The VH AWARD has acknowledged and supported emerging artists who have engaged contextually with Asia. The award encourages artists who push the boundaries of audiovisual arts to challenge our understandings of the past, present, and future.
The 4th VH AWARD exhibition at the Ars Electronica Festival will include the work of Grand Prix recipient Lawrence Lek and finalists Doreen Chan, Paribartana Mohanty, Jungwon Seo and Syaura Qotrunadha. Their works range in subject matter from the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence to the most pressing social and ecological challenges of the present day.
In addition, following their exclusive screening at the New Museum during Frieze New York on May 18th, 2022, the artworks are currently on view at Elektra's virtual museum (June 1st, 2022–June 1st, 2023). They will also be exhibited at MACAN, Indonesia's preeminent institution for modern and contemporary art (September 10th–November 13th, 2022).
Lawrence Lek (UK)
Lek’s 4th VH AWARD Grand-Prix-winning work Black Cloud (2021), is the culmination of the London-based artist’s ongoing body of virtual-reality productions. Working with video game software and CGI animation, Lek merges real places with virtual worlds to look at how humans interact with AI and how digital images alter our experiences in the real world.
Doreen Chan (CN-HK)
Chan’s work, titled HalfDream (2021), is a participatory art project conducted on a dedicated artificial intelligence platform (halfdream.org) that connects participants via their subconscious and common dreams.
Paribartana Mohanty (IN)
Mohanty traveled more than 10,000 kilometers of the Indian coast to witness and document the effects of natural disasters, including cyclones and tsunamis, for his VH AWARD project. His video, Rice Hunger Sorrow (2021), follows two protagonists to the ocean and forest, asking continually, “who is the mightiest?” The answer, though never spoken, is perhaps best left as a reflection on our own lack of might in the face of mother nature.
Syaura Qotrunadha (ID)
Qotrunadha’s work, Fluidity of Future Machines (2021), is the Indonesia-based artist’s video collage exploring the relationship between water and living creatures’ migration, speculating on the future of human nature. The visuals of her video recall the experience of looking through a microscope, suggesting that the insights of our elders may help us see what is invisible, but right before us.
Jungwon Seo (KR)
Seo’s We Maketh God (2021) considers what sort of art AI may create. Shot in black and white and slowed to stretch each moment into suspense, the video brings the drama of the Renaissance into the present, creating a space to contemplate the history we are living and making each day.