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New Media Art

Lily Honglei awarded Individual Artist Grant in 2022 by the New York State Council on the Arts

Lily Honglei, Asian American artist, Chinese American, Asian American art, anti racism, anti AAPI hate, contemporary art,
Job Experiences of Mr. Liu, from The Stereotype – Casualty of American Dream. Oil on canvas, 60″ by 48″. Image courtesy of Lily Honglei Art Studio©2021

[FLUSHING/NY] – LILY HONGLEI ART STUDIO announced today a grant award from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) to support the recovery of the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Following New York State’s $105 million investment in the arts for FY2022, NYSCA has awarded more than $80 million since June 2021.

Governor Kathy Hochul Quote: “The arts have long been a critical sector in our economy, and as we continue to rebuild a stronger New York, it’s essential we do all we can help this industry thrive once again,” Governor Hochul said. “These awardees represent the best of what New York’s vibrant communities have to offer and with this funding in hand, they will be able to not only continue their creative and inspiring work, but help spur revitalization in their own backyard as well.”

Mara Manus Quote: “NYSCA applauds Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their responsive investment of $105 million for the nonprofit arts and culture sector. 2022 will continue to bring change and Lily Honglei will play a vital role in the renewal of our state’s economy and creative ecosystem,” said Mara Manus, Executive Director, NYSCA. “On behalf of the entire NYSCA Team, we wish to extend our sincere congratulations on your award.”


Katherine Nicholls Quote: “Council congratulates Lily Honglei Art Studio on their grant award! New York State arts and culture organizations inspire New Yorkers and cultivate community in every region,” said Katherine Nicholls, Chair, NYSCA. “Arts and culture are crucial to our state’s health, and Council recognizes the dynamic impact of NYSCA grantees on the well-being of all New Yorkers.”

You can read Governor Hochul’s press release here:

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/governor-hochul-announces-45-million-critical-funding-propel-recovery-nonprofit-arts-and

With the support of the NYSCA grant, Lily Honglei will produce a large scale painting series, “The Stereotype – Casualty of American Dream” in 2022.

Categories
New Media Art

“The Stereotype – Casualty of American Dream” received NYSCA Grant

Lily Honglei, Asian American artist, Chinese American artist, Asian American art, immigrant artist, new york artist, anti Asian hate, anti racism, cultural diversity, immigrant life
F1. Job Experiences of Mr. Liu, charcoal pencil sketch, for painting series The Stereotype that depicts real stories of Asian American immigrants. (Image courtesy of Lily Honglei Art Studio © 2021)

The Stereotype – Casualty of American Dream is a large-scale oil painting series based on my lived experiences as an Asian-American immigrant who struggled to survive in New York City. The project will depict stories of lives and deaths within a marginalized community and bring light to a blind spot in contemporary art.

“Throughout my decades of art practice, I have been struck by the absence of voices representing the stories of Asian-American lives in the New York art scene. This silence motivated me to begin work on The Stereotype–an art project that will speak of real memories and narratives from the Asian-American and immigrant communities. For the storytelling, I first reflected upon my own experiences working as a curbside artist in Times Square for years, as well as the livelihoods and deaths of my colleagues that I have personally witnessed. I also interviewed immigrant family members, friends, and other members of the Asian-American community in New York to broaden the perspective of the project.” – Honglei Li

Lily Honglei, Asian American artist, Chinese American artist, Asian American art, immigrant artist, new york artist, anti Asian hate, anti racism, cultural diversity, immigrant life
F2. Life & Death of Xiao Lee, oil on canvas, 48″ by 48″ (Image courtesy of Lily Honglei Art Studio © 2021)

Motivated to make a strong voice for an invisible, underrepresented group of people through our creativity, the oil painting series will reveal the model minority’s many hardships and adversities from the first person perspective. The painting series will feature stories such as The Life & Death of My Friend Xiao Lee (F2)depicting the life of a food delivery worker who was tragically killed by a trash truck; The Job Experiences of Mr. Liu (F1)which illustrates the new immigrant who worked various difficult jobs and struggled to make a living in New York; My Broadway Showcase (F3) that reveals the violence and harassment against Asian immigrants who work around Times Square.

