Wang Newone is a visual artist based in Shanghai. Her passion for online gaming and animation led her to explore the world of 3D modelling through the program Daz 3D and to creating her own digital art. Wang’s work is very anthropocentric, generally featuring close-ups of humanoid faces, with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Her aesthetic is much prettier and ornate than the work of many digital artists as she eschews the rough, pixel-heavy style of the 90s for a more streamlined look. Here Wang exhibits a selection of her work for King Kong, demonstrating the breadth of her curiosity and talent.
How and why did you start making CGI art?
My major at University was traditional Chinese painting. We were learning these intricate styles and techniques from thousands of years ago and all the while I didn’t even know how to use Photoshop. About two years ago I started teaching myself CGI after seeing some really impressive work by various artists. They showed me that CGI gives you the power to make things that you could never make with more traditional techniques. It’s like a new language, through which I can express a greater number of things.
Your images are highly stylised. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
It depends on what kind of things I’m most interested in at the moment. Most of the time it’s just a little detail, or something I’ve seen or heard. 98% of the objects I use in my work come from the program Daz 3D and I love those objects because they’re so cheesy and melodramatic, perhaps because the program is mainly aimed at people who are really into gaming, animation or porn. I get a lot of inspiration just from exploring the Daz 3D shop. I download the object from the Daz 3D database, then I will edit its shape and remould it until it resembles the fantasy in my head.
I think nowadays gaming and Cosplay are becoming increasingly influenced by fashion, in fact many people perceive my work as being very connected to fashion. Although it’s not my original intention, I am glad to hear that – I do think my pieces look good!
Would you ever consider making a music video or even a film?
Yeah, of course! Actually I started out making event posters and album covers for musicians. These days I’m focusing more on my 3D animation work, so I would be very interested in working with music producers and game programmers on interactive projects, combining animation and music.
Last year, Sevdaliza released a CGI video for her song ‘That Other Girl’; this year, people on the internet went crazy because they couldn’t decide whether instagrammer @lilmiquela was real or not. Why is this internet-aesthetic so hyped and popular?
This is a really good question. Personally I really don’t like @lilmiquela. Miquela and I both use Daz 3D and anybody who is familiar with the program will know that Miquela’s styling and posing is not unique at all. What she’s doing on Instagram is just copying the most boring aspects of daily life from around the world.
“Whether it’s real or not is not even the point anymore, given that most of stuff we consume these days comes from a screen anyway”
Lots of people are doing the same thing that she does on Instagram but @lilmiquela wins because people think that she’s not real, which is cool. So the question is, how can such a boring concept become so hyped and popular? I think it’s because right now there’s still a huge gap between the people who are into CGI and the people who are not familiar at all with how CGI works. The CGI community is still a relatively small group, so while they don’t question whether the effects they see are real or not, for the majority of people CGI is still such a new thing that they don’t know how to judge it. For me, whether it’s real or not is not even the point anymore, given that most of stuff we consume these days comes from a screen anyway.
There is an air of androgyny and artificial intelligence about your figures. How does computerised art lend itself to the exploration of future worlds?
I agree that most of my figures do have a kind of androgyny about them. I find that I have always liked things that are neutral-looking, ever since I was very young. But with regard to AI (Artifical Intelligence), I don’t think any of my work is trying to talk about that. Or, at least, when I am creating my work, I don’t think about AI or future worlds, it’s more like I’m using computers as an output for my interior fantasy world.
I feel as if I’m digging a dark, wired hole each time I’m working on a piece.
Is it fair to say that some of the artworks are quite uncanny?
Yeah, it is quite uncanny. I feel as if I’m digging a dark, wired hole each time I’m working on a piece. I just want to see how far I can go.
How do you want people to react to your art?
I never expect that. People will get different meanings from it anyway, so I prefer to just let it go.
Do you have a favourite piece of work?
No, I don’t. Each piece of my work is my favourite when it’s nearly finished and then, once it’s done and I’ve put it online, I’ve already started thinking about the next one.
All artwork by Wang Newone.