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Blending Tech and Tradition in Chinese Digital Art

RADII STUDIOStwo-part documentary: veteran and rising artists discuss digital tech’s impact on art creation and consumption

Tech. Tradition. Art.

Discover ancient traditions meeting modern technology as rising stars Du Kun and Dabeiyuzhou show their skills in episode one. In the second installment, veteran artists Xu Bing and Zhang Huan introduced new dimensions to their craft by embracing AI.

Meet the Artists

Xu Bing


Xu Bing is a celebrated artist known for his innovative use of language, calligraphy, and mixed-media installations, challenging traditional conceptions of communication and cultural identity

Zhang Huan


Zhang Huan is a renowned artist whose thought-provoking works explore themes of spirituality and the human condition through a range of mediums including performance art, sculpture, and photography.



Lin Kunhao, or Dabeiyuzhou, dives into Eastern religious concepts and cyberpunk through his art.

Du Kun


Du Kun is a rock musician and painter who combines traditional Chinese painting and modern music.

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China’s Digital Renaissance

From AI Buddhas to electronic ink paintings

This episode delves into how technology has changed the way young Chinese artists create their works. We explore how new mediums and digital tools help them rediscover their own traditions, redefine them for contemporary times, and reshape the narrative around the long-misunderstood Chinese culture.

“A growing number of young digital artists are drawing inspiration from their native language and culture. This trend not only offers a creative advantage, but also a practical one, as it allows them to easily tap into the environment in which they grow up.”

Buddhist Themes Merged With Cybernetic Visuals

Dabeiyuzhou captivates audiences with his unique blend of Buddhist themes and cybernetic visuals. He is known for his Virtual Butterflies and AI Buddhists.

His art bridges the gap between tradition and technology and imagines a future where humans and computers are completely synergized.

Virtual Butterfly, Chinese digital art

Virtual Butterflies (2019)

“Modern digital technology is precise and rarely makes mistakes, unlike humans who are prone to errors. Beauty lies in flaws, twists, and happy accidents, making our mistakes the raw material for the artistic expression of our humanity.”

Rock Music Meets Chinese Painting

Du Kun often incorporates music, Chinese architecture, landscapes, and calligraphy elements into his paintings.

For example, his Revels of the Rock Gods depicts monumental, temple-like portraits of Chinese rock musicians, while Scores of Landscapes turns music composition into traditional Chinese landscape paintings.

Going Upstairs (2021)

Will AI Kill Art?

Two Top Artists from China Beg To Disagree

Should artists fear AI or embrace it? Two famous Chinese artists weigh in on the latest technology and how it affects the way we create and consume art. Xu Bing and Zhang Huan talk about how they’ve experimented and pushed the boundaries of art by using AI, and what’s still considered art in this age of superintelligence. 

“Before, being an artist meant you were very good at painting. Now art and technical skills like that one are no longer tightly linked. The more AI technology develops, the more it gives me space and time to reflect.”

The First Film Produced by AI Based on Audience’s Prompts

This film was developed by Xu Bing and a team of AI developers. It reacts to the audience’s prompts in real time and changes its plot, style, and characters accordingly.

The experiment was made with early language learning models and reflected how human emotions and knowledge can influence artistic creation.

Artificial Intelligence Infinite Film (AI-IF) Project (2017)

“Technology entirely depends on how you use it. If you use it well, it pushes people in the right direction. If you don’t, it hampers us.”

NFT Meets Performance Art and Tibetan Buddhist Rituals

Zhang Huan’s non-fungible token (NFT) series The Celestial Burial of an Artist is based on one of his most iconic performances My New York.

Virtual audiences were invited to be part of this NFT performance artwork by taking turns to get rid of Zhang’s avatar in a virtual reproduction of the Tibetan sky burial, a funeral practice where human corpses are placed on top of a mountain and eaten by vultures.

The Celestial Burial of an Artist (2021)

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