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Review: Body·Media II

The Power Station's latest show offers eclectic art from around the globe

Known for its exhibitions of epic proportions, Power Station of Art’s latest larger-than-life show comes in the form of a sequel to an exhibition held ten years ago. Continuing the theme of 2007's Body Media presentation, this fascinating new edition re-examines the close ties between new media and the human body.


In a show that observes how our relationships with our own bodies have been altered by technology, the huge display contains installations, performance art, photography and video art. As is becoming the norm at the Power Station’s ambitious shows, the exhibition contains works from all over the world, with 29 pieces presented by 24 artists/art groups from 12 countries, offering insightful and varied perspectives on the influence of new media in today’s markedly different societies.


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Although some of the exhibition’s smaller drawings and artworks are swamped by the Power Station’s huge surrounds, the show features some absolutely standout pieces. Immediately adjacent to the ticketing office is a piece called Shanghai Time, by German artist Mark Formanek. The work takes the form of a video performance with an accompanying display of a huge wooden structure used in the video. The captivating 24-hour performance, constructed in real time, shows 59 workers building and changing the time on a huge wooden clock.


Chiharu Shiota盐田千春


Impossible to miss, the imposing structure in the middle of the main hall is the epic Flow of Life by Chiharu Shiota. It's an enormous ascending tier of empty white beds intertwined with plastic tubes. The tubes carry a liquid synonymous with bright red blood from huge pumps at the bottom of the installation up towards (but not quite reaching) a lone bed at the top. The impressive artwork looks to delicately represent the beginning and end of life, and can be viewed in its entirety from the top of the escalators on the second floor of the museum.


Emmanuel Carlier-1


Emmanuel Carlier-3


On the second floor you'll find the aptly named The Man with the Glass of Water and Guy with Red Hair, two strikingly sharp video works (that look a hella lot like a photo Boomerang) by French artist Emmanuel Carlier. The rotating works were created by fixing over 50 cameras on the subject and taking snapshots from every angle. #Instagoals.


3D Water Matrix (2)


3D Water Matrix (5)


If 24 works all gets a bit much, do not leave the Power Station before you check out the 3D Water Matrix in the middle of the second floor. Yes, it is as cool as it sounds. The three installations appear somewhat similar to the infamous Rain Room brought to the Yuz Museum back in 2015, but are composed of 900 computer-controlled electro waves, creating a liquid video display in which droplets replace pixels.


One Life Remains


Another fun interactive work is Les Disciplines du Rectangle, inviting visitors to play an Xbox Live-style videogame about the nature of rules in the digital age. Basically, it's a game where you have to keep your body inside a moving on-screen rectangle, but with the option to compete against your mates it sure gets addictive (and the queue gets long).


Chiharu Shiota-7


As always, the Power Station’s latest offering gives plenty to see and provides a full day of varied entertainment. For 20RMB, you can’t go wrong, plus you'll see some extraordinary works along the way.

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