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Computer animated still depicting a square grassy island in the middle of an ocean at sunset. A row of increasingly tall, alternating trees and unicorn horns sticking out of the ground divides the island into two. Several shapes covered in white fabric covered in logos lie on the island.

Miao Ying and the ‘Chinternet’ Can Help You Detox from the World Wide Web

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Need an online break from the dominance of multi-billion dollar ‘unicorn’ businesses like Google and Facebook? Set your virtual private network (VPN) to mainland China, where these websites and apps are blocked, for a relaxing online retreat!

This is the satirical concept behind Shanghai– and New York–based artist Miao Ying’s Hardcore Digital Detox (2018), the first work in M+’s new online series of digital commissions housed here on M+ Stories. The browser-based work is a playful reflection on both the ‘Chinternet’ and World Wide Web, using the concept of a wellness retreat to comment on issues of global capitalism, online propaganda, and media democracy.

Below, we chat to Miao Ying about the inspiration behind the work, her relationship with censorship, and unicorn poop.

What inspired you to create an online retreat experience?

A woman stands in a doorway, looking back indoors. She’s leaning against the doorframe with her hands against her back.

The Affectionate Appeal of Ann Hui’s Filmography

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The below post was written by film critic Long Tin in conjunction with the screening programme, M+ Screenings: The Film Life of Ann Hui. You can catch the final weekend of the screening from 14–16 December at Broadway Cinematheque.

Imagine an attractive passerby; they catch your eye because of their looks, posture, and aura. Of course, we all know that, ultimately, it is their inner beauty that counts. However, this inner beauty is in constant interplay with the effects of their outward appearance.

If we were to compare a good film to this charming individual, their outward appearance might correspond to the film’s use of sound and image, its meticulous mise-en-scène, its performances, and dramatic power. Meanwhile, their inner beauty would parallel the film’s narrative structure, its treatment of subject matter, its build-up of mood, and intellectual depth. A pioneer of Hong Kong New Wave cinema, the filmmaker Ann Hui moves audiences with an elegance in her early work that is immediately recognisable. But it is the subtler depth from within her later films that is worth savouring time and again.

Artist Danh Vo, wearing a white T-shirt, stands in front of a wooden pavilion structure in a gallery space, smiling slightly at the camera. One side of the wooden pavilion structure is covered by a large square sheet of pyramid-shaped rice paper lanterns lit up from the inside, casting a warm glow.

A Chat with Danh Vo About ‘Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint’

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Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint, the latest exhibition at the M+ Pavilion, showcases a dialogue between two artists, both considered to be some of the most influential figures in modern and contemporary art: Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) and Vietnamese Danish artist Danh Vo (born 1975). The show is curated in partnership with the Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York.

Danh Vo was born in Vietnam in 1975, but his family fled the country as refugees when he was four years old, ending up in Denmark. He creates works that poetically conjure up lesser known histories and biographies through found objects and artifacts.

We recently sat down with Danh Vo to find out more about both his own works in the show, and his relationship to Noguchi.

Who are you?

I’m Danh Vo. I’m an artist, and, together with M+ and The Noguchi Museum, I proposed and have prepared this exhibition with my own work and the works of Isamu Noguchi.

How has it been to bring Isamu Noguchi into this exhibition?

A man stands at the front of a cinema underneath a screen with a turntable in front of him. The screen is showing a moving image work, depicting a surreally stretched-out Hong Kong street. Numerous people sit on the cinema chairs in front of the man and the screen.

Experimenting with Live Cinema through the M+ Collections

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What is live cinema? Unlike a traditional film screening, live cinema is a performance in which artists experiment and improvise with the moving images on display. M+ recently held the museum’s first ever live cinema event, Haunting Images: Live Cinema by Lim Giong, inviting Taiwanese composer and musician Lim Giong to create live sonic and musical scoring to the images on screen. Lim started working in the late '80s and early '90s as a boundary-pushing electronic musician, and over the decades, he has developed his practice to include film scoring, thinking about moving images in a very particular way.

For Haunting Images, he put together a programme of moving image works including three works selected from the M+ Collections. Below, we show how Lim scored these works, and why.

1. Static No. 23 (Revolve) (2017) by Daniel Crooks