A Profile of ISEA's Pacific Rim Artists

by Ethan Miller


The artists profiled below are all participating in ZeroOne San Jose / ISEA2006 under the the Pacific Rim theme. Reading through these profiles offers a sketch of the wide range of cultural reference points, interdisciplinary investigations, and important discussions that these artists bring to the table. Their work reflects on the whole Pacific Rim, in all it's richness and complexity. San Jose, as one node within the this network, already participates in these discussions. Yet, it's a rare opportunity to have a group like this showing work and interacting in a single city, at one time. This August offers just such an opportunity.

These artists' work will be located in the main ZeroOne San Jose / ISEA2006 Exhibition in South Hall as well as Fairmont Plaza, in downtown San Jose.  They will be n display for the entire week of the festival and symposium.


Hu Jie Ming

Hu Jie Ming lives and works in Shanghai China. He makes media art works and has exhibited internationally: 010101: Art In Technological Times (San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art 2001), Live In Time (Nationalglerie Im Hamburger Bahnhof Museum Fur Gegenwart-Berlin 2001), The first Guang Zhou Triennial :Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art 1990-2000 (Guang Dong Art Museum Guang Zhou 2002), Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China (International Center of Photography New York 2004), Techniques of the Visible 5th Shanghai Biennial (Shanghai Art Museum Shanghai 2004) among others. His interactive works has been shown in Connected to You, in Bizart Shanghai in 2003 and Hu Jie Ming Interactive Art,in MAAC HHKK Brussels in 2004. He was also included in Second Beijing International New Media Art Exhibition at China Millennium Museum and - Chinese Contemporary photo & video exhibition at China National Art Museum.


The Breadboard Band

(Shosei Oishi, Masayuki Akamatsu, Kazuki Saita, Yosuke Hayashi, and Katsuhiko Harada)
The Breadboard Band is a performing band that uses breadboards made of freely constructed electronic circuits to play music. They produce audio and visual expression through the most minimal, fundamental elements in the form of showing the electronic components of an instrument while directly touching and forming the electronic circuits by hand. The electric signals released from hand-made electronic circuits release extremely rough and ferocious wave patterns. Their performances are based on improvisational interplay, and pull powerful music into shape through each member's operation, while discovering new sounds by hand.


Nhan Nguyen

Born in Qui Nhon, Vietnam in 1967, he came to Canada at age 12. He lived in Vancouver's Chinatown but commuted across town to a high school with a better art programme. Nguyen was a student at Emily Carr College of Art & Design in Vancouver where his studio work concentrated on painting. He has been widely exhibited in group exhibitions since 1990 such as YELLOW PERIL: RECONSIDERED (Canadian national tour 1990-91); Artropolis (Vancouver, 1993); DUAL CULTURES (Kamloops Art Gallery, 1993); DRAWING DOCUMENTATIONS (Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, 1993); RACY SEXY at the Chinese Cultural Centre, Vancouver, Nov-Dec. 1993; Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, Vancouver, October, 1994; Art Matters (Surrey Art Gallery, 1994); Racing Through Space (Artspeak, 1994); Cross Currents (Gallery 44, 1995); Orientation (ECIAD Concourse, 1997) and Positive+ at the Roundhouse in Vancouver, October 1997. Select solo exhibitions include Re: With You ... (1995) Artspeak Gallery; Temple of My Familiar (1994) in Belfast; grunt gallery (1992); Front Gallery (1991); Temple of My Familiar - 6 panels at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver (1990).

Douglas Bagnall

Douglas Bagnall was born in Wellington in 1970. He has been making work since 1992 and his film and digital artworks, including The Sea (pt 3) (1996) and Random Geographical Survey (1998), have been shown throughout New Zealand at short film and fringe film festivals. His work has been shown internationally at Melbourne Experimenta in 1994 and at the Tokyo Video Festival in 1996. Bagnall was one of the first recipients of the Creative New Zealand Smash Palace grants for the collaborative work UpStage with Helen Varley Jamieson and Vicki Smith. In 2003 he was Digital Artist in Residence at the University of Waikato. Bagnall currently lives and works in Wellington.


