Since the beginning of my artistic journey, I have used masks, whether traditional Japanese Noh Masks or popular and funny plastic masks. The masks present an element of distance that has always interested me” – ORLAN
In this exhibition, pioneering artist ORLAN, continues to blur the boundaries between art, anthropology, technology, and science. The series of works – Pekin opera facing design and augmented reality includes ten large-scale manipulated photographs with the artist’s face embedded in them. When the photographs are scanned, a layer of augmented reality is revealed, breaking out of the photographic format into the gallery space.
The virtual process turns ORLAN’s face and body into a hybrid creation that transcends identities and physical boundaries. In the series of works presented, ORLAN responds to the ban on women participating as actors in the Peking Opera. She disrupts and interferes with the misogynist law when she creates a digital manipulation and appears as a female avatar performing acrobatic actions in front of the visitors.
ORLAN has been working as a conceptual artist since the seventies and gained a reputation as a controversial and provocative star artist following performances in which she underwent plastic surgery during which she implanted cheekbone implants in her forehead to challenge the dictates of familiar beauty.
ORLAN’s works raise challenging questions about structured cultural codes while radically disrupting conventions and thoughts about social phenomena. In her works, she expresses opposition to social and political determinism and challenges all forms of control – male supremacy, religion, gender, cultural segregation, and racism, using humor, parody, and sometimes grotesque.