Virtual vision of an eastern city
The AvaStar, Feb 29, 2008
By Isolde Flamand
A GROUND-BREAKING Chinese artist will highlight her work in SL at the opening of her RL exhibition in New York this week.
China Tracy, the avatar of Cao Fei who is renowned for using SL as the medium for her RL work, spoke exclusively to The AvaStar about her latest masterpiece, RMB City. It is described as a virtual China which combines communism, capitalism and Chinese mythology. It will be shown in the Lombard-Freid Projects gallery in Manhattan, opening this Friday.
The AvaStar: How did you come up with the idea?
China Tracey: I took half a year to adventure in SL, and finished a 28 minute-long SL documentary called ‘i. Mirror’. The film participated in The 2007 Venice Biennale and is now showing in New York. At the end of the Venice Biennale, I thought that maybe I could create a place that belonged to me within SL – my own city utopia.
TA: What does the city represent to you?
CT: RMB City (RMB refers to ‘renminbi’ or ‘people’s money’, China’s official currency) mixes the different elements of China. I’m very interested in the city as an organism and have done a lot of research on cities in China, and I’m hoping I can use my knowledge to build a Second Life version of my vision of the Chinese city today. All the cities currently in SL are Western-style, so Chinese users can’t find spaces that reflect their culture. SL is a big world, and you want to build something to locate your own identity.
TA: What is the future of SL as an art medium?
CT: SL is a good medium for art, also for architecture, fashion, business, neo-sociology research, communication. It’s such a big subject for different fields. Although I’m an artist, I hope my city will help build dialogue between different territories.