aaajiao, is the online handle of Xu Wenkai, a Shanghai-based new media artist, avid blogger and free thinker.
Born in 1984, aaajiao grew up in Xi’an, the ancient capital of Qin and Han Dynasty known for the Terracotta Army. The year of 1984, coinciding with George Orwell’s dystopian masterpiece, seems to explain the perfect alignment between the vivid SciTech-driven imagination and the sometimes-poetic sophistication, frequently seen as the main theme of aaajiao’s work. Many of aaajiao’s works tap into the most current trends of thoughts around the Internet sphere, with a focus on the emerging controversies and phenomenon related to data processing, blogsphere/wemedia and filtered information. In his most recent projects, the artist has adopted a more extended scope of practices, borrowing elements from architecture, electronic music, performance arts, product design, even medicine, to portray the young generaton harnessing the power of cyber technology and the ever-present social media.
Being one of the most frequently exhibited Chinese new media artists, aaajiao has been featured in both international and domestic scenes. Highlights include: Global Control And Censorship, ZKM∣Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany(2015), The 2nd “CAFAM Future” Exhibition: Observer-Creator The Reality Representation of Chinese Young Art, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China (2015); Cosmos - Limited and Limitless, Existence and Co-existence Shanghai, 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China (2014), Thingworld - International Triennial of New Media Art, The National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China (2014), The West Bund Architecture and Contemporary Art Biennale, Shanghai (2013); “One World” Exposition – Chinese Art in the Age of the New Media, Videotage, Hong Kong (2011), etc. aaajiao is a winner of the Jury Prize from Art Sanya Awards 2014, a nominee of OCAT – Pierre Huber Art Prize, and most recently, a nominee of the “Young Artist of the Year” of 9th “Award of Art China”.