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Eastern Margins, dedicated to creating physical spaces and events for the East Asian music community in London and beyond, will take over celebrated experimental venue Cafe OTO tonight, Tuesday 18 June, for three audiovisual presentations orbiting around the concept of Surveillance Reality: the reality of living in a surveillance state and the digital tools we use to survey our own reality and identity. The show comprises the diverse and complex outputs of artists bod [包家巷], Lawrence Lek and Jaeho Hwang.

Working under the pseudonym bod [包家巷], Nick Zhu is an audiovisual artist from Tucson, currently based in Berlin. Their work can be generalised to be theoretics on the technological and psychological, while individual units of releases and performance move deeper into the ever-dissolving boundary between art and the rest of life. Raised in a diasporic whirlpool of Chinese TV dramas, museum construction machinery and a cramped LA Koreatown apartment, bod [包家巷]’s work is a synthesis of their technological, psychological and personal existence. This debut UK show will be a preview of a forthcoming significant body of work.

Also presenting, Lawrence Lek is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in London who practices in the fields of virtual reality and simulation. He builds site-specific virtual worlds that integrate gaming software, 3D animation, installation and performance. By situating nonhuman characters and fictional artists within alternate versions of real places, his work reflects the impact of the technology on the politics of creativity. Debuted in Hong Kong, Lek will be performing a live playthrough of his open-world experience: 2065 – a video-game set somewhere between the URL and IRL, encompassing memories of his native Singapore, as well as Malaysia and Hong Kong.

Completing the roster, London-based, South Korean composer and visual artist Jaeho Hwang is inspired by the Buddhist concept of impermanent selfhood. His debut EP combines dark, industrial club beats with traditional Korean instruments and samples, like the piri bamboo flute, or the stringed kayagum. Hwang explores his sense of identity in the digital age as refracted through the concept of anatta, or non-self—the belief that there is no unchanging, permanent soul or essence in living beings.

18 June 2019, 7.30pm at Cafe OTO — book tickets here

Feature image: Limpid Fear [清澈恐惧] by bod [包家巷] (via KNIVES)

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