Pixinity: Pop-Futurism

Pixinity is open now at 1 York Street NYC | Entrance on the corner of 6th Ave & Laight St

The immersive art exhibition Pixinity, which is by the New York based international artist Tianyu Qiu, features all-new works. The pixel is the smallest element that represents the visible world. The concept for the exhibit is inspired by both the esthetic of gaming pop cultural images and a systemic visual language. We now live in the merge of a digital world and the material world, and Pixinity is a digitized world brought to life in the physical world. The artist uses immersive spaces as a medium to communicate with the viewers and to reflect how much we are integrated in the digital realm.

There is also a personal story behind the creation of Pixinity: Qiu’s sister is autistic and she can’t communicate verbally. The internet and the iconic graphic symbols located in this exhibition help her to communicate. With this installation, Qiu created a playground for everyone to have fun and enjoy. In collaboration with the non-profit organization Autism Speaks (www.autismspeaks.org) this exhibition aims to help raise social awareness of autism and part of the sales will be donated to help autism researchers and patients.

The exhibit is surrounded by a mural that consists of 64 different shades of pink. Pink is a color that implies a sign of hope. Both from the inside and the outside of the pop up, the color pink is the core energy that leads the way. When coming to Pixinity, first one enters at “9102” which is a tunnel of time. It is not the same when we travel from one point to another if when you move through the space the vision directs the movement. This grid tunnel leads travelers into the exhibit.

The first room is entitled “We Are All Minions.” Our feelings get summarized into simple emojis like those in this room. In the world of social media emojis are easy to neglect, yet they are a good representation of how we communicate in the modern age. The minions also represent how simple and quick our communication has become. The facial expressions of these minions are only partial instead of full faces. They are missing noses or eyes or mouth, raising awareness of those who suffer from autism who are limited in the ways they can express themselves.

The next room is called “A Digital Garden.” Qiu brings travelers of Pixinity back into life by creating an engineered version of a garden. The garden is created with pixels that take inspiration from popular gaming cultures that simulate organic life forms that are then transplanted and reconstructed into a digital world. You get the feeling of both the garden as well as recognizing the online games (like Minecraft) from which these images come.

Next we come to “Start a Shining Day,” full of pixelated breakfast food. An avocado, an egg, a sandwich and a milk box are all built in larger than life size so travelers are submerged into a happy kitchen setting. You can interact with these oversize pixelated foods and it’s a great spot to take wonderful photos.

The next three spaces play off each other. First, there’s “Micro Universe” which consists of many mirror reflective cubes with flower patterns which also have LED lights built-in them. Multiple layers of glowing effect of the lights and shadows harmonize the whole room. Each cube is different and is its own universe but becomes a whole by combining altogether. “Future Memory” is an immersive installation where projected video creates a digital realm with a grid of pixels and particles. The most popular Instagram words are repeatedly floating in the digital grid space. The words are sorted by using Big Data. The mirrors on both sides reflect the videos, creating a sublime digital space which encourages people to think about their relationship with technology. The trilogy culminates with “Shh, Touch the Darkness” where the room is completely lit with black light and lines are created with thin ropes painted with UV reactive paint. They create an abstract painting in the space and travelers become immersed as part of the drawing.

Next we come to “Sending a Love Note,” where a heart shaped symbol, one of the most iconic symbols in human history is the focus. The design of the heart that we know is not a true representation of the human heart but is an ideograph that expresses the idea of the heart in a metaphorical sense of emotion and love. The heart is similar to the emojis we saw before which are widely used to express emotions and also communicate language. The heart today has become a social media as well. The pixelated heart with pixelated wings represents the artist’s message of sending love to the world and people can take photos of the heart and actually send them to the rest of the world.

Then we enter “Hello New York City” New York City has been the capital of art and fashion. This room is the transition back to the outside as you are surrounded by a miniature NYC.

As you exit the exhibit you meet “Born to Shine”, a major piece of the exhibit that is meant to raise social awareness for autism and to honor and encourage everyone that anyone is meant to shine. The mirror combinations are repetitive, reflecting the words and the viewers look at the work and then the two merge together. The Pixinity team has started a special program called born to shine which collaborates with various non profit social organizations to support the community. Different groups of autistic children visit the exhibit at designated times to enjoy in an atmosphere they can handle.

Pixinity is a really beautifully conceptualized and designed exhibit. To see what a young artist (with an MFA from Parsons) can stage on their own is really amazing.

Pixinity is open till November 8. Tickets can be purchased at https://www.showclix.com/event/pixinity-general-admission?_ga=2.3339250.351366932.1565127352-1328592646.1565127352

More information is available at https://www.pixinity.co/