Prosperity or Emptiness
2022 /2K QHD Video/ 2560x1440/ 05'01"
"Prosperity or Emptiness" is an art piece created by the Xi Li 李曦, originally commissioned by Circuit Artist Moving Image Aotearoa New Zealand and Wellington City Council in 2022 for the Wellington, New Zealand public art venue Masons Screen. The work employs a combination of stillness and mysticism in the representation of nature and the urban, exploring the excesses and deficiencies of contemporary civilization.
Through a series of 3D visual animations, "Prosperity or Emptiness" showcases a space adorned with fantasies, featuring intricately arranged vascular-like branches, mysterious totems, and ritual spaces entwined with vines. Additionally, there are sculptures of spiritual symbols, desert-fortress-like magical castles, and giant skulls placed on the ground. The piece imagines a threshold space, a virtual domain, using nature and urban spaces as aesthetic objects to symbolize the experiences of contemporary urban life. It delves into the relationship between the body, digital technology, and urban spaces, presenting an experience and metaphor of urban life.
The artwork was displayed on Masons Screen from December 2022 to February 2023, running 24/7. The presentation involved embedding displays on the pedestrian walkway between the terrace and Lambton Quay, within the public space environment. "Prosperity or Emptiness" dissolved into the imperceptible murmurs and gazes, while the pedestrians' pauses and the flow of the city landscape further reflected the stillness and eternity of ruins.