UCCA Lab and COEXIST present “H.R. Giger ✕ Sorayama: Approaching,” the first two-person show by H.R. Giger and Hajime Sorayama in China. The exhibition features 45 pieces from the 2 artists dating from the 1960s up to the present day, placing their representative works in dialogue to draw out the commonalities and contrasts between their practices and encourage viewers to imagine the world of tomorrow from multiple perspectives.
UCCA Lab presents “H.R. Giger ✕ Sorayama: Approaching,” the first two-person show by H.R. (Hans Ruedi) Giger and Hajime Sorayama to be staged in China.
The exhibition features 45 works by the 2 artists dating from the 1960s to the present, reworking the lineage of their works and presenting a dialogue and array of inner connections between their practices through the juxtaposition of strong contrasts. The design of the exhibition space is inspired by the structure of the underground ant colony, leading viewers into a gradually unfolding passageway that opens up into alternately bright or dark rooms to their left and right, in which they can experience futuristic life forms and landscapes. The exhibition is divided into three sections: “Surrealistic Explorations, Fear, and Fantasy”; “The Eve of Tomorrow, Between the Biological and the Mechanical”; and “ Seeds of Pop Culture.” In each section, viewers will compare and contrast the work of the two artists, learning about their inspirations and motivations going back to the beginning of their careers, the processes that shaped their iconic works and artistic concepts, and the profound impact their creations have had on science fiction films, popular music, club culture, fashion, and video games.
The life forms created by the two artists in their respective artworks organically merge the biological and the mechanical, giving emotion and soul to artificially intelligent robots, and bringing forward-looking settings of science fiction and speculative biological design. In the artists’ depiction of what they believe to be utopian or dystopian visions of tomorrow’s world, we may look back at the eras they have lived through, starting from the 1940s, when they were born, to the crises and opportunities experienced by human society since then. It provides a rich context for understanding and exploring many topics such as cyborgs, AI singularity, extraterrestrial life, interstellar exploration, the uncanny valley, the post-apocalyptic, and the utopia/dystopia of brave new worlds. In the midst of the exhibition, viewers can choose between left and right, between brightness and darkness, consider the relationship between life, nature, and technology as tomorrow approaches faster than ever, and reflect on what kind of future we will share.