Renowned digital artist Lawrence Lek continues to stun the world with his innovative artworks with his latest work AIDOL. Delving into the fields of virtual reality and simulation, Lawrence creates site-specific virtual worlds and speculative films using a variety of digital software from gaming programming to 2D animation, and above all, his work is pretty breathtaking to view.
Exhibiting around the world from Hong Kong, Berlin, Glasgow and Seoul, Lawrence’s latest exhibition saw him take London in his stride with his first exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ in May 2019. Presenting his first feature-length film, AIDOL features an original score by the multi-disciplinary artist to go alongside the computer-generated fantasy world which tells the story of a fading superstar. Diva, the film’s protagonist, seeks the help of an aspiring AI songwriter to aid a comeback performance.
It’s the year 2065 and the eSports Olympic finale is set to take place with Diva’s performance taking centre stage. Touching on the complex relationships between humanity and artificial intelligence, as well as the allure and the emptiness of fame, Lawrence explores these contradictory roles in a post-AI world. And the visuals certainly do not disappoint.
For this strikingly original new work of art, the London-based artist adopted methods of 3D rendering, gaming software and motion capture technology to produce the philosophical film. A sequel to his 2017 film Geomancer, Lawrence draws on the visual language of video gaming, science fiction, corporate animation amongst others to inform the futuristic film. As a result, AIDOL is an immersive, hypnotic virtual reality accompanied by smooth electronic music which in turn, compliments the metallic visuals.
With cultural hints to modern South-East Asian culture, Lawrence provides glimpses of megabrands and super casinos within his otherworldly new reality. In the film, there’s a global conglomerate that takes a controlling force of the universe while its logo and headquarters act as a daunting symbol of the political leanings of the time.
While its visuals and settings are forward-facing, simultaneously, the film equally resonates with many preset day anxieties and tensions. As our culture steadily moves towards increasing digitalisation and a deeper reliance on AI, Lawrence’s deeply human work is a comment on the ever-complex contradictory relationship between our species and its creations.
About the Author
Jyni became a staff writer in March 2019 having previously joined the team as an editorial assistant in August 2018. She graduated from The Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Communication Design in 2017 and her previous roles include Glasgow Women’s Library designer in residence and The Glasgow School of Art’s Graduate Illustrator.