Lisha Nie



Inanimate Reason



2021.07.24 - Next Exhibition





The massive structure denotes a seemingly rational certainty,


an impossible certainty.


Do you remember the sounds of the sea,


and their utter emptiness?


They are neither meaningful,


nor meaningless.


They are acoustic waves with unprecedented movements.


They are timeless, fluid, iterative but non-identical.


Above all,


They cannot be thoroughly described, calculated, and imitated.




Inanimate Reason borrows the name from Karl Gottlieb von Windisch’s Letter

Compilation about Mechanical Turk - a fake chess - playing robot constructed

in the late 18th century. As a spectator, he revealed this mechanical illusion

step by step in the letters. After the exposure of the secret, Mechanical Turk had

been kept in the Chinese Museum in Philadelphia. Due to a big fire in 1854, the

illusion only left us a piece of ashes. Silas Weir Mitchell wrote in The Last of a

Veteran Chess Player “the words of our departed friend, the sternly whispered,

oft-repeated syllables, Échecs! Échecs!" Échecs has another meaning

in French - failure.




Inanimate Reason is the first solo exhibition in China by Nie Lisha. By utilizing

video, sound, computer-based media, and installation, Lisha Nie creates non-linear

and non- linguistic ways of storytelling. Digital production is a recurrent foreground

in Lisha’s work, in which she critically examines its usage and circulation in the

power systems and daily life. Thriving from personal history and contemporary

environments, her recent works explore the relationship between individual and

collective in technologically mediated society from the perspectives of

totalitarianism and late capitalism, as well as their existential impacts.




Lisha Nie was born in Chongqing, China, holds a BFA in Painting from

Rhode Island School of Design. Her recent exhibitions include

Paradise Palase (New York, USA); Times Art Museum (Chengdu, China),

Woods- Gerry Gallery (Providence, RI), Jiade Art Center (Beijing, China),

Wanying Art Museum (Shijiazhuang, China), Red Eye Gallery(Providence, RI),

A4 ARIE Art Center (Chengdu, China), Yuan Contemporary Art Museum

(Chongqing, China), Gelman Gallery(Providence, RI). Her recent awards includes

Presidential Scholarship, Anderson Ranch Arts Center(Colorado, USA);

Florence Leif award(Rhode Island, USA); Partial Residency Fellowship,

Nars Foundation(New York, USA).






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