Two light works by rising Chinese art star Li Hui, on view from December 6th through February 18th, at Miami’s Zadok Gallery. Beijing-born and based, Mr. Li, who has achieved acclaim for pushing the boundaries between art and technology, makes dramatic use of laser and LED lights in an installation and sculpture that pose complementary conceits about void and substance, life and death Cracked pierces the darkness of the gallery’s 28th foot high ceiling with a mesmerizing, room-size geometry of streaming, crimson laser beams. The rays form a futuristic virtual architecture, through which one can pass or be imprisoned. As its title implies, the glowing environment addresses unsettling concepts of freedom and bondage, security and intimidation, order and chaos. Conjuring a futuristic Twilight Zone, Mr. Li’s optical effects are simultaneously exhilarating and disorienting.
The cool visual complement to Cracked is a translucent, acrylic racecar F-1 from Mr. Li’s Amber series. Illuminated from within with bluish LED lights, at first glance the sleek sculpture is yet another muscular icon of speed. Look again. Just as amber’s transparent fossil resin entraps vulnerable organisms, this vehicle encases a Jurassic-like skeleton. The conflated forms offer a poignant, visual metaphor for oppositional concepts of evolution and extinction, nature and technology, ideas frequently explored by the artist.
Beyond its high-tech aesthetics of industrial materiality, Mr. Li articulates that his work is informed by issues of eternity central to Eastern religious thought and philosophy. The artist is especially fascinated by the Zen concept of two colliding energies producing a third, an experiential phenomenon he seeks to produce for his audiences.