Parafactual narratives, I should define, is content that treats reality as if it’s fiction — or perhaps, living reality FOR the camera, in constant anticipation of how it can be edited and inserted into a narrative arc, hyperstitially performing itself as linear reality. I think we all know that truth is always somewhat stranger than fiction, especially after watching shows like Tiger King and Rea(L)ove — that fiction is only as weird as spiced-up reality. The task for the artist at hand is to invent the reality.

–– Zhiyi Cao

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How is everyone doing in this time of quarantine? We can’t physically meet our friends anymore, but social life is not dead. We try our best to continue having fun and staying creative, taking all these even more to the virtual world. Today, we have video artist Zhiyi Cao on the show to talk about digitisation and fictionalisation in the context of art. We will cover the current trends in living our lives through avatars, and use Zhiyi’s works to unpack the topics of digitisation and fictionalisation. Browse through some key visuals and content of our podcast discussion in the post below (with timestamps to each section!). …

Xi Li (Cici)is a photographer and multimedia artist from Suzhou, China, who is currently based in California, USA. Her photography works explore our perceptions of mundane everyday scenes and objects; her lens is calm and inquisitive. Cici’s love for food in their natural form prompted her to start Arbitrary Mealtimes, a project sharing recipes and delving into the visual imagery of food art and advertising. …

Meiting Song is a graphic design and motion graphics artist based in New York and Beijing. Her works exude the fun and exciting energy of early 2000s Asian pop culture and embraces girlishness in their character designs and color palettes. She is currently finishing her final semester at School of Visual Arts (SVA) in NYC.

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From short animation Garden

In this radio-style conversation originally recorded in Chinese, Meiting talks about how she developed a simple aesthetic for her digital designs through the process of silkscreen printing, finding the relationship between colors blocks. She also shares her influences looking back on the nostalgia of 90s and y2k aesthetic shared between her Asian friends, where the common language of communication is English but the visual language of shared pop cultural knowledge transcends words. …

In China, copying is not at all bad. There is a term “Fu Zhi Pin,” referring to copies of things made with such craft and exactitude that it is worthy of study in a museum. Fast forward to 21st Century and contemporary Chinese domestic space. Copying, or maybe copy pasting, is celebrated, but in a different way. The trend of plastering wallpapers of digitally rendered nature and blog space backgrounds onto walls and floors of Chinese home is an intriguing one. How did the copying of Western architecture in residential communes and homes lead to saturated, digital wallpaper and Karaoke style lighting design to be the preferred taste of the older generation? …

If you have ever questioned the integrity of a photograph, Museum of Modern Art’s Seeing Through Photographs might be the course for you. This six-week online course on Coursera gives you access to video interviews with artists, curated reading lists, and a comprehensive lesson plan that will enhance your visual literacy. You can access all the course materials for free, or pay a subscription to get a certificate upon completion of the course. As a photographer, I found the theory helpful in deepening my understanding of photographs; looking at other artists’ works also gave me ideas for projects of my own. …


Yi Jing Fly

Photographer and podcast host of Framing Visual Culture. My passion is in discovering beauty and understanding society.

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