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Two human-sized half-man, half-dragonfly models are suspended from the ceiling of The Animal Farm Simulator at the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023 exhibition at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

The Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023: Decentralized Reworlding

6 minute read

We are living in unprecedented times even now, even though a post-pandemic return to normality is in sight. The repercussions of the pandemic are like a butterfly effect, still causing unpredictable changes in every aspect of our life and world. In order to get our new reality on track, post-pandemic, it is important that we proactively “reworld”—rethink the current boundaries of our social norms and human territories; in terms of envisioning the possibilities of reshaping the world. The Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023 will nurture the creative and critical forms of reworlding through the arts, technology, and humanities—aspects necessary for sustaining decentralized life.

The relationship between the individual and the collective, everyday life and the macro environment, and technology and humanity is facing ever-changing challenges and urgently needs to be understood anew and redefined. One of the paradoxical consequences of the pandemic, for instance, is that social distancing has given rise to further adoption of remote and virtual engagement, yet we are more eager than ever to engage in intimate connections. Meanwhile, the accelerating space race of the private sector is expanding our perspective on mankind’s territories to include outer space. At the same time, it forces us to reexamine the systems that are critical for life on this planet.

Large black welcome sign displaying the title of the exhibition “The Animal Farm Simulator” in Chinese and English on the left side of the entry to the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023 exhibition at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Installation view of Hyundai Blue Prize Art +
Tech 2023 The Animal Farm Simulator
exhibition at Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing.

Behind Hyundai’s Blue Prizes

For the sixth year in a row, Hyundai Motor Company and Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing are hosting the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023 to encourage emerging curators in China in the innovative and critical exploration of major contemporary issues. The Hyundai Blue Prize has a history of critically examining how to improve human habitation and life through art and technology.

On a black podium in the middle of the Animal Farm Simulator exhibition stands a pink chicken from the PINK CHICKEN PROJECT installation.

Nonhuman Nonsense Studio, PINK CHICKEN PROJECT, Mixed Media, 2017.

In a bold new initiative, the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023 encourages the investigation of the complexity of the social system and rethinking the current boundaries of our social norms and human territories. The aim is to imagine new possibilities for reworlding in the era of the metaverse, distributed networks, decentralized economies, and generative, responsible AI. LI Zheng and CHEN Jianghong’s The Animal Farm Simulator and ZONG Xiao’s Metamorphic Ecosphere were selected for the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023. Read on to explore 2023’s potentially world-changing theme.

The Animal Farm Simulator

Of the two exhibitions to receive the Hyundai Blue Prize Award 2023, The Animal Farm Simulator will be the first to be presented from the 28th of April through the 8th of October at the Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing. The space that LI Zheng and CHEN Jianghong created simulates an experimental field of a future where humans and other species coexist and collaborate. The duo boldly imagines the Earth leaving “Anthropocene” and entering the Age of “Animism (the belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence),” completely embracing a decentralized world. The perspective of reshaping in The Animal Farm Simulator is not a subversive change, but an optimization and improvement beyond “Anthropocentrism.”

View of L.E.M. installation floor-to-ceiling screens with hay bales stacked on the left side.
Front view of ECONUT installation featuring stacked green plastic and cardboard crates with models on display and TV screens explaining the project.

alterR, ECONUT, 3D Printing Model, Video, 2021.
LIU Di, L.E.M., 3D Animation, 2019.

The exhibition features a modular ecosystem called “animal farm simulator,” which operates on four units: “The Workshop,” “The Lab,” “The Arena,” and “The Co-op.” “The Workshop” focuses on the production and manufacturing of basic survival needs. “The Lab” utilizes genetic engineering to lead future species exploration. “The Arena” promotes communication through multimedia and depicts a pluralistic future, thus activating a new perspective for people to understand the world. “The Co-op” establishes decentralized cooperative production and management with the intention of motivating care and sustainability.

The Animal Farm Simulator presents 12 domestic and international projects, including design, video, sculpture, and other media, closely integrated with the curatorial expression and physical field. Through experimentation, genetic trace, and media communication, the exhibition reexamines the feasibility of biodiversity coexistence under the thread of technology.

Under the theme of the Hyundai Blue Prize Art + Tech 2023, “Decentralized Reworlding,” “The Animal Farm Simulator”
envisions our future of coexistence from the perspectives of art, technology, and the humanities. The exhibition will be a
creative and critical platform for the necessary re-worlding
required to foster our decentralized way of life and bold
reflection across all disciplines. – DOOEUN CHOI, HYUNDAI MOTOR'S ART DIRECTOR

About the Curators

LI Zheng is a graduate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) with a master’s degree in design criticism and curatorial studies, visiting scholar at EnsAD in Paris, and independent curator. She is a practitioner of innovation education for children, a fashion designer, and a member of Beijing Youth Art Development Promotion Association.

CHEN Jianghong is a graduate of Northumbria University with a master’s degree in design management. She is a creative planner and a design researcher. Her research interests include urban revitalization, experience design, ecologically sustainable design, and design for social innovation.

Other Hyundai Blue Prize Art +Tech 2023 Participating Artists: alterR, atelier mobile, CRUDE_CASTIN (LIU Dian & XU Jianing), Elio Caccavale, Extrapolation Factory, LI Shan, LIU Di, LO Yu-Chun & KU Kuang-Yi & TIEN Zong-Yuan, Nonhuman Nonsense Studio, Paul Gong, Paula Ulargui Escalona, XU Chaofan & REN Qingqi.

As our world is being disrupted by the unexpected, it lies within human nature to seize the moment and make the best of it. Hyundai Motor Company recognizes this human drive and encourages it by giving creative minds the platform to explore solutions for the unforeseen. Learn how Hyundai is more than just a car by following @hyundai on Instagram. Be the first to be informed of exciting initiatives like the Hyundai Blue Prize.


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