New Media and Contemporary Artworks
In the history of art, certain persons and works have achieved iconic status, rendering them instantly recognizable and quintessential of an epoch. Leonardo da Vinci is paradigmatic of such figures, embodying a profound convergence of aesthetic, scientific and engineering inquiry. Herein lies the secret of his eternal relevance; he remains a perpetual testament to what human creativity can encompass and achieve.
This exhibition at City University of Hong Kong, in partnership with the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, provides Hong Kong visitors with an unprecedented opportunity to engage with Leonardo’s famous drawings that reveal the fecund workings of his imagination and the sublime skill of his draftsmanship. These sheets offer enormous insight into his intellectual and aesthetic processes and reveal Leonardo as researcher - someone who is probing, exploring and questioning in order to arrive at a specific goal, be it artistic, theoretical, or mechanical.
It is therefore pertinent to look at how contemporary artists are pursuing such modes of inquiry, here inspired by the works of Leonardo. The curatorial project of CityU’s tenth exhibition is to span the centuries separating our artistic and scientific worlds from those of Leonardo by bringing together 12 artworks in parallel with Leonardo’s 12 drawings. Done by artists mainly from the CityU School of Creative Media, these works intentionally show varying degrees of proximity to Leonardo’s creations, while demonstrating an aesthetic and creative process grounded in technical (technological) and scholarly (experimental) inquiry. It is this humanistic understanding of science and technology that allows Leonardo and like-minded researchers to bridge the yawning gap between the humanities and science today.