Tishan Hsu's latest exhibition at Secession in Vienna, titled "recent work 2023", is a bold continuation of the artist's decades-long exploration into the intermingling of the human body and technology.
Hsu, with his background in architecture from MIT, has always been at the vanguard of integrating novel technologies into his art, while simultaneously honoring traditional, hands-on artistic methods. This dichotomy is the essence of his creative journey, one that has seen him evolve, yet remain steadfast in his thematic pursuits.
Hsu's work, particularly in this exhibition, is characterized by a profound preoccupation with how our bodies and consciousness are altered through interactions with digital technology. This theme, which was once the realm of science fiction and scarcely touched upon in the art of the 1980s, has been a consistent thread in Hsu's oeuvre. His visionary approach, juxtaposing the organic with the technological, posits a future where the cyborgian melding of flesh and machine is not only inevitable but already underway.
The diversity of media in "recent work 2023" is a testament to Hsu's experimental ethos. The standout piece, the large sculpture named tablet-skin-screen, epitomizes this intersection of the physical and digital realms. Resembling an open laptop, this metal and acrylic creation, with its flesh-toned surfaces, is a metaphor for the human-digital interface. It is a vivid illustration of Hsu's belief in a world akin to a matrix, where the boundaries between the real and virtual are blurred.
Other works in the exhibition, like Car-Body and the LED video wall, further this dialogue. Car-Body, seemingly suspended in the gallery space, and the video wall, with its ever-transforming digital forms and ambient sounds, create an immersive environment that challenges the viewer's perception of physical and virtual spaces.
The exhibition is also marked by Hsu's unique titling approach – descriptive, almost scientific, as seen in works like screen-body-data and Breath 9. These titles, often followed by numbers, suggest an iterative process in his art-making, emphasizing the idea of continuous evolution and mutation rather than static creation.