LIFE> Odds and Ends
Synthetic Times in real world
By Zhu Linyong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-06-17 11:53

Vortex, LED installation by German artist Christoph Hildebrand.

When Li Yamei visited the Synthetic Times, the new media art exhibition occupying nine exhibition halls in the National Art Museum of China this week, it felt to her like entering a sci-fi world previously only encountered in movies and online games.

"It's great fun strolling through the museum and literally meeting the exhibits. I was really impressed with the incongruous-looking walking robot, talking prosthetic head, interactive videos and the airship that attacks visitors in dark clothing," says Li, from Shenyang, northeastern Liaoning province.

To Chen Mo, a media art major from Beijing, the exhibition "is definitely an eye-opener".

She was struck by the imaginative imagery of Yves Netzhammer's multimedia installation Subjectivasation of Repetition, and by Jeffrey Huang's Newscocoons - a fascinating computer-controlled simulacrum of inflatable furniture feeding on news. She was also impressed by Chinese artist Xu Bing's Book from the Ground, a chat room operating on pictographs and emotional icons rather than words.

Li and Chen are among the thousands who have visited the Synthetic Times Exhibition.

Various small-scale new media art exhibitions have been held in Beijing and Shanghai over the past few years.

The Shanghai eArts Festival, featuring new media art works, is slated for October, according to local media.

"But Synthetic Times is by far the most inspirational so far, as regards scale and content," Chen says.

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