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Contemporary Art Practice (MA)

Ning Liu

LIU Ning is a Chinese transdisciplinary artist working with sculpture, installation, still and moving images. Her background is in media production, with an MA in Media and Communications from Leicester University. She currently lives and works between Shanghai/London.

This is my portrait photo.

Her practice builds upon speculating on the place where systems yet-to-be-determined and resolute reality ceases to function, where our hybrid identities move between biological and electronic; they are found, used, and recycled, coming alive as non-physical entities and fragmented minds that are digitally connected, not elsewhere. Her works developed through unconventional industrial, technological, and natural material experiments, a space for reflecting on how different raw materials, media technologies, techniques, and artistic choices contribute to the aesthetic experience and creative process.

Image helps reader to contextualize the work.
📍24.786998283216995, -112.19095872661309

A handful of sand was found and transported accidentally by the artist's trousers pocket from a dune nestled in San Carlos Bay, Mexico (24.786998283216995, -112.19095872661309) to her home in London. She continually wore those pants and went clubbing while slipping her iPhone into the same pocket with its camera and flashlight activated: Behold, the sand danced with me, captured in motion.

This project reflects on the possibility of the collapse of boundaries between intuition and rationality and between objects and spaces. Emphasizing the gesture to shift between both physical and non-physical spatial positions, and the poetic aesthetics embedded within contemporary technology, it questions the conventional understanding of digital materiality and our perception of mundane everyday experiences.

Medium: sand, pants, iPhone, clubs

Duration: 03:03

image of the sculpture's close-up look
image of the sculpture's close-up look
image of the sculpture's close-up look
image of the sculpture's close-up look
image of the sculpture's close-up look
image of the sculpture's close-up look

This installation series evolves from the challenge of the traditional notion of sculptures that are seen as discrete and static objects in dominant physical spaces. The artist employs home security cameras and green screen technology as a new material, creating the form of dynamic sculptures capable of perceiving and reflecting multiple spatial information. 

During the gradual shaping process of the sculpting clay, the cameras in spontaneous positions were activated by movements in the surrounding space or physical vibrations and randomly captured visual information. The sculptures are formed by mixing cameras and clay, and the ending points are decided by the unique properties of one of the materials: power off or solidified, representing the basis of energy disappearance.

The video exhibited, accompanied by the sculptures, is a collection of fragmented footage due to the uncontrollable filming conditions for each individual camera. It represents an ongoing experimental dialogue between these disputative agencies: the artist, the material and you (the audience).

This artwork has evolved from the artist's ongoing research on object-oriented ontology as a philosophical approach to investigating the objecthood, materiality, power and representation of objects. She is interested in exploring how contemporary technology's mechanisms can generate haptic visuality and subjectivity for non-human entities. Additionally, to investigate the artists' roles in becoming an extension and reflection of material characteristics and explore the audience's multisensory aesthetic experiences when standing at the thresholds between visibility and concealment.

Medium: security cameras, clay, green screen, galvanised shelving, screen

Size: 160 X 90 X 200 cms