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JACKY TSAI | ‘Artificial Intelligence (Lenticular)’
March 19th 2024
Juxtaposing the past and present, and the East and West, Jacky Tsai skilfully and humorously dives into themes of impossible romance, political affairs and other current events. In his practice, the fast-paced, ever-changing world - where few can barely keep up with the rapid development of technology - is embraced rather than feared; continuously exploring how to combine traditional artworks with the latest mediums and their potential. Artificial Intelligence (lenticular) from 2018 shows Tsai’s innovative approach in a work directing the spotlight at machine learning, or AI, and its challenges, years prior to it becoming an everyday tool.
by Henrik Riis
PRINT EDITION RELEASE
A best use of artificial intelligence could be as simple as achieving victory in the enduring classic game of Weiqi. Tracing back two-thousand-five-hundred years, the ancient Eastern game, played with black and white stones, requires an unparalleled complex strategy by each player through the simplicity of moving the small components around a checkered wooden board. In this game, a lifetime of dedication to Weiqi has always been superior to the occasional player. Perhaps a simple game played with undistinctive stones demonstrates that the brilliance of humans is in the invention of the game, rather than playing it.

Visually juggling opposing views on current matters such as artificial intelligence, have been the key behind Tsai’s successful contemporary artistic practice during the past twenty years. His works often shape around themes of eastern versus western traditions; emerging as a reflection of his Chinese heritage and the experience of coming to the UK as a young art student. The underlying tone may seem serious-minded or sometimes even political, but the artist’s application of light-hearted and witty humour - using familiar imagery or characters in popular culture as a bridge to understanding clashing traditions - waters down any confrontational agenda. Whether on canvas or paper, or in lacquer or lenticular, Tsai presents his own unique twist to the pop-art genre through a narrative borrowed from film and television, classic literature and comic books, applied in bold graphic design and vibrant stylized patterns.
JACKY TSAI
Artificial Intelligence (Lenticular), 2018

Edition of 18
4 Artist Proof (APs)

100(w) x 100(h) cm
39.37(w) x 39.37(h) inches
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JACKY TSAI
Artificial Intelligence (Lenticular), 2018

Edition of 18
4 Artist Proof (APs)

100(w) x 100(h) cm
39.37(w) x 39.37(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Jacky Tsai (Chinese, b. 1984)
100(w) x 100(h) cm
39.37(w) x 39.37(h) inches
Lenticular

To see 3D MOVING IMAGE (10Mb file opens in new window), please click here.
Edition of 18
PRICE
$ 4,830.00
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In the work, Artificial Intelligence (lenticular), Tsai opens the discussion on AI by challenging the rationality of C-3PO - a well-loved droid from Star Wars - against a wise Eastern master. Sitting across from each other in a scenery typically seen on traditional imperial blue ceramics, the two players are surrounded by a tranquil landscape of rock formations and beautiful cherry trees, keenly stretching their branches out from the banks of a peaceful lake. However, a closer look quickly reveals a contemporary plot in a characteristic twist mastered by Tsai. Koi fish investigate a harp floating in the lake; x-Wing fighters race above their heads in the sky; and in the background the performing musicians are Storm Troopers sitting amongst the blooming cherry trees, playing the harp, bamboo flute and Jinghu; a Chinese bowed instrument originating from the Beijing Opera. As innocent as it seems, the gravity and potential downside of the new technology lurks in the corner. Everything and everyone are under strict surveillance by a security camera.

Artificial Intelligence (lenticular) exemplifies the artist’s practice of starkly contemporary imagery, such as Star Wars characters setting side by side with that of centuries-old Eastern arts and crafts. Here, in a distinctive modern-day style, Tsai expands beyond the contrasts of the contemporary West and the traditional East, and introduces the general theme of technology and AI. The arguments around AI centres on the understanding of the significant advantages it can bring to the world - solving challenging computer problems, helping build complex technology, or contributing to the medical sciences - versus the fear of the unknown. In this work, the artist encourages the viewer to engage with a multifaceted topic through a clever approach and the use of accessible imagery.

The somewhat controversial development of AI technology is one that is debated not just within the world of science, but also in art and philosophy because of the potential impact on all human lives.

Originally presented as a unique work on porcelain, the new lenticular medium adds a vibrant technological layer to the work, and by transforming it from a flat image to a three-dimensional moving picture it creates an almost hypnotic effect to Tsai’s surreal world. In front of the lenticular lens, the layers - shifting the flowers in the foreground relative to the backdrop - bring the image alive as C-3P0 raises his hand to his head in thought as the master makes his next move.

The movement of the image adds to the light humour of the scene being played out and opens up to the fantasy world that Tsai is creating. Equally matched in this game of wits, the droid and the wise old man are two characters playing in harmony, symbolising the artist’s belief that despite the debates, ‘Real-life Intelligence’ will eventually find a balance with AI.

One of the most challenging technological pieces coming from Jacky Tsai’s studio in London, Artificial Intelligence (lenticular) is one of three lenticular works from the thirty-four exclusive print editions released primarily on paper during the eight-year representation by Eyestorm between 2011 and 2018. The lenticular is an edition of 18, signed and numbered on a label on verso.

To view the print edition in further detail and to find more information about available works by Jacky Tsai, visit the artist’s page here.
 
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