Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit is the New-York-based artist's first museum survey exhibition in the United States. The exhibition traces Hsu’s key ideas and demonstrates how they clearly resonate in the works of younger artists coming of age today. In the mid-1980s Hsu began a series of works that considered the implications of the accelerated use of technology and artificial intelligence and their impact on the body and human condition. His work is distinct from well-documented approaches to art making in the 1980s that relied upon strategies of appropriation, a use of references to popular culture, as well as Neo-geo and other tendencies toward abstraction. Yet Hsu’s work takes on minimalist legacies in its reduced forms, and also processes the textures and colors of screens and other aesthetic clues of the emergent information age. The artist’s work throughout this period considers the object’s phenomenological properties and the shifting visual landscape.
Trained as an architect at MIT, Hsu’s art has an idiosyncratic materiality that is informed by his education and the budding East Village scene of the time. His use of tiles, for instance, suggests the architecture of domestic interiors, but also points to the construction of digital images as many discrete units of data. His use of alkyd, resins, and urethane responds to materials developed and used in burgeoning industries. Bringing together roughly 30 key sculptures, wall reliefs, drawings and media work from 1980 to 2005, the exhibition includes architectonic paintings and sculptures from the 1980s that considered the materiality of the image in the ever-expanding digital landscape; Hsu’s first experiments in Photoshop that mark some of the earliest instances of artists using the newly available digital photo manipulation software; and a selection of the artist’s drawings and other projects.
The exhibition demonstrates Hsu’s prophetic practice and exemplifies how art responds to and processes the pressing questions of its time. Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit reintroduces the work of this visionary artist to a contemporary audience that has finally caught up with the issues he began to address over 30 years ago.
Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit is organized by SculptureCenter, New York, and is curated by Sohrab Mohebbi, curator. The Hammer’s presentation is organized by Aram Moshayedi, Robert Soros Curator, with Nicholas Barlow, curatorial assistant.