Rui Hu

Rui Hu,  Room no. 1 , Inkjet pigment on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 2017

Rui Hu, Room no. 1, Inkjet pigment on canvas, 45 x 36 inches, 2017


In an age of continually evolving digital technologies, our sense of the real is increasingly mediated by the virtual. In my art, I employ imaging technologies developed for commercial and entertainment applications to create layered visual narratives, which are then printed on traditional canvases. Informed by the history of avant-garde collage, I build my compositions solely in Maya software from scanned or modeled physical objects. Rather than occupying a continuous flat pictorial space as in traditional collage, my virtual objects hover within the virtual spaces I create for them. In these environments, my authorship centers around the selection of visual elements and the virtual position of "light" sources and camera angles. 

Each image seeks a sense of the poetic while relating a fictionalized a story inspired by current events In Real Life, internet culture, emerging technologies, urban legend, catastrophes, and Chinese ancient mythology. In the Rooms series, I create narratives around contemporary events in which virtual technology infiltrates real human actions. Anonymous 4Chan users adorned masks gather to protest Scientology; Police track cyber criminals to the apartment of an innocent Tor administrator; A captured school-shooter tells authorities of his obsession with Dance Dance Revolution; An attorney and social critic is disbarred for unethical behavior in his crusade against global video game companies. This body of work considers the politics of virtual objects and online events.

I hope to develop a visual language informed by other image-making traditions and to create hybrid objects situated in proximity to painting, sculpture, and photography. Each Room functions as a metaphorical space, an associative collection, and a forensic experience.


Rui Hu (b. 1990, China) is a Los Angeles-based artist. His work has been shown at venues including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Netherlands; the Images Festival at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, Germany; International Symposium on Electronic Art, Hong Kong, China; and the Australian Center for the Moving Image, Australia. He holds an MFA from the University of California Los Angeles, and a BFA from New York University.

Experience the art of Rui Hu in Peripheral Vision No. 8

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