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b. 1984, China

aaajiao Biography

aaajiao, also known as Xu Wenkai, was born in 1984 in Xi'an, and later moved to Shanghai, where he continues to live and work. aaajiao is one of China's foremost digital artists, bloggers and free culture developers. In 2003 he established the sound art website: cornersound.com, and in 2006 he founded the Chinese take on the blog we-make- money-not-art: We Need Money Not Art. He is devoted to Processing, an open-source visual programming software, Dorkbot, a non-profit initiative for creative minds, and event structure, an interdisciplinary centre for art, media technology and academic research-based in Shanghai. In his works in general, aaajiao focuses on the use of data and its various forms of display, and how meaning is understood through the process of transforming the movement from reality, to data, and back again. His most significant aesthetic contribution to new media in China is a social one, acting as a vector for the interpretation and communication of international and local trends in the usages of software in artistic practice.

aaajiao Featured Artworks

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natural materials by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaonatural materials, 2017–2019Memory foam, net bag, PVC, car film, aluminum, plate, natural rosin, foam packaging, tinfoil insulation material, soda crackers
AIKE Contact Gallery
Landscape by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaoLandscape, 2019–2020LED Screen, gif
32 x 64 x 6 cm
AIKE Contact Gallery
icon by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaoicon, 2020Screen printing, chevron board, metal frame, acrylic paint
95 x 95 cm
AIKE Contact Gallery
gumdrop by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaogumdrop, 2017–2019Cellophane, UV printing, digital printing, acrylic wood
AIKE Contact Gallery
fur by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaofur, 2019–2020Stuffed object, eyes toy
AIKE Contact Gallery
cave by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaocave, 2019–2020Extruded board, natural rosin, PVC, gold leaf, 3d branch print, light clay
220 x 150 x 120 cm
AIKE Contact Gallery
Progress Bar 进度条 by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaoProgress Bar 进度条Single channel video, colour, sound; screen

A Thousand Plateaus Art Space
I am my own bot, bot by aaajiao contemporary artwork
aaajiaoI am my own bot, bot, 2017-2018Single channel video, colour; Website, 15'32
AIKE Contact Gallery

aaajiao Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, aaajiao, 2020 URL is LOVE - A Digital Retrospective at Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing
Open Now
1 August–31 December 2020 aaajiao 2020 URL is LOVE - A Digital Retrospective Tabula Rasa GalleryBeijing
Contemporary art exhibition, aaajiao, Cave Simulator at AIKE, Shanghai
2 May–21 June 2020 aaajiao Cave Simulator AIKEShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Singing the Body Electric at David Zwirner, Hong Kong
11 July–10 August 2019 Group Exhibition Singing the Body Electric David ZwirnerHong Kong

aaajiao Represented By

AIKE contemporary art gallery in Shanghai, China AIKE Shanghai

aaajiao In Ocula Magazine

Afterimage: Dangdai Yishu at Lisson Gallery, London Ocula Insight Afterimage: Dangdai Yishu at Lisson Gallery, London By Sam Gaskin, London

An afterimage is a false visual burned onto the eyes even after its source is no longer being viewed. Victor Wang, the curator of Afterimage: Dangdai Yishu (3 July–7 September 2019) at Lisson Gallery, London, borrows the term to describe one of the key accomplishments of contemporary art: the accommodation of work that is post-figurative, or...

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China’s Post-Intranet Artists Get Personal Ocula Report China’s Post-Intranet Artists Get Personal By Sam Gaskin, Auckland

China's post-80s artists are no longer all that 'young', nor do they much need that moniker. With the oldest of that generation fast approaching 40, to call them young would be misleading given how rapidly many of them rose to prominence during the tail-end of China's foreign collector-powered art boom and subsequent influx of domestic collectors....

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Howard Bilton, founder and chairman of the Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong Ocula Insight Howard Bilton, founder and chairman of the Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong By Ocula Editors

Yorkshire-born businessman Howard Bilton is the founder and chairman of the Sovereign Art Foundation, established in Hong Kong in 2003. The Foundation focuses on both recognising the abundance of artistic talent in Asia and bringing the benefits of art therapy and education to underprivileged children. In both endeavours, the Foundation...

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aaajiao In Related Press

Overpop Related Press Overpop 19 December 2016, ArtAsiaPacific

With two years' worth of research and multiple studio visits by the Yuz Museum's founding director Budi Tek and his team, along with New York-based gallerist Jeffrey Deitch and Karen Smith, director of OCAT Xi'an contemporary art center in China—the exhibition Overpop developed into a cross-cultural exchange of artists who are seen as a new...

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Preview: Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 gallery highlights from Asia and Africa Related Press Preview: Art Basel Miami Beach 2016 gallery highlights from Asia and Africa 1 December 2016, Art Radar Journal

From 1 to 4 December 2016 galleries from around the world will converge on Art Basel Miami Beach. In Art Basel’s 15th edition in Miami Beach, there are an impressive 269 galleries expected from 29 countries across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa. The art fair is proven to be a highlight of the art calendar, with almost all...

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'Remnants of an Electronic Past' - in conversation with Chinese new media artist aaajiao Related Press 'Remnants of an Electronic Past' - in conversation with Chinese new media artist aaajiao 19 September 2016, Art Radar Journal

aaajiao explores the fate of obsolete computer technology in the face of its relentless development, as part of a programme aimed at stimulating debate around the relationship between art and technology, as well as e-waste and its relation to climate change and the environment. Art Radar speaks with the artist about his work. As the City of...

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