[s]edition, a revolutionary platform selling digital art, now represents Chinese artists.

s[edition], one of the first online contemporary art platforms designed to sell and store digital art, has made a name for itself by selling limited edition works by contemporary art superstars like Damien Hirst, Shepherd Fairey and Yoko Ono. Now, in late 2012, Liu Ye and Sui Jianguo are the first Chinese artists to join the website.

Screenshot from the s-edition page for Liu Ye's 'Red Warship'.

Screenshot from the s-edition page for Liu Ye's 'Red Warship'.

s[edition] specialises in selling limited edition digital artworks, authenticated with a digital watermark and certificate of authenticity. Chinese artists Liu Ye and Sui Jianguo are the digital dealer’s first artists that were born and are practicing in Asia.

s[edition] spoke with Art Radar about enlisting these new artists and their potential for expansion in Asia.

We work with a Beijing-based curator to introduce artists to us that would be appropriate for the platform. The earliest artists on s[edition] were primarily European and American, but we intend to represent an international roster of artists that is reflected in the current contemporary art market. Asia is a vibrant and cultural continent with many artists that have a presence on the international scene. We want to ensure this is reflected in the art we have on s[edition].

Neither artist works exclusively in new media: Sui Jianguo is more widely known for sculpture and Liu Ye for painting. According to s[edition], engaging artists with diverse styles allows them “to consider new technologies and forms of distribution for their work”.

When asked about how his sculptural practice relates to his new digital works, Sui noted that he has always been interested in sculpture as a broader discipline, one that extends beyond the object itself. Process was of particular importance in the creation of his two s[edition] works, 245 Drops and 1,000 Pounds. He says,

Ever since 2006, I found a way to explore the interaction between sculpture and time. In this kind of work, the process becomes really important, so I started to record it by utilising videos and photos. Sometimes the video itself can be treated as an artwork as well.

‘245 Drops’ is a record of one sketch. I dropped a transparent plastic ruler onto a piece of paper from a height, penciled its position and took a photo of it. When it came to the 245th drop, this sketch is completed, as the paper can’t offer more space for the new addition. I edited these 245 photos and composited them into a video work.

‘1,000 Pounds’ is also a process record for one of my clay sculptures. The clay sculpture was pounded more than 1,000 times. In the title, the number 1,000 means more than a lot. My assistant and I pounded the clay with our fists until we couldn’t bear the pain on our hands.

This is not Sui’s first venture into video art; curators, he states, sometimes refer to his new media art as “spatial video work”.

Liu Ye similarly commented that his digital works, like The Little Match Seller and Red Warship, are a natural extension of his painting practice. “Since the invention of the camera, the approach to painting by artists has changed,” he says. “Artists have found a new way to use the media to reach new meanings in painting.”

In 2013, s[edition] is looking to include “artists working in different styles and mediums from around the world”.

We believe Asia is in many ways the perfect market for digital art. We hope to create strong local offerings in these markets moving forward.


Related Topics: art and the Internet, digital art, new media art

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By Brittney

Brittney is a writer, curator and contemporary art gallerist. Born in Singapore and based in New York City, Brittney maintains a deep interest in the contemporary art landscape of Southeast Asia. This is combined with an equally strong interest in contemporary art from the Asian diasporas, alongside the issues of identity, transmigration and global relations.

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