With her project „Chinternet Plus“, Chinese internet artist Miao Ying uses irony to follow the “Chinternet,” the Chinese Internet and its Great Firewall. Miao Ying’s “Chinternet Plus” is an allusion to “Internet Plus,” a strategy that was proposed by China’s Premier of the State Council, Li Keqiang, in 2015. Its goal is to apply cloud computing and big data to traditional industries with an aim of rebooting them and was introduced shortly after China’s economy began to falter.
China's Great Firewall filters certain foreign websites and webpages, while the government and commercial censors block and delete content. Domestic platforms soak up traffic that would normally go to globally popular sites, if they were not blocked or otherwise rendered difficult to use. Thus, Weibo replaces Twitter, Baidu takes the place of Google, YouKu stands in for YouTube, and so on. Chinese internet users (netizens) also joke that what they are accessing is not the internet, but the Great Chinese LAN (the local area network). The Great Firewall and censorship have led to the development of unique online subcultures and codes for working around authorities. A wave of young artists has also drawn inspiration from this political situation and the creative subversions it has fostered. “The limit of the Chinese internet is what sets it free,” says Miao Ying.
Miao’s project “Chinternet Plus” is what she describes as the official unveiling of a “counterfeit ideology,” a parodic take on the original strategy of “Internet Plus”. The work is essentially a guide for how to brand an insubstantial idea, suggesting that, in the case of political branding in particular, media can easily stand in for the message. Her works involve a sense of humor and intelligence, and they inhabit multiple forms (the browser, apps, print, and installation). They are also all meticulously cataloged on her website titled “the dead pixel of my eye”, and focus on the online culture behind the so-called Great Firewall, specifically its strange and original GIFs and viral media.
Chinternet How: A Love Story” is a pair of advertising stands lighted from above, composed of illustrations, advertising slogans, and the logo. It acts as an introduction to the brand new ideology “Chinternet How,” which specializes in relationships with the ideology. The advertisement work has a “Wiki-how” in the style of a how to guide and amateur illustrations, and it demonstrates situations you might face when accessing the Chinternet, such as: “How to get rid of a Stockholm Syndrome” relationship that you accidentally developed when using the Chinternet.
Miao Ying, born in 1985 in Shanghai, resides on the internet, the Chinese internet (the Great Firewall) and her smartphone. She received her BFA from the China Academy of Fine Art’s New Media Arts Department, and her MFA from the School of Art and Design at NYSCC at Alfred University, with a focus in Electronic Integrated Arts. In 2015, she represented China at the Venice Biennale (Chinese Pavilion). Her work was featured for the first time at Art Basel Hong Kong 2016 by Galerie nächst St. Stephan Rosemarie Schwarzwälder.