The Stockholm Syndrome relationship that Miao Ying has developed with China forms the core of her recent work. As a coping mechanism to live with the fact of developing a traumatic bonding with the totalitarian power during the intimate time spent together, Miao Ying has twisted her defense mechanism of the ego under stress, convincing herself it is all tough love after all—being cruel to be kind. These sentimental feelings are not strictly for show, however. Since she often fears that her affection will be perceived as fake, she eventually begins to believe that her positive sentiments are genuine. The Stockholm Syndrome is reflected throughout her most recent solo projects, “Chinternet Plus” commissioned by the New Museum, New York and “Hardcore Digital Detox” commissioned by M+ Museum, Hong Kong. As a member of the first generation who grew up with the open policy of China and the Internet, her work has always reflected the technology of our time and modern China addressed with a thread of humor.
In the work “Blind Spot” (2007), Miao Ying spent three months, ten hours a day, checking each term from a 1,869 page standard Mandarin dictionary to indicate 2,000 search terms that were censored in China from google.cn. The exhibition will reveal for the first time, a selection of these words censored in “Blind Spot” as paintings. A new video, “Love's Labour's Lost,” is commissioned by the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, UK. The title is taken from William Shakespeare's early comedy and is a documentary of the artist stealing love locks from Paris, the city of love. The love locks were first invented by the Chinese and spread all over the world when individual Chinese were allowed to travel privately since the 1990s. Lock picking is like using VPN servers in China, and the process of training herself to pick locks is parallel to the labour spent in Blind-Spot (words censored from google.cn). Also included will be new sculptures, “Love’s Little Spank”, five wooden instruments with colored ropes for a dungeon, and Trump’s prototype walls in petite portable, Asian style folding screens. The exhibition overall has a romantic atmosphere.
Miao Ying takes part with a new commissioned work in the exhibition Chinese Whispers. Recent Art from the Sigg Collection, which will open on January 29, 2019 at MAK Museum für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. She also will participate in the panel discussion (with Ai Weiwei among others), taking place at 6 p.m. before the opening.