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island6 六岛 (Liu Dao)

The Consequence of Zero

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island6 六岛 (Liu Dao)

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The Consequence of Zero

by

island6 六岛 (Liu Dao)

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Overview

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2019

Chinese ink and acrylic painting on canvas, teakwood frame

Unique Work

Dimensions: 136cm (H) x 136cm (W) x 6.5cm (D) / 53.5" (H) x 53.5" (W) x 2.6" (D)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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The representation of nothing is the problem of representation itself: how can one create a representation that’s true to its model? Or let’s be dramatic: how can one represent absence? The concept of zero is not an obvious one. After most ancient cultures used a blank digit to signify it, the modern form of zero appeared in 976 when Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Khwarizmi advised to use a circle when no number appeared. Little did he know that about 300 years before his time the same idea was used in China by Empress Wu’s court as part of promulgating the empress’s own characters, symbolizing her eternal power. An empty circle (〇) was used as the character for “stars”, elegantly encircling space to make those bright spots of the Universe visible. After the Zhou dynasty, 〇 became the representation of zero, referring to the Universe rather than to the stars. As the Universe ends where our knowledge of it ends, 〇 is that border between finite and infinite – something and nothing. Zero, then, is that “non-representable” that’s outside of our knowledge; zero is not what’s inside of the circle but what’s outside of it.

EDITION: Unique
DATE: Made in island6, 2019

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Artist Profile

Born: 2006

Hometown: Shanghai

Based in: Shanghai

island6 六岛 (Liu Dao) is a Shanghai-based collective of tech-geeks and creative talents whose driving force is collaboration. Since its inception in 2006, this dynamic international group has produced multimedia art that muses on the relationship between the delicate qualities of traditional art and the technical complexities of the contemporary. Artists from diverse disciplines converge to contemplate the past, present, and future of China through their humorous and innovative new media work. Their unique collaborative philosophy explores the cultural potential of the convergence of art, technology, and science in their quest to promote cross-cultural dialogue. Liu Dao's ever expanding repertoire includes works in diverse mediums such as LED art, video art, interactive art, neon, photography, painting, sculpture, and dynamic laser art, among others.


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