The twin city partnership between Beijing and Berlin is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019. For this occasion a special exhibition of media arts will be presented at the Kulturforum in Berlin. Organised by a Chinese-German team of curators, the show features four artists who are currently based in China. The project was initiated by GeKA e.V. – an association that promotes German-Chinese cultural exchange – in close collaboration with the Nationalgalerie. Positions within contemporary art from China have previously been shown at Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof in the exhibition “living in time” (2001), also organized by a Chinese-German curatorial team. Artists Cao Fei and Zhang Peili, whose works were included in the earlier exhibition, are invited back to participate in “Micro Era”, and placed in dialogue with artists Fang Di and Lu Yang.

From documentary film pictures, and the adapted use of classic film language to the aesthetics of Japanese anime, the works of art in this exhibition focus on and explore relationships between mind, body and technology, with installations and single-channel-videos ranging from the 1990s to the present. Historically, within a Euro-American context, video art is often regarded as a democratising art form – through the rapid circulation of information and global events by fast-access technologies. The artists participating in the exhibition, Cao Fei (1978), Fang Di (1987), Lu Yang (1984) and Zhang Peili (1957), scrutinise this thesis of democratisation by reflecting in their visual language the mass production of goods as well as how images and virtual subjectivities are produced and consumed, and how we understand our world through imaging technology.