Ying Miao is a Chinese net artist whose practice largely takes place on what she refers to as the Chinternet – the heavily censored version of the Internet available in China – as well as her smartphone screen. Miao explores creative possibilities in this reduced sphere of the Chinese web by creating works that reflect critically and playfully on censorship. The absurdist visuals of her collaged website aesthetic, mashing together YouTube videos and commercial advertisements, also heighten the acknowledgement of web privatization and monopolization internationally. Other works deal critically with the placid, neutral design of iPhone apps, rendering them in enlarged versions on canvas or cushions. Whether reflecting on political censorship or laissez-faire capitalism, Miao’s work takes the internet as its playground, decontextualizing mass information and launching it into the art world ether. We spoke to Ying Miao at this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, where she presented two pieces at the Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder booth: ‘APP-nosis’ (2013–14) and ‘Tech Abstractionism’ (2014).
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