Xin Li

The starting point of Xin Li’s series MAGIC WAND TOOL is the well-known Photoshop selection tool of the same name. For Xin Li, the tool is much more than a handy feature to edit images. It becomes a means to draw parallels with societal control and censorship during the COVID lockdowns in China.  

The magic wand tool selects areas of images based on colour and hue—allowing smart selection and quick manipulation of images. Enforced with machine learning, it nowadays easily predicts which objects a user would like to see selected. Xin Li uses the tool to distort images, obscuring their original meaning behind layers of other images, often of other artworks.  

For Xin Li, this process symbolises the mechanisms of hiding and revealing facts and fake news, regulating the flow of information and controlling the dominant narrative. Metaphorically captured in the overwhelming fusion of shapes and colours, the visually explosive works tempt the viewer to look what lies beneath the apparent chaos. 


Xin Li

Xin Li explains about his process behind the project MAGIC WAND TOOL


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