We seek dialogue with institutions and individuals to improve cross-cultural communications, arouse environmental and social awareness through art on the Internet, more importantly, support new media artists making contributions to humanity. Visit Land of Illusion in Second Life now.
Virtual Construction and Implications
Land of Illusion, the large-scaled virtual installation in Second Life includes three major constructions, namely eastern section Grand View Garden (figure 1), western section Great Firewall (figure 2), and underground section Crystal Palace (figure 3). It interprets themes in Chinese history and folk tales by deploying animation, sound, digital video components and interaction online, and is designed to challenge the existing artistic approaches, also explore new ways of communication in an increasingly globalized world.
The net-art project is evident that the overseas real-time collaboration of artists become more efficient, and the author/reader interactivity can achieve a new level through online channels. As the definition of “public space” keeps altering and expanding in the Internet era, artists need to adopt new tools in order to re-examine the relationship between individual and society. In cyberspace, artists find their visions of history, the inner lives characterized by cultural experiences, finally become globally approachable and shareable. The project also reflects on a cultural position “in-between”, and intentionally blurs the boundaries between art and research, creativity and cultural studies. Land of Illusion, the platform launched in Second Life in 2006, has developed a wide variety of themes rooted in eastern folklore in forms of virtual world happening and video installation.
“… basically, I’ve got bored by the physical reality, the so-called ‘real world’ in which individuality is dying. … with Land of Illusion, I’m able to live with my dream and actually share it with others. Because the characters in folk tales have been living in my imagination or dream since childhood, they naturally become part of my identity in forms of avatars in the virtual world. For me, creating a virtual world is a procedure reflecting on the cultural and personal experiences as well..”
“… here, I can live any life of the character in tales told hundred times by elders around me, live in the landscapes created by ancient Chinese masters with genuine admiration of nature…”
“… here, we live, dream and question
… What did we loss and why…”
– Lily Jun in SL
Net-art & Cultural Studies
Originally, the Web-based art project “Land of Illusion” is dedicated to the study of Chinese folklore’s influences and implications in the globalized world as well as within the Internet culture. In contrast to the existing research and presentation solutions, artistic approaches, especially those involving digital multimedia and Web-applications, have been used to disseminate messages. With this collaborative art experiment, we aim to enhance the understanding of the relation of cultural heritage and contemporary societies.
Our team members have devoted to the creation of “Land of Illusion” since 2006. In order to achieve communications globally, we launched the project on Second Life as a Multi-user-virtual-environment at the beginning of 2007. Since then the collaborations with scholars and artists have been taking place. Indeed, “Land of Illusion,” the platform designed for meditating, reflecting on historical and contemporary cultural phenomena, is intended to induce more dialogues and studies to uncover the profoundness of eastern folklore.
Land of Illusion Team
The realization of “Land of Illusion”is made possible by the collaborations of a group of dedicated contemporary artists and thinkers.
Lily (Lily Jun in Second Life) & Honglei – artist collective. USA/CHINA Website
He Li – artist, Yale University, USA
Scott Grant (Xilin Yifu in Second Life) – educator, Australia
Kristy Lee (Victoria Bury in Second Life) –educator. USA
Ry Daniel Shanks (Meixing Yu in Second Life) – Beijing Opera performer, artist. USA.
Bill Weaver – media artist/activist. Canada. Website
Philip Zhai – music composer, philosopher. Guangzhou, China Blog