Huidi Xiang

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In my art practice, I make sculptural objects, installations, and systems to probe the spatial and temporal effects of inhabiting both virtual and physical worlds in late capitalism. I am interested in the constant wrestlings, negotiations, and translations between the virtual digital contexts and the tangible sensorial world we occupy with our bodies in an era dominated by onscreen and networked experiences. By reimagining and reconstructing elements from different on- and off-line contexts in my life, I create works to construct a realm in between, intending to cultivate alternative narratives to illustrate and fathom emerging politics and critical issues associated with the ever-expansive merging between the physical and the virtual, the real and the simulated, and the fact and the fiction in today's world.

My current research focuses on the complex interplay between play and labor in our contemporary life, where the boundaries between these two are increasingly blurred. It seems like the combination of play and labor can make both more productive and fun. Yet new exploitative logic in the guise of fun, self-engaged, and self-actualization emerges. Starting from my own exhausting and work-like gaming experience while playing life simulation video games, my research topics now include the laborious gaming culture, game worker, alienated play, the notion of gamification, the burnout culture, and the growing virtual telematic economies. Using my sculptural language, I construct a personal ontology to articulate my idiosyncratic experience and research, with the aim to understand the more extensive renewed labor structure in late capitalism. In my most recent projects working with video games like "Animal Crossing" and "Minecraft," I also incorporate data tracing and collecting as a durational performative action. Using analog gestures like manually documenting my digital gaming activities with spreadsheets and journals, I am exploring the intersection of the physical and the virtual from a "play-labor" perspective, questioning the inaccessibility to the data on digital platforms, challenging invisible rules of the existing systems, and contemplating my involvement and participation as an artist in our post-industrial post-internet society.

my playbench in the workground
"my playbench in the workground" is an installation consisting of seven sculptures. These sculptures come from reinterpretations of different tools the artist has encountered or used in her studio, her apartment, the life simulation video games she plays, the animations she watches, and software she uses. These tools come from both the contexts of play/leisure and those of labor/work. In a way, these works form a new set of tools that help the artist to construct her personal ontology of the renewed relationship between play and labor in our contemporary life where the boundaries between these two activities are increasingly blurred. This body of works is also the artist's way to identify her body, position, and agency in today’s context where the digital and the physical converge, the virtual and the real meet, play and labor merge, and fiction and fact collide.
Cheese Column
"Cheese Column" is a site-specific kinetic sculptural installation that replicates three existing columns in a renovated industrial space. This work questions the perpetual power wrestling between our bodies and the constructed space around us.

Huidi Xiang (b. Chengdu, China) is an artist and researcher currently based in Brooklyn, New York, USA. She holds an MFA in Art from Carnegie Mellon University (2021). In her practice, Huidi makes sculptural objects, installations, and systems to examine world-making processes and the coexistence of multiple contexts and narratives in late capitalism. Her current work explores the spatial and temporal effects of inhabiting both the virtual and physical worlds. 

Huidi’s works have been exhibited internationally, including OCAT Biennale at OCAT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen, China, LATITUDE Gallery in New York, NY, Contemporary Calgary in Calgary, Canada, Hive Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China, Miller ICA in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, and South London Gallery in London, UK. Huidi has also completed some artist residencies, including ACRE Residency Program(2021), the Millay Colony for the Arts (2020), and Project Row Houses Summer Studios (2016). She is currently an artist-in-residence at NARS Foundation.

United Kingdom
St Leonards-On-Sea
United States
New York
United States
New York
United Kingdom



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