Peach Blossom Shangri-La 2.0

  • Peach Blossom Shangri-La 2.0 is an interactive mixed reality installation speculating egalitarian cultural exchange mediated through the internet. The piece is an updated revision of the ancient Chinese political text Peach Blossom Shangri-La.  Through riffing on tropes of techno-Orientalism and appropriating/decolonizing sections of verse from Ezra Pound's Cathay, the piece forms an updated eroticized text that hints to a speculative space of cultural fluidity. The piece also employs Oliver Laric's YuanMingYuan plinth 3d scans through 3d printing them as the controllers to navigate the space. Timothy Wang and I are interested in using Laric's plinth as a symbol/logo for speculative egalitarian exchange.
     
    The plinths have an interesting back story, they are originally looted from the Yuan Ming Yuan gardens in China(though interestingly these Chinese plinths were in the western wing of the garden aimed to mimic Greek plinths) and donated to the Norway Kode museum. Recently a Chinese tycoon donated a large sum of money in exchange for the plinths to be 'gifted' back to China which caused much controversy, since under international law, China technically has the ownership to it and buying it back legitimizes the looting as rightful acquirement. Oliver Laric's 3d scanning of the plinths and making it available for free to download is a symbolic gesture of circumventing the geopolitical cultural ownership dialogue and thinking about it in terms of global/digital citizens. Thus we are interested in using these plinths as a symbol of our speculative space. They reoccur both as 3d models in the oculus plinth as well as 3d printed plinths in the physicial sculpture where the viewer touches to navigate the oculus environment.