Leeum Museum of Art presents American artist Ian Cheng's first solo exhibition in Asia.

Leeum Museum of Art presents American artist Ian Cheng's first solo exhibition in Asia.

Through his pioneering works comprising virtual ecosystems created with artificial intelligence and game engine, Cheng creatively explores and philosophically contemplates the nature of human consciousness. Worlding is the first show to bring together all of the virtual worlds the artist has created. 

Included in the exhibition is the Emissaries trilogy (2015–2017), the unique series that brought Cheng to the attention of the international art world. In this live simulation, which the artist likens to a “video game that plays itself,” AI-based characters and environments are contained in a virtual ecosystem in which new, unforeseen events continuously arise. 

In BOB (Bag of Beliefs) (2018–2019), an artificial creature resembling a snake explores the inner workings of human consciousness. Just as every person has different sides and traits that can appear in a given situation, BOB consists of multiple artificial intelligences with various motives. Using the customised app, museum visitors are invited and encouraged to help form BOB’s personality and beliefs. 

Cheng’s newest work in the show is Life After BOB: The Chalice Study (2021), a feature-length animation co-commissioned by The Shed (New York), the LUMA Foundation, and Light Art Space, Berlin, with support from Leeum. Telling the story of Chalice Wong, a ten-year old girl with an AI “BOB” neural implant, this work reveals the artist’s imagining of a future in which humans and artificial intelligence coexist. After viewing the work, visitors can use a link to gain access to the interactive “World Watching” mode to explore Cheng’s animated world in even greater depth.

Leeum Museum of Art

60-16 Itaewon-ro 55-gil
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
South Korea

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