorrect, the six new media artists gathered in the exhibition expose the reality of an internet ‘with Chinese Characteristics’; one built on the bedrock of censorship and surveillance which nevertheless challenges stereotypes of conformity and opposition.
My essay on Net Art with ‘Chinese characteristics’? can be found at the end of the catalogue.