M+ presents the Asia premiere of HUMAN ONE, an iconic twenty-first-century artwork by pioneering digital artist Beeple from 9th December

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24th November 2022 – (Hong Kong) M+, Asia’s first global museum of contemporary visual culture in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, is pleased to present the Asia premiere of groundbreaking generative digital sculpture HUMAN ONE by Beeple, a leading figure in digital art and design, in the museum’s Focus Gallery from 9th December 2022 to 30th April 2023.

Beeple: HUMAN ONE presents a dynamically changing hybrid digital-and-physical artwork, which shows the first human born inside the metaverse, a 3D virtual world accessible only through the internet. The work depicts a human figure the artist calls ‘traveller’ who appears within a seven-foot-tall spinning box-like structure composed of four monolithic LED screens. The traveller wears an astronaut suit and treks forward in an endlessly evolving virtual landscape. The M+ presentation will be the first exhibition of this work in Asia.

Designed as a continuous digital display that will periodically evolve over time, HUMAN ONE presents an ongoing conversation in response to current events and reflects the artist’s changing interests over the course of his life. As the traveller marches forward towards an unspecified goal, the surroundings restlessly adapt and transform into a pastiche of different settings, ranging from the dreamlike to dystopian, from hallucinatory to desolate. Beeple will update this virtual landscape from time to time, incorporating elements from the internet and his own practice to respond to the general state of the world. 

HUMAN ONE presents the viewer with a lens through which they can understand contemporary visual culture as a pliable and ever-growing experience, represented by a figure who is confined within a hermetically sealed case yet aspiring for ceaseless motion, grasping towards a boundless infinity. The traveller’s extraordinary journey is a reminder to viewers of the continued blurring of our own digital and physical existence―a metaphor for human progress.

Beeple (b. 1981, United States) is the professional moniker of Mike Winkelmann, a leading digital artist and designer active over the past twenty years. His rapid rise to public prominence in recent years helped to highlight the growing influence of digitally generated art. Diverse in style, Beeple’s work incorporates references from pop culture, science fiction, and politics, often with a sardonic edge. Central to his artistic practice is his Everydays project, for which he uploads images daily to his website for public critique and learns a new technical skill every year.

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