Aerobics – NOWNESS

Tian Xiaolei is one of the most experimental VR artists to emerge from China in recent years. His imaginative work has won him awards from Today Art Museum and UCCA in Beijing, where he uses history, religion, science, technology and biology to create new, otherworldly visual experiences.

The artist’s latest project, Aerobics, is a carnival of eccentric and far-fetched digital creations that run amok in a graphic cathedral. Xiaolei ‘repairs’ the Venus de Milo by attaching a pair of swaying robotic arms to her body. A man gyrates wearing nothing more than an x-ray scanner around his waist and a microscope on his head. A gilded monkey and baby in spherical cages replace the moons of Jupiter, and a piston spliced with human legs pumps to the music.

“In the future, god will be replaced by a hybrid being that is both man and machine,” says Xiaolei. “Humans are only at one stage of evolution and we will continue to go through progressive upgrades. A new era for a fleeting species is about to begin.”

Aerobics is part of China Wave, our month-long special program of films profiling a new era of Chinese creative expression that is rewriting the rules on conventional art, filmmaking, music and performance

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