Miao Xiaochun is renowned for his photographs of contemporary China, vast cityscapes which record technological development, painting an alien view of his homeland and envisioning a new dynastic era.
In his latest body of work, The Last Judgement in Cyberspace, Miao Xiaochun appropriates Michelangeloâ€™s Sistine Chapel fresco as territory for similar provocation. Developed on computer, Miao has built a virtual model of the Apocalypse, architecturally structuring the tiers of Christian afterlife. Replacing each of the 400 figures in Michelangeloâ€™s iconic work with his own image and placing them in corresponding pose and position to the original painting, Miao â€˜photographsâ€™ the scene from various vantages, â€˜documentingâ€™ the Second Coming from viewpoints both within and outside of the scene.
Printed in black and white. Miaoâ€™s photos conceive the celestial as a silvery futuristic tableau thatâ€™s enchantingly serene and threateningly industrial. In combining the sublime awe of religious painting with malevolent science fiction theme, Miao uses photography to engage the viewer in an ultra-modern way. In using digital process to create his subject â€˜from scratchâ€™, Miaoâ€™s photographs authenticate a virtual world rather than document reality. Similar to video game graphics and â€˜screen shotsâ€™, Miaoâ€™s images involve the viewer by casting them as â€˜avatarsâ€™ within the action. Presenting his scenes at obscure angles, Miao positions the viewer as seraphs, saints, or in the case of The Below View, the damned.