STRANGERS OF THE METAVERSE: Curated by Martin Goya Business: Bai Taotao / CATTIN TSAI + Tsui Honagi / Chen Jingyu / CHILLCHILL / LAZY BACK HOME / Lv Dian / PAPAPEPIA / MELTING WANG / ¥ouada / Zhan Qi / Zhang Wei / Zhu Jinkun


Vernissage: Wed, 10 November, from 4 – 7 pm

With a special performance by artist CATTIN TSAI at 5 pm

Ota Fine Arts Shanghai is proud to present the latest group exhibition “Strangers of the Metaverse” curated by Martin Goya Business (MGB). MGB is an experimental platform founded by video artist Cheng Ran in 2017 that is committed to explore unique and diversified art scenes through cooperation with different avant-garde artists and various institutions.


The title of the exhibition, “Strangers of the Metaverse”, is inspired by the classical science fiction novel Snow Crash by American writer Neal Stephenson, published in 1992. The novel constructs a new form of the internet in the future, an immense virtual world called “Metaverse”. Everyone living in this reality has a corresponding cyber identity, otherwise known as an “Avatar”. Based on a sequentially reversed time order of “Metaverse”, thirteen artists jointly present a cyber foreign land shaped by Martin Goya Business through a variety of non-traditional media including painting, image, installation, and animation.


The rapid development of technology and the internet has endowed individuals with a user identity that allows one to explore new ways of survival among screens. By storing individual memories on social media’s digital platforms, a collective of individuals are building an identical yet perfect self that only exists in the virtual dimension. Individuals can only learn about another individual through accumulated images that have been elaborately built on the internet. In the video installation, “Digital Twin”, artist Lazy Back Home discusses the authenticity of individual digital identity, as well as social order and relations that have been reshaped by data.


Artists CATTIN TSAI and Tsui Honagi embody their imaginations of the virtual world through installation work “Psychometry”. Tsai has built a virtual jelly-fish like creature with the use of resin, screen, light and sound. Equipped with a circuit system created by Tsui, viewers are invited to use their hyper sensory perceptions to communicate and receive information transmitted via the tentacles of the creature. Both Tsai and Tsui believe that the virtual world provides a window of opportunity and that in the future, human beings will not discard the real world and choose extreme complete digitalization. Rather, one will be able to learn about the world in a comprehensive manner, other than through past experiences alone.



The exhibition also includes an installation work composed of natural materials such as stones and sand. In “Ruins of Stonehenge”, artist Melting Wang has created a site-specific field with unexpected materials. Drawing upon the past practices of animism, he has carved digital symbols on the surfaces of natural stones to record a reverse energy field. The circular placement of the stones and sand are reminiscent of the prehistoric ruins of Stonehenge. Melting Wang pays attention to the spiritual connections present within the online virtual world in his artistic creations.


Nearly 30 years after the birth of world wide web, the many technological predictions of the novel Snow Crash — virtual reality, digital currency and avatars, are now a reality. Its impact has been so broad that current science and technology have also adopted similar name concepts invented by the novel. In recent years, more and more contemporary artists have combined artistic creation with their foresight of network technology and an understanding of their own culture, to reshape and influence future technologies. Ota Fine Arts invites you to enter a cyber foreign land created by Martin Goya Business and, be inspired to relook at oneself through fresh and curious insights experienced from the virtual world and reality.

Installation Views