“A Chemical Love Story” was a visual and conceptual polyphony displaying the work of nine Chinese artists, all under forty, working in a wide variety of media, including video, installation, painting, photography, and performance, and drawing on international experiences and approaches thanks to education abroad and internationally oriented résumés. The show’s starting point was Alexander and Ann Shulgin’s book, PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story (1991), which focuses on psychoactive phenylethylamine chemical derivatives, notably those that act as psychedelics and are associated with euphoria. As the curatorial statement explains, the hallucinatory experiences induced by these drugs stimulate the cerebral cortex directly, producing a parallel reality. Yet this second reality is merely a shadow destined to fade into disappointment and emptiness. The same delusion is generated by digital
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