Xing Danwen

Xing Danwen is one of the most active Chinese artists in today's contemporary art scene, as well as one of few early artists using photography as an art form in the early 90s in China. She has been widely exhibited in galleries, museums, biennale and trienniale around the world, including the International Center of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou , Arles International Photo Festival 2003 in France, Yokohama Triennial 2001 in Japan, Sydney Biennale 2004, Multimedia Art Asia Pacific 2004, and Guangzhou Triennial 2002 and Millennium Art Museum in China. Her work is collected widely by museums and private collectors, Her artistic practice is both rich and varied, and her subjects are extensive. Body, memories, sex, cultural status, globalization, consumption and desire - are all her concerns and personal interests. She projects her artistic approach and critical view onto the circumstances of the era she lives in. The issues of reality and fiction, fact and illusion often play an important role in her works. She was born in 1967 in Xiian, studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and received her MFA at School of Visual Arts in New York. She lives and works in Beijing.


Huang Shi

Huang Shi, born in 1979 in north-west China, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Information Art and Design, Academy of Art and Design of Tsinghua University. His interests lie in science and multimedia design. His work City music was included in the 2nd Beijing international new media arts exhibition in 2005.

Zita Joyce

Zita Joyce is a PhD candidate in the department of Film, Television and Media Studies, University of Auckland. Her research explores the radio spectrum, with a special interest in artistic uses of radio technologies' both in traditional and new media. Zita was Programme Director of Christchurch radio station rdu for three years, developing radio shows focused on experimental music, the arts, and New Zealand music. Zita has written and edited for print and web, and organised a wide range of gigs and events. Living in Amsterdam from 2000-2003, Zita worked in telecommunications, and participated in several projects with the RIXC media lab in Latvia.

Tiffany Sum and Jonathan Minard

Tiffany Sum was born in 1980 in Hong Kong. Sum holds Bachelor’s degree of Arts in Creative Media from City University of Hong Kong. Sum is a member of an independent cultural collective, Zuni Icosahedron, which has more than 90 original alternative theatre and multi-media performances, as well as arts education, cultural policy publications and international cultural exchange program. Sum performed in Vanity Fair (2000) with Zuni in Hong Kong, China and Lisbon, Portugal. Her video installation, Fingering (2005) will be included in the 13th International Symposium of Electronic Arts (ISEA) and ZeroOne San Jose: A Global Festival of Art on the Edge in August 2006. Currently living in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, Sum pursues a Master’s degree of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University (expected 2006). Her works have been shown locally in Pittsburgh, as well as internationally in Hong Kong, Romania, Italy and Japan in 2004 and 2005.


Rania Ho

Rania Ho received her master’s degree from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) and her B.A. in Theater Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has been a writer/performer with the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors since 1995 and has performed at various venues around the San Francisco Bay Area including, TheatreWorks, Asian American Theater Company and San Jose Repertory Theater. Rania’s installation art, which include dancing robotic kitchen appliances and a site-specific miniature golf course in Brooklyn, New York, has been exhibited internationally at venues such as Siggraph 2000 (New Orleans), Prix Ars Electronica 2000 (Linz, Austria) and ArtFuture2000 (Taipei, Taiwan).


Ian Clothier

He was born and educated in Christchurch New Zealand, at Burnside High School and Canterbury University, then attended Monash University in Melbourne where he graduated with diploma in visual arts. In between visiting galleries in Europe, America and Japan, he was exhibition, education and publicity officer for the Akaroa gallery.

"I identify with hybrid Pitcairn-Norfolk culture. Hybrid cultures, to paraphrase Homi Bhabha, reinscribe authority based on contingency rather than tradition. My position is that this heritage legitimates the hybridisation of content.


It is also my aim to incorporate nonlinearity into art works. This gives rise to the possibility of considering the structure of works of art to be 'an articulation of superpositions... an interconnection of diverse but related elements' in the words of Deleuze and Guattari.


In terms of process I work with gaps and independent components that can be reconstituted exponentially, across and in between diverse media.


