Miao Ying – Evil Words
Evil Words by Miao Ying
Miao Ying is the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists who grow up with the internet, one-child policy, Chinese economic reform, and educated in both China and the West. She is best known for her projects and writings around the Chinese internet online culture and her Stockholm Syndrome with censorship. Her practice juxtaposes western technology and ideologies with contemporary China, highlights the new modes of politics, aesthetics, and consciousness created during the representation of reality through technology. Her works inhabit multiple forms including websites, machine learning software, VR, installations, paintings, etc; She is based in New York and Shanghai.
Evil Words Series juxtaposes the ever-expanding reality of technology to the constraints of censorship specifically in China. The series is based upon 2,000 censored terms that Miao Ying unearthed in her graduate project, which she's revisited in the for of NFTs. For three months, she spent 10 hours a day searching words from a Chinese dictionary. Miao Ying has named the NFT project Evil Words (2021) after Google's former motto 'don't be evil'. Subsequently, Google ultimately abandoned China in 2010, leading other platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and many other sites to be inaccessible. For Miao Ying, she believes this has a substantial impact on the developing youth.
As an entirety, Miao Ying states China has a higher level of technology. The rapid movement and quick changes of words in Miao's NFTs reflect the constant expansion and dissemination of information. However, to Miao, how information is administered has become more sophisticated and insidious within China. The words on Miao's list are sometimes predictable terms related to politics or religion. Other times they are surprising, words that had been flagged temporarily for indiscernible reasons. Overall, Evil Words reflects a gap of information in the youngest Chinese generation's lives.