Lily Honglei, Asian American artist, Chinese American artist, Asian American art, immigrant artist, new york artist, anti Asian hate, anti racism, cultural diversity, immigrant life

F3. Times Square Showcase, oil on canvas (work in progress), 72″ by 48″. (Image courtesy of Lily Honglei Art Studio © 2021)

In 2022, we will complete about a dozen oil paintings on canvas for the project that aims at shattering the myths about Asian Americans who “often fall victim to a unique set of stereotypes—including the false belief that all Asian Americans are successful and well adapted—that render them invisible in discussions of race and prejudice in America,” as Dr. Vivian Tseng, the senior vice president of the  William T. Grant Foundation put it, the invisibility Asian Americans face is pernicious on its own and can ultimately cause even more suffering.”

Based on the painting series, The Stereotype will also incorporate augmented reality (AR) mobile technology to launch site-specific installations (F4) around New York City, including some Asian American and immigrants neighborhoods.

Under NYFA Fiscal Sponsorship, The Stereotype – Casualty of American Dream received NYSCA Individual Artist Grant in 2022. We are seeking collaborations with art venues in underserved communities to launch potential exhibitions. Please contact us at honglei.li.art@gmail.com for any inquiries.

Categories
contemporary art

Lily Honglei’s Butterfly Lover Trilogy at Queens Museum

Lily Honglei, Asian American artists, Chinese American artist, Asian American art, immigrant artist, immigrant art, NYC life
F1. The Light of Times Square, still image from The Butterfly Lovers Trilogy.
Image courtesy of Lily & Honglei Art Studio © 2021

With support from City Artists Corp, Lily & Honglei launched a public screening of The Butterfly Lovers Trilogy, an animated short film uniquely composed with original paintings and reflecting on many struggles in Asian American community. Through metaphors and extensive references to Asian cultural heritages, the animated film illuminates issues such as cultural identity dilemma, profound isolation and disconnect, or agonizing separations that immigrant families have to endure – from Asian immigrant’s perspective. The film screening took place on October 16, 2021 at Queens Museum, the art venue near both Latino and Asian immigrant neighborhoods that have been particularly hard-hit during the pandemic.

Lily Honglei, Asian American artists, Asian American art, immigrant artist, immigrant art, NYC life, Chinese American artist,
F2. Part I. The Butterfly Lovers. Animation still, oil painting on paper
 Courtesy of Lily Honglei art studio© 2021

Lily Honglei, Asian American artists, Asian American art, immigrant artist, immigrant art, NYC life, Chinese American artist,
F3. Part II. The Peony Pavilion. Animation still, oil painting on paper
Courtesy of Lily Honglei art studio© 2021

Lily Honglei, Asian American artists, Asian American art, immigrant artist, immigrant art, NYC life, Chinese American artist,
F4. Part III. The Milky Way. Animation still, oil painting on paper. 
Courtesy of Lily Honglei art studio© 2021

The Butterfly Lovers Trilogy, although extensively referencing Asian cultural heritages, is in fact reflecting on American experience from Asian immigrant’s perspective. The first part, Butterfly Lovers (F1, F2), 4’40”, symbolically depicts the profound isolation and identity dilemma experienced by Asian Americans in western metropolises. The second part, Peony Pavilion (F3), 4’35”, portrays the painful disconnect between the inner world of Asian immigrants and the hyper materialistic environment that they have to survive in. The third part, The Milky Way (F4), 3’13”, illustrates the hopeless separation an immigrant family has to endure. Through metaphors, the work depicts Asian immigrants’ many struggles in American society from a first person perspective – largely based on our personal experiences and anecdotes in our Asian immigrant community.

