The Enlightenment of Biases
2024.07.06 - 2024.08.18
Artist: Huang Bingjie, Pan Lin, Wang Xiaoqu, Wang Xuan, Yao Qingmei, Zhang Yi

The Enlightenment of Biases

By Yao Siqing


Earlier this year, Google AI "Gemini" sparked controversy when its image generation "distorted" historical facts by focusing too much on diversity due to over-emphasizing political correctness. In an era when image generation and its mass dissemination have become more accessible than ever, the discursive structure and power relations behind such production mechanisms and the ensuing discipline and emotional coercion on individuals have emerged and gradually became obvious and thought-provoking. In such an information cocoon of a “post-truth” era, one’s retrieval of valid information and judgment of basic facts are accompanied by obstacles of intentionally obscured information and the inundation of useless information, which would undoubtedly demand the individual to think independently and make valuable judgment. Should we unthinkingly follow the so-called higher and more universal "rules" and "truths" or adhere to the sincerity and limitations of one's "biased" position? In a time when artists are immersed in making their art worlds, they are similar to providers of such biases, who offer opportunities for spectators to reflect on abstract truths. In other words, it is precisely because of the plural existence of artists as individuals today that their production of images provides ways of seeing the world, and their presentation of reality from various angles allows us to briefly stop and re-examine the new significance of "bias" today.


In this exhibition, the works of the six artists are presented equally as products of visual experiences, concepts, and personal emotions, forming a polyphonic field that intends to provide a revelatory meaning of bias through subtle layering and interlacing. Here, bias is fundamentally a gaze, a review of the world, and only choosing the few with potential. In both Yao Qingmei's and Wang Xiaoqu's works, the spiritual portraits of those in power are depicted humorously, magnifying their ridiculousness. Still, Wang Xiaoqu is more interested in depicting social masks than in their behavior. Both Wang Xiaoqu's and Huang Bingjie's works shift our gaze to the image of plants, attributing them personalized characters. However, Huang's works offer personal and sensible expressions, focusing on an expansive energy brought about by love and affection. In this sense, while both Huang Bingjie and Pan Lin use green tones, Pan Lin's choice of colors and shades is based on the inherent formal language of painting. One would appreciate her latest attempts and advances in abstract methodology when viewed alongside the other works. Wang Xuan's and Zhang Yi's practices disperse the object from its material form and diffuse the symbolic layers of the image as if to whisper the question: is there any transformative possibility in what one firmly believes?  


Bias, a term previously regarded as a pejorative, is derived from the French word "bias," whose original meaning was related to "angle" or "slant." Since it comes from a specific perspective, it must contradict what is implied in the correct or primary perspective. From a humanist perspective of ancient times, the value judgment behind "bias" has more to do with the limits of personal experience and emotional preferences, underscoring the fragility and limitations of humans. Still, it is also a source that makes the world rich and noisy and allows us to escape from artificial paradises or algorithms. Insofar as it's sincere, any kind of bias carries with it the light of the individual's soul and their specific place on the surface. When various "biases" are expressed at the same time, they take into account each other's perspectives and rationalities. By doing so, they become aware of their own “bias” – and the crisscross of such biases may be the beginning of enlightenment, in a time when there seems to be an abundance of output and very little listening and exchange, in a time of fear and hostility to “biases.”