The Shared Environment series by Chinese artist Gao Xiaowu was released on Sunday. Three sculptures themed on the tortoise, crane, and dove made their cloud debut with the augmented reality (AR) technology on the Great Wall, one of the World Cultural Heritage sites in China.
As one of the Chinese artists exploring the possibilities of art integrating with public spaces, Gao has been delving into the interaction and interactivity between sculptures and public spaces. The three art pieces released represent the artist’s newest attempt to examine the coordination and interaction between sculptures and public spaces.
The Shared Environment series conveys artist Gao’s idea of symbiosis, commonality, and harmony between persons and between people and nature. Transcending the limitation of admiring works of art in a digital way at a specific time and space, it focuses on a synchronic way of viewing art: The works do not exist in any real space, but they can be shared and enjoyed in real time by anyone who has an internet connection regardless of region, nation, culture, or race. It is the first time for Gao’s art exhibition to reach a wider audience across the globe.
In his earlier series Rebirth, Gao Xiaowu aspired to “awaken the original state of nature” and explored the rebirth of life forms. Built on the foundation laid by Rebirth，his Shared Environment series shows the “harmonious symbiosis between man and nature” and considers the intrinsic relationship between life forms. He does this through the metaphorical significance of two traditional Chinese cultural images of tortoise and crane, as well as dove, a universal symbol of peace. In the context of Shared Environment, Gao Xiaowu puts new meaning to the concept of symbiosis: the tortoise integrated with the water, aquatic plants becoming the wings of the crane, and olive branches becoming the wings of the dove. He uses this way to express the multiple relationships between man and nature and invites new insights into global development amid the COVID-19 impact.
The Shared Environment series adopts static AR technology. The audience can use their mobile phones to scan the QR code to enter the WeChat applet, click on the web URL link or download the APP to experience the AR works. They can choose their favorite sculptures and zoom in, zoom out, rotate, and interact with them by integrating them into the real life and taking pictures or videos.
Committed to the artistic notion of “the moment that is,” Gao Xiaowu practices “popular art,” believing that art belongs to the common people. He expresses his thoughts and concerns, criticism, and reflection on society by creating artworks in a mostly humorous, gentle, and non-hostile way. His representative art series include Standard Age, City Dreams, Our Generation, Soft Violence, Discrepancy, and Rebirth.