Liu Dao is an electronic art collective that works in multimedia techniques mainly involving LED, interactive components, photography, video, neon, sculpture and post-contemporary painting.
Liu Dao's LED art techniques draw from each member of the collective, involving actors, models, directors, choreographers, cameramen, and computer programmers. The information on the chip within the artwork is communicated by a signal passing through each LED unit, spreading like senses in the delicate framework of the human sensory system, through the physical world and into the mind. The images are presented in frames of all sizes as well as three-dimensional light towers featuring multi-surface displays.
An organic interaction between object and human is embedded in Liu Dao's interactive artworks: Shanghai's surging technological character is embraced and echoed in creations conceived in rumbling subways and high rises blinking with life in a landscape of concrete and metal that acts and reacts with resident humanity. LEDs light up with proximity, mirrors change reflections, stuffed animals speak, wooden masks laugh and videos respond to telephone calls, all through the use of light sensors, GSM modules, sonar range finders, microcontrollers, and IR sensors.
Liu Dao also incorporates all the cultural and aesthetic values of traditional photography into its innovative contemporary art productions. Antique negative collections are modified, mutated and merged using morphologist software, while untouched panoramas and radiograph images are combined with LED animation in collaborative projects. Elsewhere, avatar identities and personas are used to create or edit personal histories and modify historical Chinese imagery.
Evolutions to Liu Dao productions arise from modern sculpture techniques such as taxidermy, computer generated 3D blueprints, neon installations, wire-brushed stainless steel, light towers and renovated furniture, all of which are extensions and embodiments of collectively conceived ideas.
In recent years, Liu Dao has experimented with a series of video art projects. In its signature fusion style, video footage on LCD screens is surprisingly, yet meaningfully, integrated with more traditional Asian mediums. One such regularly used medium is Chinese papercutting, or Jianzhi (剪纸). This art form was invented and perfected in China during the Eastern Han Dynasty. It is a gorgeously classical representation of all things traditional and contrasts beautifully with these other more modern and technologically driven mediums. The result of these mixes between old and new is often a startling and evocative inquiry into the true meaning of "modernity" and "tradition," adding to Liu Dao's ongoing debate over the integrative and disruptive role of technology in our lives.
Given the ever changing advancements in technology, Liu Dao will always seek to use whatever devices available, in an artistic endeavour which aims to be innovative with as many facets of technology as possible. One of the latest enterprises involves Laser Artwork. The simplicity of the lines amalgamated with the complexity of the animation produces an effect which feels ethereal in its being. The result feels tangible but isn’t, Liu Dao seeks to play with your perceptions of reality by asking you to question it.
Seeking to inspire and delight our audiences not only through sight but also audibly the island6 team is known to incorporate sounds throughout our artwork and exhibitions. Sound Art has been incorporated into clocks, videos on canvas and throughout interactive pieces that require audience participation. This fusion of aesthetic and auditory senses leaves viewers laughing, bewildered and amused sometimes all at same time. So whether it’s a dog viciously barking (or sometimes even a man), police sirens whirling or a phone call to flirtatious woman island6 plays with your senses in our sensory overloaded and sometimes loud artwork.
Finally, Liu Dao’s post-contemporary painters and illustrators turn the world of oil-painting on its head with its paintings of digitized images – documenting the documented. This voyeuristic endeavor sets off a series of questions as artworks tumble down the rabbit hole. Which was the original art? The digital version, or the oil? Are they equal flag-bearers of contemporary art? In addition, the motifs of paintings shown in island6 have evolved alongside the development of the organization to depict facets of Chinese life from its citizens and architecture to collective subconscious thoughts and mythological folklore.