One multiplicity, intervening sameness, seeking meaning. 

http://www.art-themagazine.com/ian/ , http://ianclothier.orcon.net.nz/

Thomson & Craighead

Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead are artists based in London working primarily with video, sound and electronic networked space to create gallery and site-specific artworks and installations. They have exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, having earned an excellent reputation as leading UK practitioners who use communications systems and technology in Art.

Much of Jon and Alison’s gallery and web-based works to date follow on from the artistic traditions of Appropriation and Manipulation while exploring the myriad ways in which New Technologies & Electronic Global Communications Networks are changing the way we perceive the world around us.

http://www.thomson-craighead.net/ , http://www.lightfromtomorrow.com/

Oliver Hess & Jenna Didier

Oliver Hess has years of experience as a special effects graphic animator and installation artist. He works primarily with responsive environments and virtual reality systems. He uses the skills he has developed in his work to create art that has been displayed in galleries around the globe and to assist international artists with new media installations.

As Technical Director of Materials & Applications (m&a), he oversees technical aspects of installations.
Jenna Didier is in pursuit of a new approach to the built environment. A lifelong interest in the creation and use of public space has led to continual opportunities to expand upon her experience in construction and special effects.

In 2002, Ms. Didier founded a non-profit outdoor exhibition space called Materials & Applications (m&a).
Ms. Didier is the principal of Fountainhead, a water feature design and engineering company. She also collaborates artistically with Oliver Hess in a continuing effort they call infranatural.

http://infranatural.com/, http://www.infranatural.com/wet-portal/

Andy Bichlbaum & Nathalie Magnan

Andy Bichlbaum is a leading member of The Yes Men. The Yes Men have impersonated some of the world's most powerful criminals at conferences, on the web, and on television, in order to correct their identities.

Nathalie Magnan is a media tactician (old and new media), a director for Canal+, Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish, and the Webmistress of many sites. She is a professor at l'Ecole Nationale Superieure des beaux arts de Dijon, France. With Annick Bureaud, Nathalie Magnan has edited "CONNEXION, art - réseaux - media", an anthology of writing from more than 30 authors translated into French for the first time.

http://theyesmen.org/, http://volt.lautre.net/sail/

Jenny Fraser

Jenny's family hails from the Yugambeh of the Bundjalung Nation. She produces screen-based works for installation and online environments. Jenny founded and curates cyberTribe, an Indigenous online Gallery that aims to encourage the production and exhibition of Indigenous Art with a focus on the digital.

Annie On Ni Wan

Annie On Ni Wan is a young activist in audiovisual performance, interactive art and an innovator in interactive technologies. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Media from School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong, in 2001. She then worked as a Research Assistant for the School of Design, HK Polytechnic University, and as Project Co-ordinator and video designer for Zuni Icosahedron, one of the largest performance and theater groups in Hong Kong. She has lived in Singapore, London, Brighton and Gothenburg (Sweden), and she earned a Master of Science in Art and Technology at Innovative Design, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Her recent works, including locative media, audiovisual performance and interactive installation, have been shown at the Mondal Museum (Sweden); Syndicate Potential (Strasbourg, France); Art+Communication Festival 2004 (Riga, Latvia); Piksel 2004; FLOSS in Motion, (Bergen, Norway); Multimedia Art Asia Pacific Conference 2004 (Singapore); and Oppositional Architecture (Berlin, Germany). She received travel and project grants from various organisations in Hong Kong, Sweden, and Norway, including the Nordic Fund and EU Culture Fund.

She is now a PhD student at the University of Washington's Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS), major in mechatronics and algorithmic montage, studying with Dr. Shawn Brixey.

Rachael Rakena

Rachael Rakena is a Dunedin-based digital and moving image artist of Ngai Tahu, Ngä Puhi, Ngati Pakeha descent. She studied at the Otago Polytechnic School of Art, in Dunedin, New Zealand's oldest school of art, where she is now a lecturer.

Many of her works are collaborative and have included singers, (soprano Deborah Wai Kapohe), musicians (Richard Nunns on Maori musical instruments), and with dancers (Louise Bryant and Merenia Gray).

