INTERVIEW: Painted fragments of food packaging, classical art, internet icons visualize today's information overload

Park Han-sol, The Korea Times, 10 Jan 2023

"I'm just really interested in this celebration of image overload on the internet. I'm not criticizing it; it's more like I'm documenting it," she added. 


At the center of the canvas lies a scene of an intimate encounter between two lovers suggestively captured in a Japanese illustrated hand scroll. But instead of providing the full visual context of the dalliance, Chinese artist Ziping Wang has chosen to interrupt the scene with a barrage of vibrant yet entirely irrelevant images: a pixelated chicken drumstick, dispersed fragments of food packaging and a monochrome checkered pattern reminiscent of the empty bottom layer when images are manipulated in Photoshop.


"This is really relevant to my generation," Wang told The Korea Times in a recent interview. "My generation was among the first born with the technology of the internet when it became accessible to everyone. And during my teenage years, there was the rise of social media with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram." The more she was online, the more she became overwhelmed with imagery and virtual identities that were constructed and modified to be attention-grabbing.

But Wang's primary goal does not lie in imparting a specific message or allowing for a single uniform interpretation of her works. Just like how online slang and coded metaphors worldwide are often not directly tied to phrases or objects from reality ― and therefore are deceptive ― the artist similarly takes the images of quotidian items and recognizable cultural references out of context to produce a deliberately misleading panorama.As a result, the same painting that immediately captivates the viewers with its eye-popping graphics and the illusion of a clear narrative has the power to disorient them just as much when they realize it is near impossible to decipher the meaning behind the chaotic placement of each icon.


"The Loudest Silence" runs through Feb. 10 at Peres Projects.


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