Thomas Li Vigni / Techfest 2015: a digital experience in India

Digital painting artist Thomas Li Vigni experienced the Indian event Techfest, the "Asia’s largest science and technology festival".

As every year since 1998, the 2015 edition of Techfest took place early January at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Bombay Campus, one of the 15 institutes of technologies in India and the oldest one of them.

Entirely managed by students of this public university with a three-tier team structure - a team of over 800 coordinators and organisers! – Techfest is an Indian Annual national level inter-collegiate festival that aims to promote technology, creativity and innovation. Concretely, the event provides an international platform to the youth students to showcase their talents but also displays cutting edge technology and research from all over the globe.

Credit Photo © Janak Vegad

Alongside big companies and famous actors from digital and new media technologies - Bjarne Stroustrup, the C++ inventor, or Vint Cerf, co-creator of Internet, were among others present this year -, the Techfest gives also opportunity to new international artists to show their own quality. 

Thomas Li Vigni, young french / Italian artist working on digital images and painting was one of these happy ones. “Techfest takes place inside the IIT Bombay University campus”, he explains. “It attracts more than 135 000 curious people, mostly young students of course and it is today established as the Asia’s largest science and technology festival.

For him, being part of such an event was a great deal. “The cream of the Technology scene was there. Many companies like Google, Facebook and Microsoft where on site. They took the opportunity to present their brand new products and to host some classes/seminar. As an artist that mainly works with advanced tools, it represented a huge opportunity for me to be there. It was a real honour to exhibit my artworks and to perform in front of such a big and informed public. Moreover, to convey my message to India – a huge country with lot of pollution issues - was really important for me as this is all my Homotech series is about.

Homotech Series

Thomas Li Vigni has shaped an artistic practice that unfolds special sets of digital speed-painting as the one he did during Techfest 2015. “As an artist, my main tool is my graphic tablet”, he says. “I first started my university studies with graphic design classes, but then, I assimilated the speed painting techniques. It consists in recording yourself while you’re painting on a computer, then you create a dynamic video punctuate with a punchy music.” His Homotech series perfectly expressed this hybridization of techniques and environment concerns.

Homotech is about five women from the five continents. Each one is disfigured by a technological prosthesis that alters - or enhances - one of their five senses. The message I want to convey is clear: if humans keep destroying their own environment, they will have to biologically integrate technology in order to survive. Currently, technology helps human being to evolve, that’s a fact. If he pushes its uses beyond boundaries, technology will disfigure what defines his humanity.

This message, Thomas Li Vigni feels like it has been well received by his young attendance at Techfest 2015. And that it has been useful as well to make some buzz for digital painting practice and industry. “Indian youth is really connected and aware about technology. In that way, digital and multimedia art are highly successful in any form: projection, videos games, etc. But, surprisingly, digital painting is not as well spread as I thought in India. So my audience seemed to be deeply amazed about what I was showcasing. My main sponsor, Wacom, international graphic tablet leader, supports me there in India. Although they are well established worldwide, they are currently not really known inIndia. That’s why making them discover this kind of product and its uses was particularly rewarding for me.”

Laurent Catala



TECHFEST 2015 Exhibition ● Thomas Li Vigni Digital artist from Thomas Li Vigni