Former Power Station Becomes Stylish AI Art Center

Posted on: 16. May 2022


A station once supplying steam to over 30 nearby factories on Shanghai’s outskirts has been converted into a leading digital art center to focus on art created by artificial intelligence.

The Aiiiii Art Center, initiated by the Art & Artificial Intelligence Lab of the Tongji University College of Design and Innovation, officially opened to the public on October 28, 2021 at the Heating Station Digital Art Community.

The art center launched by Zhang Zhoujie, a professor at the college and renowned digital artist, is based in the former heating station built in 1990s for the Xinzhuang Industrial Park in Minhang District.

The former steel and concrete frames of the factory have been preserved along with the tall chimney as well as a long and narrow coal delivery tunnel, which connects the art furniture workshop of Zhang and the art center. The high inner space and thick concrete pillars provide abundant space for art exhibits created by AI.




“AI is expected to become the source of art creativity in the next decade,”

said Zhang. He said the center will become a laboratory for digital design, an incubator and exhibition platform for AI art as well as a community to attract both artists and scientists.


Zhang came up with the idea in 2017 when Go-playing computer AlphaGo defeated famous Go master Ke Jie.The contest between AI and human made him believe the art creation of machines will be far more powerful than human artists.He later initiated the lab at the college along with two of the world’s top AI experts, Filippo Fabrocini and Kostas Terzidis, to develop intelligent algorithms for innovation and art creation. The experts now serve as academic counsellors for the art center.

Zhang was invited to redevelop the industrial heritage to explore the future image of digitalized life, along with other experts and professionals.The inaugural  Thursday to mark the opening of the art center at 800 Chunxi Road.

The exhibition “The Book of Sand” was created jointly by machines and humans. It is the outcome of the machines interfered by human creation and artistic practice, aiming to build a poetic imaginary space through enigmatic and fleeting AI art creation. The exhibition was launched on October 28, 2021 and will open to the public free through April 11, 2022.


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