Jin Jiangbo

Born in 1972, Jianbo has exhibited internationally including "Art Rising" An Exhibition of Contemporary Art, Toronto International Art Fair, Canada 2005; "City_net Asia 2005", Seoul Museum of Art, Korea 2005; "Mahjong Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection", Museum of FineArts Berne, Switzerland 2005; "Blind Date - An Exhibition Of Contemporary Art", Reihui, Germany 2005; "ElectroScape-International New Media Art Exhibition", Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, 2005; "Montpellier Chine:MC1 1th Biennale Internationale D'Art contemporain Chinois De Montpellier", Montpellier French. 2005; "Second Beijing International New Media Arts Exhibition and Symposium",Beijin,China 2005; "Shanghai.

Tamiko Thiel

Tamiko Thiel is developing the dramatic and narrative capabilities of interactive 3D virtual reality as a medium for addressing social and cultural issues. She exhibits internationally in venues such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Siggraph, ISEA and the ICA/London. She was creative director and producer of Starbright World, an award-winning 3D online virtual playspace for seriously ill children done in collaboration with film director and Starbright Foundation chairman Steven Spielberg. Her virtual reality installation Beyond Manzanar is in the permanent collection of the San Jose Museum of Art in Silicon Valley, California, and is discussed in Whitney Museum media art curator Christiane Paul’s reference book Digital Art. Her newest work "The Travels of Mariko Horo," a reverse Marco Polo fantasy about a Japanese woman who constructs the West, will premiere in the “Edge Conditions” exhibit held jointly by ISEA 2006 and the San Jose Museum of Art. She is also conceptualizing and fundraising for a work in progress on the Berlin Wall: "Virtuelle Mauer/ReConstructing the Wall."

In 2003 she was a Japan Foundation Fellow in Kyoto, Japan and in 2004-2005 a Research Fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2006 she received a prize from the City of Munich to develop and exhibit a work incorporating "The Travels of Mariko Horo" with a specially commissioned dance performance.


Natalie Robertson

Natalie Robertson is a photomedia artist and educator who has exhibited extensively in public institutions throughout Australasia over the past decade.

Born and raised in Kawerau, a small industrial town in the Bay of Plenty region of New Zealand, Robertson left home to take a job in topographical drafting at an aerial photography company - which fuelled an interest in maps and cartography. She also discovered increasing responsibilities as a shareholder in Maori land blocks on the East Coast of New Zealand, a trusteeship she inherits from her grandfather, David Hughes. Natalie Robertson is Senior Lecturer in Photography at UNITEC Institute of Techonology in Auckland, New Zealand. Her previous academic experience includes authoring key aspects of the undergraduate curriculum and coordinating the Honours programme in the Bachelor of Media Arts at the Waikato Polytechnic, Hamilton. Robertson holds a degree in social sciences and received her MFA from the University of Auckland's Elam School of Fine Arts in 1996.


Xu Bing

Xu Bing was born in Chongqing, China in 1955 and grew up in Beijing. In 1975 he was relocated to the countryside for two years during the Cultural Revolution. In 1977 he enrolled in the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing where he studied printmaking. He received an MFA from the Central Academy in 1987. In 1990 he moved to the United States and he still lives there today, making his home in Brooklyn, New York. His work as been shown in the 45th Venice Biennial; MOMA, New York; Museum Ludwig, Koln; The Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia), Madrid; V&A, London; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Sydney Biennial; Kwangju Biennial, Korea; Johannesburg Biennial, South Africa; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; San Francisco Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA); National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; ICC - International Communications Center, Tokyo; P.S. 1, New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary art, New York; Joan Miro Foundation (Fundacio Pilari Joan Miro a Mallorca), Spain; ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art), London; National Gallery of Prague; National Gallery of Beijing; the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C..

Over the years, Xu Bing's work has appeared in high-school and college text-books around the world including Abram's Art Past - Art Present, and Gardner's Art Through the Ages. In July of 1999, Xu Bing was awarded the MacArthur Award for Genius by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in recognition of his "...originality, creativity, self-direction, and capacity to contribute importantly to society, particularly in printmaking and calligraphy." In September 2003 Xu Bing was awarded the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize for his work in Asian Art and Culture. In 2004, Xu Bing was awarded the first Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi, one of the largest international prizes in the world. That year, he also became a Coca-Cola Fellow of the American Academy in Berlin.