2024 CAFA Graduation Season丨Li Yan: Displaying the vitality of the digital world


On May 1, 2024 CAFA Graduation Season was officially unveiled at CAFA Art Museum. Just as the theme “Direction of the Heart” contains good wishes and sincere expectations for Class of 2024 at CAFA, 2024 CAFA Graduation Season does not only contain their art achievements,  their enthusiasm and perseverance in creation are also reflected, which further conveys the imagination and expectations of young students as they embark on the road to the future.

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Immersive Vision

By Li Yan, School of Experimental Art and Sci-Tech Art at CAFA

Taking magnetic fluid as a carrier, my works show ever-changing Arabic numerals. Through the flowing state of magnetic fluid, the numbers are shaped into an active and beating form, encouraging the audience to intuitively feel the vitality of the numbers in an immersive way. At the same time, they can also be regarded as a metaphor or symbol of individual living conditions. Magnetic fluid, a plastic material, can be used to manipulate the shape of numbers, which is a presentation rather than a reproduction of numbers, and it also endows time with a shape to a certain extent. Time is predictable but rather difficult to be predicted. My interest in real time is, to a certain extent, a reaction to the artificial temporal structure.

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The three installations respectively represent the present (digital pillar), the past (transparent installation) and the future (color installation), constructing such an overall visual presentation of intertwined time and space. This artistic practice that transcends the boundaries between the physical and the digital worlds, challenges our traditional understanding of reality and virtuality, and it also provides us with a perspective to re-examine the relationship between material and immaterial things. It implies the same presentation of multiple temporal relations, and displays the past, present, and future through the erasure of distance. This presentation implies the break between reality and imagination and the interweaving of multiple temporal relations in the same space.

Courtesy of Li Yan, edited by CAFA ART INFO