• Issue
  • Jan 02, 2024

The Artists of 2023: Tishan Hsu

Portrait of TISHAN HSU. Courtesy the artist.

In a world where digital devices dominate the means of communication and disrupt the exchange of information, ideas, and images, the nuanced alteration of our perceptions caused by such high exposure to virtuality can at times seem abstract and intangible. Boston-born artist Tishan Hsu has attempted to grapple with the impact of technology on our bodies for more than three decades. His visual works at once incorporate surrealistic elements of television and communication devices, reimagining the human face and limbs in a unique, morphological style, much of which predates internet aesthetics by a decade or more. And having studied environmental design and architecture at MIT, Hsu roots the technological presence in his practice in his interest in mass media and film. His sculptural installation Virtual Flow (1990–2018), for example, features two glass trays on a hospital cart with an eye painted on one and what appear to be bits of flesh hanging off both; the tray is attached by a wire to a TV monitor (also on wheels) covered in skin-colored tiles.