Tabula Rasa Gallery London is delighted to present Deep Simulator, a solo exhibition of works by the Chinese artist aaajiao opening on 6 June for the inaugural edition of London Gallery Weekend 2021. The exhibition lasts until 30 July 2021.
In a room set up with a gaming station and standalone, surreal objects evocative of tree branches rendered by digital algorithm, aaajiao's metagame Deep Simulator invites the viewer to partake in a space exploration at once both real and virtual.
Deep Simulator is a game, in which the player is instructed to discover six 'Instruments'. The instruments are placed in six separate scenes - six Bardo (the status of in-betweenness). Guided by the writer Ag's narration, the journey of discovery is a journey of understanding the in-betweenness status in our life.
Deep Simulator sees computational power as the prime engine that generates the state of our world. The six possible states of Bardo—a term originated from Buddhism that describes the intermediate state between death and rebirth—can be retrieved by the player via six levels of computational power. 'Deep Wanderer,' defined as the protagonist of the metagame, is an amalgamated persona consisting of the viewer of the exhibition, the player at the game station, and the wanderer in the metaphorical journey within the simulation. Upon seeing and being the 'Deep Wanderer', individuals such as us come closer to understanding the truth of our existence.
As the artist's continuous reflection on the evolution of human identity along the transformative power of the Internet sphere, the forming of The Player in Deep Simulation is a transmutative process carried out by the artist over the years. It passes through the figure of The User presented on the artist's solo exhibition User, Love, High-frequency Trading in 2017, and The Bot as an information crawler for the project bot in 2018. The spectator's ability to see the player playing while awaiting his or her own turn opens up a path to observe an 'other' him- or herself, and underlines the controversial notion of the real in the world of new technologies, the Internet and the circulation of digital data.
It is worth noting that Deep Simulator was specially conceived for the project room of Castello di Rivoli in 2020, making aaajiao the first Chinese artist to exhibit at an Italian institution. Due to the pandemic, only domestic visitors in Italy were allowed. We hope that through presenting the work for a second time at our London space, the work will be able to reach a broader audience.
Press release courtesy Tabula Rasa Gallery.