When a line is not just a line

It is the first time French visual artist Pascal Dombis has held a solo exhibition in China.
Under way at Bluerider ART Shanghai, a century-old historical building on the Bund, the exhibition "Deja Vu" features his iconic lines, text and images that are blended, overlapped, interlaced and juxtaposed together.
The variability inherent in the different elements combined is calculated based on several big databases of images he has set up over the years.
A graduate in engineering from Insa University in Lyon, France, and computer art study from Tufts University in the United States, Dombis creates unstable and dynamic visual works that deals with the excessive repetitions of technological processes.
The series "Irrational Geometrics" features lines of different colors that are stitched together regardless of their length – from a few centimeters to dozens of meters.
"People can stretch a line in every direction with many potentialities and variations. A line is not just a line: it is a whole story. It might even be the story of mankind," said Dombis, 56.
His latest work "I am not a robot" presents a series of artificial intelligence faces composed of thousands of real human faces with different skin colors, races, ages and nationalities, deliberately causing confusion about the boundary between reality and virtual space.
The 80-meter-long outdoor artwork "Double Connection" set up at Lujiazui Harbour City Exhibition Center in the Pudong New Area might be the artist's interpretation of randomness and unpredictability.
The glass installation comprises two large panels. On one side, there are colors printed in random. On the other, it is all white. Visitors get to see a proliferation of thousands of line-curve shapes, creating two different energy flows that radiate on all the surrounding urban space.
"This artwork features random line proliferation in random colors, layer by layer. Each layer is manually selected and adjusted in order to produce different rhythms," Dombis said.
Meanwhile, the images of pedestrians, vehicles and streets are all reflected onto the glass facade, creating a flowing, dream-like urban scene.
December 13, 2021
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