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Works by Jiatong “Tong” Yao and Zach Nguyen

On view December 18-29, 2022

The exhibition placeshifting presents three video works by multi-media artists Jiatong Yao and Zach Nguyen exploring the relationships between personhood and technology.

Body with skin

Jiatong Yao

The discussion of the virtual world and virtual body is no longer a system of games or entertainment; however, it is a complex comprehensive computing space with thousands of highly intelligent people's efforts using decades of years building up. It is not only an outcome of human consciousness but a whole new universe the essential element and higher physical rule.

With the decentralized online space and comprehensive hard-to-explain AI computing technology, there is the possibility for a better space to rise in response given the proper time and conditions, without class distinction, harm, violence, etc. Body with skin blurs the boundaries countless times, highlighting that the virtual world is no longer an obedient servant that human beings can control and command, but an unknown, complex, and unrelated to the human-centered design of the past.

I am Watching You

Zack Nguyen

Through performative artwork, I am Watching You, Zack Nguyen reflects his fear, anxiety, and exhaustion caused by virtual meetings during pandemic. Concealing his identity with augmented reality glass mask, Zack Nguyen performs as a mysterious computer watching people’s lives and fear during isolation in their personal space through his red eyes.


Jiatong Yao & Zack Nguyen

Parasite is a projection-mapped performance directed by zack nguyen and Tong Yao. Through performance and visual experience, the artists tell the story about how current life is temporary and humans are parasites in this reality.


Jiatong Yao

Jiatong Yao is a multi-media artist and computer scientist focusing on digital aesthetics and digital anthropology through video artworks and screen performances. She seeks a disturbance, innocence, simplicity, and tender space for the audience. Currently, with her background in technology, her creative process includes conceptualizing different aesthetics and real-time interactive media to express her feeling about the future of technology and body politics in digital space.

Yao holds a bachelor’s degree with a focus on Computer Graphics & AI Technology. She is currently a master’s student in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Zack Nguyen

Zack Nguyen is a hybrid artist who embraces the power of art and healing through a variety of media by employing artistic practice, observation, and approaches at the intersection of art, science, and expressive art therapy. His body of work expands to include painting, participatory installation, interactive art, performance, and photography, in which he also expresses his emotion about identity, culture, and technology.

Being exposed to memories while reflecting and revaluing his emotions is what inspires him to go beyond the boundaries between aesthetics and storytelling to seek meaningful messages. With intentional attention, his creative process evolves; however, there is always a state of mind and reflection in the process that influences my emotion while conceptualizing the works.

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