Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong: Wish
Wish is an interactive audiovisual website which emulates the experiences of yearning for honesty, earnestness and intimacy on the internet. This artwork acts a response to Marcus Whale’s and Craig Stubb-Race’s Optic; where their work explores the ideas of identity and self discovery through screens as a slick, highly sensual experience, Wish is a hopeful dissection of the internet as a tool for expressing one’s self through vulnerability and tenderness. Drawing influences from early 2000’s tech aesthetics, Asian UI design, Super Mario Galaxy, Animal Crossing, Virtual Self, and the work of Mai Yamashita and Naoto Kobayashi, this work is an attempt to reframe the internet as a method of tracking human desires and hopes.
When users land on the website, they will be introduced to a starry night sky. Occasionally, glowing neon stars will tumble through the screen. Users will be prompted by a text box to enter their wish. As users type in their wish, sparse and cascading piano plays in the background, grounding them in the contemplative nature of the experience. When the wish has been submitted, stars will begin shooting through the sky, signalling their wish has been sent into the aether. In a section called the Wishing Tree, users can see wishes of others, displayed anonymously on rectangular tags, drawing reference to the custom of tying wishes to trees during the Tanabata festival.
Alvin Ruiyuan Zhong is a Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary artist working across illustration, projection art and CGI. His work often invokes feelings of nostalgia, wonder and child-like joy. He brings aboard a sense of schoolyard antics into his art-making, often blending the aesthetics of hyper-masculine rave culture and the saccharine cuteness in kawaii culture to investigate his surroundings.
Wish is commissioned by 4A and curated by the Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.