PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 May, 2008, 12:00am

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Hong Kong Museum of Art

Curated by Ellen Pau, a fixture on the new media scene, this show sets out to explore the dialogue between technology, culture and art. It's an ambitious undertaking and perhaps a good starting point for those unfamiliar with artistic applications of electronic media. But it makes for a sprawling exhibition somewhat lacking in thematic cohesion.

So we have diagnostic radiologist Fung Kai-hung's luridly coloured computed tomography images of the human body jostling with a minimalist conceptual work by Ho Siu-kee, a seemingly endless video of a golden pin the length of his face being slowly hammered out on an anvil to reach his full body height.

Then there's Francis Lam's db-db loves you, which seems to be little more than a plug for his social networking website, a few steps from Henry Chu's topical Security Machines (right), which mimics the gaze of security cameras by screening digitised images of the viewer suggestive of facial-recognition surveillance technology, breaking down their individuality into streams of Matrix-style code.

There are other strong works including Qiu Anxiong's animation, The New Sutra of the Mountains and the Oceans, which, despite its blunt political allegory, is a nightmarish journey through a Hobbesian universe of perpetual conflict populated with animals and birds morphed into weapons of war.

Of an altogether more academic bent are five pieces under the banner of the Writing Machine Collective. Some of them are interactive and cleverly interrogate notions of textual representation.

But it's ironic that the most memorable works in this technology-heavy show seem outwardly to be the least sophisticated. And perhaps that's unintentionally the point: to show that for all the gadgetry, and the possibilities for infinite inquiry into the nature of the artistic medium, there's no substitute for simply having something to say.

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