Medium: Digital video
Dimensions: 09m 00s running time
Brief biography: b. 1984, Xi’an, China. Based in Shanghai, China.
Active online as a media artist, blogger, activist, artist and programmer, aaajiao is the virtual persona of Shanghai-based artist Xu Wenkai. Born in 1984 in one of China’s oldest cities, Xi’an, aaajiao’s art and works are marked by a strong dystopian awareness – his year of birth being the synonym of George Orwell’s classic allegorical novel. Many of aaajiao’s works consider new thinking, controversies and phenomenon around the Internet – with specific projects focusing on the processing of data, the blogosphere and China’s Great Fire Wall. Recent projects extend his practice into architecture, music, performance and design – capturing the pulse of today’s generation consuming cyber technology.
Tennis for None was first exhibited at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) in 2016, as part of Remnants of an Electronic Past, aaajiao’s first solo show in the UK. Tennis For None is a reinterpretation of ‘Tennis For Two’ (1958) – one of the earliest examples of video game technology, which used a vacuum tube analogue computer. The game was a fairly simple tennis simulation, as two players used a joystick to pass a ball back and forth over a ‘net’ on the screen. aaajiao’s contemporary version re-imagines both players as machines, where an endless loop plays of a ball bouncing into infinity. A game, involving no-one, which questions the role and indeed existence of humans in an increasingly technological world.
aaajiao has exhibited internationally, upcoming and recent shows include: Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today, The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, Boston (2018); PRESENCE: A Window into Chinese Contemporary Art, Liverpool, UK (2018); What’s in Store?, Salford Museum & Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2017); unREAL, Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel (2017); Shanghai Project Part II, Shanghai (2017); Temporal Turn: Art and Speculation in Contemporary Asia, Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas (2016); Take Me (I’m Yours), Jewish Museum, New York (2016); Overpop, Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2016); Hack Space, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong and chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2016). His solo exhibition include Remnants of an Electronic Past CFCCA, Manchester (2016) and; OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal Xi’an, Xi’an (2016).