New Directions, δημοσίευση στο Aesthetica Magazine [11/11/2022]Marilena Pateraki
Bai Liu is an artist, designer, illustrator and writer based in China whose multidisciplinary work is shown throughout the world. 馍 / Mo was showcased at the London Design Festival in September. Why Do We Love Cats? launched on the VRChat platform in August. It is a unique collaboration with Jiaxun Cao, Qingyang He, Zhuo Wang et al. and is led by Professor Xin Tong of the Duke Kunshan University Human-Computer Interaction Lab and Professor Ray LC of the City University of Hong Kong.
A: You’re an artist, designer, illustrator and writer. How do you combine these practices in your multidisciplinary work?
BL: I often describe myself as an interdisciplinary artist on my various social accounts; in my opinion, art creation should not be defined by the material medium in the real world. My background has given me a deeper understanding of contemporary art. You can think of all my work as being based on the core concept of “beyond mediums”. Whether it’s clothing, fabric, illustration or painting it’s really just a medium that I use to convey my interesting or profound ideas. I never want to define myself in a narrow field. Art should be unrestricted and you should not let the medium handcuff you.
A: Your practice investigates “the mind state of modern people.” What drew you to this subject?
BL: I think this is a very interesting but also worthwhile subject to think about. It seems to me that contemporary people are often in a state of confusion and bewilderment without realising it. In my project Why Do We Love Cats?, for example, I gathered 100 cat lovers from different social backgrounds, genders and ages before starting the project. When I asked the question “Why do you love cats?”, everyone in the room was confused, and after a few moments they still couldn’t answer why they loved cats or why they chose to keep them.
Just like the “ultimate question of the universe” mentioned by Douglas in his novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the supercomputer “Deep Thought Deep Thought” is unable to answer the ultimate question of the universe. Perhaps there is no reason for loving cats, loving people or loving art – a thought about an everyday phenomenon may contain a philosophical question about the ultimate truth of the universe. Many tiny things in life actually have no single answer from a philosophical point of view, and I just like to use contemporary art as a magnifying glass to look deeper into the social issues and philosophical logic behind these phenomena.
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