MadeIn Gallery presents Miao Ying's solo exhibition "Stones from Other Hills" opening on November 6, 2018. Following her first solo show “Content Aware” held in 2016 at MadeIn Gallery, "Stones from Other Hills" revolves around the artist's concept brand "HDD (Hardcore Digital Detox)", showcased in the form of VR devices, video, oil paintings and sculptures, all derived from HDD concept strategy website.
It has been 14 years since Thomas l. Friedman published the World is Flat, and even if the world has flattened, it has long been isolated by the invisible walls of technology company algorithms and filter bubbles. These walls surround people of a particular ideology and thus distinguish different cultural, political groups, and indirectly lead to "the breakdown of democratic society brought about by identity politics,” as stated by Francis Fukuyama.
It appears that people need to escape the control of technology more than ever. The popular "data detox," a process that restricts the usage of electronic networking devices such as smartphones and computers, has been touted as a new form of health maintenance in the information age. The concept brand "HDD (Hardcore Digital Detox)" is inspired by the lifestyle branding constantly generated in the post-material society. Those brands market their products by selling specific lifestyles. In this exhibition, Miao also adopts such an approach to distribute strategic lifestyle advice to the audience. The hardcore of HDD is the suggestion of a new, crude method of "fighting fire with fire" data detoxification to achieve unexpected therapeutic effects.
"Stones from Other Hills" pursues Miao’s work Chinternet Plus commissioned by the New Museum (New York) in 2016. Created in the form of a strategic concept website, Chinternet Plus uses the promotion strategy of marketing lifestyle in the business industry to present a display space full of irony and humor. In the interlaced narrative clues, the VR work Happily Contained and the three channel video The Formalized Abridgment of the Supposed Sub-stratum of the Rational Truth display the relationship among exemplary lifestyle marketing, the political environment deeply eroded by social media algorithms, and the economic bubble of the Unicorn Technology Company.
The exhibition title originates from an old saying from the Book of Songs. In the exhibition, Miao Ying has made a new interpretation of this philosophy. Based on her long-term observation on China and the overseas political and technology environment, “Stones from other hills are good for working jade”; it not only becomes her metaphor of technology, capital and the political environment, but also provides the audience with a dialectical perspective and coping mechanisms.