Asia

Miao Ying
Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality

As part of Miao Ying’s project Chinternet Plus, a “counterfeit ideology” and parodic take on the strategy “Internet Plus” launched by Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang in 2015, the video work Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality constitutes a window on the Internet Culture in China. The video brilliantly edited presents various scenes from a popular Chinese live streaming platform together with extracts of a TV emission with Morgan Freeman talking about “What Is Reality”. This work is perfectly in line with the practice of the artist who questions with a certain humour the consequences sometime dramatic of the Internet as it went viral in the society. As part of “Chinternet Plus” the video was commissioned by the New Museum in 2016 for an online show and was exhibited in institutions such as the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing in 2017, and the Gwangju Biennale in 2018, as one of her most representative works.

Miao Ying’s practice, including video, installation, website, photography and painting, highlights the attempts to discuss mainstream technology and contemporary consciousness and its impact on our daily lives, along with the new modes of politics, aesthetics and consciousness created during the representation of reality through technology. Through her works she emphasises the fallacy of a global internet culture while simultaneously underscoring the undemocratic use of networked power in both China and other regions of the world, such as the United States. At the same time, her self-diagnosed Chinternet (referring to China's online culture and media spheres), Stockholm syndrome celebrates the ingenuity, humour, and intelligence of Chinese internet users, and the rich visual culture they have cultivated behind the firewall. Her works often adopt many of these users’ creative workarounds, which are strategies she describes in positive terms as ‘self-censorship.’ At last, she interrogates the dialectical relationship between the Chinternet and the World Wide Web, unspooling and parodying complex issues of global capitalism, online propaganda, and media democracy.