Starting from 2002, Miao Xiaochun began to create large, colorful photographs with the help of digital technology. While these works evoke earlier themes and images: the deepening commercialization of Chinese society, the solitude of the ancient gentleman, and the contrast between traditional and contemporary culture, their increasingly complex compositions reflect the artists heightened attraction to stylistic and technical innovations. Digital technology allows him to realize in photography this artistic vision derived from traditional painting, as he can weave numerous images into a single composition, creating subtle tensions and transitions unattainable with a conventional camera.
In his most recent work “The Last Judgement” Miao Xiaochun has generated a 3-D model of his body and substituted his image for each of the 400 figures in Michelangelo’s painting. Using software to manipulate the model into different positions, he then integrated these 3-D figures into a virtual space based on Michelangelo’s composition. He could then travel within the painting like a tourist, taking photos as he went along, from within the pictorial frame as well as from without. The artist worked with three assistants for six months to create these works.