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  • Copyright 2021

NEoN Digital Arts Archive

Two destroyed laptops

RETHINKING ART’S DIGITAL FUTURES


Ah-bin Shim (Korea)
Dr Manny Ling (UK)
Dr Charlotte Frost (UK and Hong Kong)
Eric Siu (Hong Kong/Toyko)
Jung In Jung (Korea)
Mat Fleming (UK)
Prof. Jon Rogers (UK)
Shu Lea Cheang (Taiwan/Paris)
Usaginingen (Shin & Emi Hirai) (Japan/Berlin)
Chaired by Prof. Sarah Cook (UK)

The NEoN Festival mini-symposium this year is focused on the intersection of tradition and craft with the digital transformation of art and design. Artists participating in the festival will reflect on their own processes, demonstrating influences of ways of working from the disparate and shared heritage practices of the North East of North Asia including Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, China and South Korea. While the West often looks to the East for visions of the future in the form of science fiction or new intelligent robotic gadgets it is also in the east where tradition is more keenly understood and practised, with NEoN festival featuring works in hand-drawn animation, shadow puppetry, and poetry. How do artists and designers sustain their inherited traditional practices in a time of digital transformation – with audiences ever-shortening attention spans, networked memory, and reliance on mediated digital assets to tell the story for us? Our global interconnectedness means we are influenced as much by what is going on on the other side of the globe as by what is happening in their own neighbourhood. This symposium will address how cultural influence affects making, how artistic traditions mutate while shining a critical light on the practices of artists and designers working within a digitally transformed worldview.



Ah-Bin Shim (Korea)

Ah-Bin Shim's work explores conflict, both conceptually and in its materiality. Her multi-modal installations raise questions regarding the nature of life by giving symbolic representation to the inner conflicts and dilemmas of humans. Shim’s playful yet profound installations examine desire, solitude, friction and futility. Handmade structural static forms are interwoven with animated digital sculptures and films in a juxtaposition that seeks to reflect conceptual meaning. Ah-Bin Shim’s ideas are expressed in a straightforward, objective and unequivocal way supported by a minimalist and simplified aesthetic, allowing her to cut straight to the heart of the subject and concentrate on frank and forthright expression. Amidst the simplification and candidness, flickers of humour arise; a conscious ironic stance towards the heavy seriousness of the subject.

Shim originally studied in Dundee, gaining her BFA in Time Based Art and her MSc in Electronic Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design from 2000-2004.




Dr Manny Ling (UK)

Dr Manny Ling is a calligrapher, designer and educator. He is the Programme Leader for MA Design and Senior Lecturer in Design at the University of Sunderland, UK. He specialises in calligraphy, lettering, typographic design, editorial design and print-based media. He has responsibilities as Director of Studies for PhD research in Design and he is also the Director for the International Research Centre for Calligraphy at the University (www.ircc.org.uk)

He is a world-renowned calligrapher and has exhibited in many solo and group shows in the UK, France, Norway and Australia. His work is also showcased in many major publications. He was bestowed with an Honorary Fellowship from the Calligraphy and Lettering Arts Society (UK) in 2011 for his important contribution to the development of Western Calligraphy. He also won the Student-led Teaching Awards 'Most Inspirational Lecturer' in 2013.

He completed his PhD research in 2008 with emphasis on the integration of East Asian and Western cultural influences upon Western calligraphy. He is also interested in the impact of digital media has upon this traditional art form.




Dr Charlotte Frost (UK and Hong Kong)

Dr Charlotte Frost leads on all aspects of strategic development and management. With a BA, PG Dip, MA and PhD in contemporary and digital arts she brings 20 years of experience in arts research, publishing, curation, education, management, communications and marketing. She has held assistant professorships and research fellowships in Europe, the US and Asia and is the author of countless chapters, articles, videos and podcasts on art and technology.




Eric Siu (Hong Kong/Toyko)

Eric Siu is a Hong Kong new media artist who has a broad interest in device art, interactive art, kinetics, installation, video and animation. He is currently based in Tokyo and works as a creative director for Great Works Tokyo advertising agency. He worked as a resident artist at the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory of the University of Tokyo for 2 years after he had received his MFA from the Department of Design Media Arts at UCLA in 2010. Before that, he had completed a 12-month cultural exchange and research project in the United States funded by the Asian Cultural Council. Eric’s works have been shown in Ars Electronica. MOCA Taipei, ZKM, FILE, Transmediale, EMAF, WRO, SIGGRAPH Asia, ISEA, Microwave, and so forth. His work “Touchy” received the first prize from the WRO 2013, 15th International Media Art Biennale, Wroclaw, Poland. The project has been featured in various media such as Discovery Channel, Neural, Washington Post, Huffington Post, The Creators Project, etc. Since 2008, he serves as a board member of Videotage, Hong Kong.




Jung In Jung (Korea)

Jung In Jung is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher originally from South Korea. Her work focuses on the intimate relationships between sound, movement, and space. She received an Arts Trust Scotland Grant for my dance and technology collaboration with a group of Scottish contemporary dancers and composers. Using hacked game controllers, she has created various interactive sound and dance performances that were presented at Sonica, NEoN Digital Arts Festival, MIVSC São Carlos Videodance Festival, Athens Video Dance Project, and Vivarium Festival among others. In 2019, Jung In Jung joined the research centre InGAME: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise in Dundee, Scotland as a Postdoctoral Research and Development Fellow in Interactive Engagement.




Shu Lea Cheang (Taiwan/Paris)

Shu Lea Cheang is an artist, conceptualist, filmmaker and networker. She has worked in the field of net-based installation, social interface, networked performance and film production. Her work traverses between hard and soft, sex and politics, fiction and reality, fantasia and earth-bound.




Usaginingen (Shin & Emi Hirai) (Japan/Berlin)

Usaginingen is an audio-visual performance duo. Their instruments are all handmade by Usaginingen members. Their unique style of performance quickly gained a strong reputation. In 2014, they won the Live Cinema competition at Reykjavik Visual-Music Festival in Iceland. Usaginingen has been invited to perform in 62 cities, across 23 countries such as Canada, Germany, UK, France, Russia, China, (~November 2019). They have performed live at a variety of international festivals for music, art and film, as well as at educational institutions to help inspire young creators. After six years of living in Berlin, they are now based in Teshima island, Japan and opened their own theatre.