07 May 2024

Ulsan Museum of Art in Seoul Korea Acquires Chinese artist Yan Lei’s Reverie Reset Installation

The Ulsan Museum of Art in Seoul Korea recently acquired the large-scale installation Reverie Reset (2016-17) by Chinese artist Yan Lei. 

The Rêverie Reset system takes Yan Lei’s practice of dissolving images into concepts to a new level. The installation harnesses cutting-edge computational systems and networking technologies to reinforce the artist’s belief in the artificiality of representation and the insignificance of the image. It consists of a rotating cylindrical structure adorned with 80 digital displays. Each display is connected to a system programmed to constantly showcase images sourced from a local database and submitted by the audience via their mobile phones. 

When a visitor enters the space, they are prompted to connect to a WiFi network enabling them to directly engage with the sculpture. Whenever an image is uploaded to the system, the software processes it by calculating the average pixel colour and generating a textual description of the image using a local artificial neural network that mimics human-like language. After a few seconds, the screens simultaneously present the new image in a three-step narrative: the original image, the average flat colour, and the text describing the image. This information is stored in the local database for future use by the sculpture. In the absence of user connections and new image uploads, the rotating layers of screens continue to display random images from previous users.

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For more information about the artist, please visit the artist page.