ChinaSquare presents an exhibition by Alex Guofeng Cao, My All-Stars.
Confronting the viewer with a large-scale, imposing photographic image of a well-known iconic photograph, Cao connects the circuits of historical meaning by breaking down a memorable face into a grid of thousands of copies of a smaller, related image. Marilyn Monroe decomposes into strings of repeated pictures of JFK or the Mona Lisa; Brigitte Bardot dissolves into tiny reproductions of the Sistine Chapel’s Creation of Eve; Andy Warhol emerges from a sea of Mao’s. These finely produced photographic mosaics, inspired by Cao’s interest in similarly constructed works from Egyptian, Grecian and Roman antiquity, leverage the new technical possibilities of digital imagery, making the pixel itself a new, self-conscious carrier of meaning, not merely a structural support for expression. Cao takes this a step further, and the results are fascinating and often amusing history lessons!
The process of decomposing an original image allows it to re-emerge with a new lease on life, to be resurrected.