The first examples of robotic art existed in China as far back as the Han Dynasty with the development of a mechanical orchestra for use in theatrical performance. Such scenes included flying automatons, mechanized birds and fish, angels and dragons all hydraulically activated for the amusements of emperors. Soon after, robotic prototypes were dreamed and created as not only a means for entertainment, but as a tool to facilitate people with various tasks. A curious account on automata found in the Lie Zhi text speaks of the mechanical engineer Yan Shi who creates a life-size, human shaped servant for King Mu of Zhou. Fast forward thousands of years and we meet Xianxingzhe, a more recent Chinese reincarnation of the bipedal robotic humanoid. Xianxingzhe, meaning forerunner in Mandarin, was arguably not so popular at first. Skeptics criticized his large and boxy appearance and various comic spoofs were created to the dismay of his creators. But now, Liu Dao has brought him back. He may look cute, clumsy and innocent, but this powerful and swift robotic assassin can shoot LED lasers towards anyone who meets him with cynicism. Don't test him, his sense of humor has run short…
MEDIA RGB LED display, acrylic painting, paper collage, teakwood frame
DATE Made in island6, Shanghai 2013
SIZE 48(W)×67(H)×5(D) cm | 19(W)×26.4(H)×2(D) inches
CREDITS Jin Yun 金云 (painting) • Thomas Charvériat (art direction & technical guidance) • Anto Lau (art direction & animation) • Guan Yan 官彦 (production supervisor) • Yeung Sin Ching 杨倩菁 (production supervisor) • Jean Le Guyader (documentation)
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