For some, technology is a tool to help make life easier and automate daily functions. For others, it is a way to effortlessly and powerfully communicate with other people around the globe. Some users see technology for its entertainment purposes. For the artists of the art collective at Liu Dao, technology is all of these things and much more— it turns them into magicians. With their help, technology becomes organic, digital reality comes alive, where it begins to speak, dream, conspire, and seduce.
LED City is a perfect setup for Alfred Hitchcock's ‘Rear Window’ (1954) and Brian De Palma’s ‘Body Double’ (1984)— allowing a glimpse into ones’ lives through the exposed moments in the series of artworks. The artwork does not impose a particular mindset but it does want to make the viewer feel like a voyeur. In a context of PRC cities, even the little LED glimpses seem to become voyeuristic fantasies that could be classified as a new paraphilia/artphilia—a sexual urge that make a person want to engage in sexual fantasies or activities with an artwork; activities such as petting a painting, rubbing against a sculpture, or undressing in a video artwork.
LED towers physically restrict the images within them, they are a window for seeing other and to be seen by others, choreographers Wu Yandan and Li Lingxi reveal only fragments. For example, in “Elevator”, two female legs playfully rub against each other – visually rhyming with electric cables and steel chains. They make the viewer wonder in where passion and affection is being well built in the walls in the multimillion populated cities of China.
“ATM Machine” depicts an LED ‘white-collar’ marching with a rifle in his hands -it expresses a constant fight for being one of the top in the hierarchy of consumerism, surviving the pressure of society and living up to the expectations of yourself and your family.
Liu Dao’s towers offer a glimpse in a spectrum of feelings and problems well protected by the walls. They open a city of emotions, repeated patterns and lifestyles, reminding the endless circle of manly and womanly needs. These video loops are containing a specific. Each piece of work is a question mark – it is a small inquisition within yourself- within your own window.