The Butterfly Lovers Trilogy screening at Queens Museum, 2021. Photos courtesy of Lily Honglei Art Studio

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New Media Art

“SHADOW PLAY” Available on Artsy

Thanks to the efforts of Breezy Art Gallery and its founder Eleonora Brizi, the exhibition “Renaissance 2020” is viewable on Artsy along with artworks presented in the successful show held at Museum San Salvatore in Lauro, Rome, October 2020. We are thankful to the gallery and curator who was determined to launch the exhibition despite the pandemic that posed many difficulties and potential risks. Please find these refreshing, innovative artworks at Breezy Art:

https://www.artsy.net/breezy-art/artist/lily-honglei

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New Media Art

Remediating Collective Memory or Just a Moving Image: Augmented Reality in Contemporary Southeast Asian Art

View at Medium.com

by Rachel Seah

Image for post
Figure 1: Lily Honglei Art Studio, Visualization of Butterfly Lovers augmented reality at Times Square, NYC, 2011.

Within the arts industry in China, artist collective Lily Honglei Art Studio whose primary use of VR and AR in their works presents a unique convergence of western and non-western visual traditions, as such have exhibited globally, extensively and sits as associate members of Manifest.AR. In 2011 as part of Manifest.AR, they created a series of Augmented Reality (AR) art projects concerning Chinese cultural identity, as well as social issues in this Global Era. With such a good stronghold in VR and AR technology embodied in art represented by Chinese nationals, it inadvertently places Asia on the map as strong competitors in the field of technology compared to other western countries.

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New Media Art

Digital concert ‘2020 Vision’ Premier

Lily Honglei Art Studio’s collaboration with Long Island City based classic group Astoria Music Project

Inspired by Astoria Music Project’s recording Capriccio (Cecile Chaminade), Lily Honglei created this new video art piece by reconstructing her earlier works. The characters, emerging in traditional Chinese opera customs, roam through empty Times Square, desolate shopping center and subway rail in New York City. The female falls into the dream realm and ascends to the azure of the sky above the metropolis, while the male character, carrying two toddlers with a shoulder pole, appears walking into the air through a bridge formed by kind-hearted magpies… when the music turns more vibrant, the characters are back to Times Square with fireworks bursting out and coalescing into the flow of vivid color and patterns embodying revivals.

Capriccio is the fruit of collaboration between Lily Honglei and Astoria Music Production in New York City during the 2020 pandemic. Comprised of a series of oil paintings on paper, the animated film starts from visualizing the rootlessness of Asian diaspora and new immigrants’ cultural dilemma, envisioning transitions in life, resilience and hope manifested by both individual and collective conscience of a highly diverse metropolitan community.

Categories
New Media Art

Capriccio – New Video Art Inspired by Classic Music

Inspired by Astoria Music Production’s recording Capriccio (Cecile Chaminade), Lily Honglei created this new video art piece by reconstructing her earlier works. The characters, emerging in traditional Chinese opera customs, roam through empty Times Square, a desolate shopping center and subway rail in New York City. The female falls into the dream realm and ascends to the azure of the sky above the metropolis, while the male character, carrying two toddlers with a shoulder pole, appears walking into the air through a bridge formed by kind-hearted magpies… when the music turns more vibrant, the characters are back to Times Square with fireworks bursting out and coalescing into the flow of vivid color and patterns embodying revivals.

Composed of a series of oil paintings on paper, the animated film starts from visualizing the rootlessness of Asian diaspora and new immigrants’ cultural dilemma, then morphs into envisioning transitions in life, resilience and hope manifested by both individual and collective conscience of a highly diversified metropolitan community. Capriccio is the fruit of collaboration between Lily Honglei and Astoria Music Production in New York City during the 2020 pandemic.

© LILY HONGLEI 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Categories
New Media Art

Lily Honglei’s Video Art Featured in NewMediaFest 2020