Hong Kong art show contrasting world wide web and China's web asks some big questions it doesn't really answer
Curiously named .com/.cn exhibition, a collaboration between Hong Kong's K11 Art Foundation and New York's MoMA PS1, offers sharp and humorous commentary on a hot topic, but demands too much of its audience
The oddly named ".com/.cn" makes sense when you realise that it is an exhibition that contrasts the world wide web and China's web. Launched in time for Art Basel week, the latest project by Adrian Cheng Chi-kong to focus on Chinese and Western artists' relationship with the internet, boasts the curatorial firepower of Klaus Biesenbach and Peter Eleey from MoMA PS1, the contemporary affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. In March 2016, Cheng's K11 Art Foundation partnered with the Serpentine Gallery in London to present Hack Space, an exhibition that explored open-source technology and the breaking down of business hierarchies, and his K11 art museum in Shanghai opened a new show last week called After Us, a collaboration with the New Museum in New York that focuses on how we all have "stand-ins" in the form of our internet personas. Six hot gigs for gallery-goers in Hong Kong's big week of art All three have provided opportunities for major Western institutions to work with a large number of mainland Chinese artists in a meaningful way. For ".com/.cn", Biesenbach and Eleey have paid numerous visits to artists' studios in China and they say they have plans either to acquire or exhibit some of those artists' works in the future. A worthy exercise, certainly, but as an exhibition, ".com/.cn" is hard work for the audience. There is a fair amount of video with low production values to get through and the curators seem overly reticent about providing clues to how artistic practices differ within the show's context.