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Gtopia:Gamesite, the First Exhibition in China that Featured Games as Contemporary Art, Explores the Stories behind 19 Iconic Chinese Indie Games of Today

By Isabella Jiangcheng
Dec. 21, 2021 updated 11:08

Gtopia: Gamesite will focus on the contemporary Chinese gaming industry. The exhibition carefully curated 19 indie games from China that represent how games and the related ecosystem can be understood as a necessary social phenomenon.

The first screenshot of Moncage’s prototypeThe first screenshot of Moncage’s prototype

Gtopia: Gamesite does not limit its scope to a specific framework, nor does it try to tackle the concept of what a ‘game’ is. Using the games of the 2020’s the exhibition seeks to normalize gaming and show how it can fit into everyday life in China. How did these 19 games arrive on our phones or PCs? The exhibition aims to lift the curtains, peek at what is behind games, and display the lesser-known development, distribution, publishing, and consumption activities. Throughout the examination, maybe the viewers can also spot one or two anomalies that deviate from the formal structure. 

Storyboard for Finding ParadiseStoryboard for Finding Paradise

The exhibition dissects the games into pixels, codes, texts, and lights. These games are the conceptual newborns of developers, but they are also the accumulation of computing bugs. Live streamers, esports players, developers, as well as hobbyist gamers have to repeatedly replay through games to fully understand the half-real spectacle that games create, being born from reality and inspired by history. 

The exhibition collaborated with indie game industry leaders TapTap, Coconut Island, and IndieNova. It also got support from hardware manufacturers such as Razor and Moto. Gtopia: Gamesite is the first exhibition in China to feature computer games as a contemporary art medium. It is the first time that games are featured in the galleries for the general public to view. Following two major exhibitions in the last decade at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in the UK, Gtopia: Gamesite wants to show that games are an essential participant in contemporary cultural discourse.

Gtopia: Gamesite will open on Dec 30th at Tank Shanghai, China. The exhibition will last until Mar. 13th 2022.