Lawrence Lek (陆明龙) is a London-based simulation artist known for his CGI films, soundtracks, and immersive virtual worlds, often set within a Sinofuturist cinematic universe. His work explores worldbuilding as a form of collage, incorporating historical and imaginary elements to develop speculative fictions based on the perspective of the Other. Recent exhibitions include Farsight Freeport, HeK, Basel (2019); Ghostwriter, CCA Prague (2019); Nøtel, UKR, Essen (2019); 2065, K11, Hong Kong (2018). Soundtrack releases include Temple OST (The Vinyl Factory, 2020) and AIDOL OST (Hyperdub, 2020). In 2021, he received the LACMA Art + Technology Lab Grant and the 4th VH Award Grand Prix. Lek holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art, and is represented by Sadie Coles HQ, London.
SoMA (Extract from AIDOL, 2019), 2019, 07’47”
SoMA (School of Machine Art) is an extract from Lawrence Lek’s first feature-length film, AIDOL 爱道, a CGI science fiction musical that forms the sequel to his acclaimed film Geomancer (2017). Deploying 3D rendering and video gaming software, AIDOL tells the story of Diva – a fading superstar preparing for a comeback performance at the 2065 ‘eSports Olympics’ – and Geo, an AI with artistic yearnings.
Set in a smoke-and-mirrors realm of fantastical architecture, sentient drones and snow-deluged jungles, AIDOL revolves around the long and complex struggle between humanity and Artificial Intelligence. Fame – in all its allure and emptiness – is set against the bigger contradictions of a post-AI world, a world where originality is sometimes no more than an algorithmic trick and where machines have the capacity for love and suffering. Contemporary anxieties and fixations – the rise of AI, the formulaic dictates of celebrity, the hegemony of technological giants – are refracted through a quixotic prism. AIDOL is accompanied by a score composed and orchestrated by the artist.