“Repetition maximum” (RM) is a concept in weight training, referring to the most weight you can lift for a defined number of exercise movements. The performance links up the parallel exhibitions “Too Good to Be True” and “Till Love Do Us Part”, which both tackles the relationship between queerness and social environments. During the performance, audience were invited to walk with the artist from one exhibition venue in Shek Kip Mei to the other in Tai Kok Tsui. Along the walk, the artist turned his artificial body and the metropolitan surroundings into a big canvas, as in such way he expresses as well as confronts the power hidden beneath the action of image manipulation.
Selfie sticks and accessories build up an organic structure that seemingly interconncts but rather isolates, whereas images of hand gesture extracted from profile pictures on gay dating apps indicate “a touch and yet not a touch”.
Too Good to Be True
Trained with profile pictures collected from gay dating apps, artificial intelligence (AI) generates a series of images, which compose the main content of the exhibition.
The similarity of the images implies people’s perception and desirous pursuing of bodily perfection through social media. The distortions, due to the interference from machine learning (ML) metaphorize the morbidity of it.
The “collaboration” between the artist and the machine, not only questions the ways of the image production, asking “what is photography”, but also simulates how images are produced, stored, chosen, and reproduced in the process of online dating. Nearly a case study of modern online dating, it shows how the notion of beauty has shaped our social behaviours thus influencing our self-cognition.
Now that the Internet occupies the most part of the real life, and the on-line image invades your real image, we are crazily devoting our time and energy, as well as…love. On gay men dating app Grindr, how do people present themselves? What kind of relationships do they want? Stepping out of this virtual reality built up with images, which direction are they heading to?
Do You Know Where the Birds Are?
Located in the bustling area of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon Park is secretly known as a cruising spot for gay men wander who look for casual sex. The project observes Kowloon Park as a public space for recreation, as well as a ‘stereotopia’ – a place for a marginalised group to escape from social norms.
Finalist, WMA Masters 2019/2020 “Light”
Light, September 2021