New Media Art


http://fn-stage.wgbh.org/lectures/new-media-art-lily-and-honglei/

Partner Upgrade! Boston

Series  Asian Culture Series

+ BIO: Lily Xiying Yang

+ BIO: Honglei Li

New media artists Lily Xiying Yang and Honglei Li discuss some of their work, including “Land of Illusion”, “Merry-Go-Around”, “Forbidden City”, and “Butterfly Lovers”.

Lily and Honglei are new media artists from Beijing, currently based in New York City. Since 2005, they have been working under the collective name Lily & Honglei. They create new artistic expressions by integrating traditional and digital art forms. Utilizing online virtual world applications and digital animation, Lily & Honglei reinterpret Chinese folkloric traditions that metaphorically reflect current global cultures and societies.

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Oedipus

Artist: Lily & Honglei Art Studio
Medium: Oil on paper, animation
Duration: 4’39”
Year of completion: 2014

Description
In the film Oedipus, the namesake protagonist is represented by a young Chinese man. Inspired by the Sophoclean tragedy, the plot of the Greek drama is twisted in a manner that parallels the kinks that are bound to take place when cultures come in collision. The narrative of the hero’s life is revealed through the three riddles of the Sphinx, putting forth a metaphor for the inevitable fate of Westernization in China.

Charmed by the exotic beauty and extraordinary strength of the Sphinx, Oedipus tries to emulate the Sphinx’s lithe crawl. His efforts though, are vastly inadequate. The character’s awkward, bumbling movements mirrors the failure of the reforms that occur after China’s every encounter with a foreign culture that it admires.

After this encounter, Oedipus makes his way to his birthplace, represented as a timeless Chinese village. It is here that the desperation from his recent failure drives him to commit patricide in an attempt to disconnect himself from his cultural heritage. The symbolic nature of the scene is made clear when the protagonist displays the head of his his father; its appearance is evocative of the faces of Confucius and Karl Marx, two men who have become ingrained in the mindset of modern China.

When Oedipus realizes that he is as inseparable from his cultural identity as two siamese twins sharing a middle leg, Oedipus commits unspeakable adultery. He embraces his motherland’s fate of drowning in the materialistic worship that resulted from exchange with the West.

Agonized by failure and debauchery, Oedipus finally blinds himself so that he does not have to witness the consequences of China’s disastrous endeavor at Westernization.

For more info, please visit http://lilyhonglei.com/ExperimentalAnimation/index.html

LILY & HONGLEI © 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Midas

Artist: Lily & Honglei Art Studio
Medium: Oil on paper, animation
Duration: 5’53”
Year of Completion: 2014

Description
The film Midas melds the political intrigues surrounding a late-20th century Chinese ruler with the Classical tale of  the namesake king. These elements join together as a parable for a common fate of despots throughout history.

The first scene in the animation tells of persecution that Midas suffers prior to his ascent to power. He, along with his peers and rivals alike, is made the suffer the humiliation of being paraded in shackles and a dunce hat. As the film continues, Midas gets a glimpse of his tormentor first-hand; he witnesses a laurel-donning god-ruler figure flaying his dissidents to death. All of such proceedings take place in a manner that evokes the trepidations of the Cultural Revolution.

After a lapse of time, Midas finds himself being groomed shortly before he was crowned the successor to the god-ruler seen earlier in the film. When a barber boy removes the coned hat, he lets out a visible expression of shock at the sight of the donkey ears hidden underneath. Following the revelation, the young man does not keep Midas’ monstrous nature a secret as he is expected to. Rather, he spreads the news into an vast open field by speaking into a tree hole.

The next scene finds Midas sitting on his red throne after his rise to autocratic power. He does not hesitate to take reign of his new authority; he restores the rumor-laden field to tranquility with by deploying a battalion of tanks on that fateful midsummer night. China has been jovially marching in a Bacchanalian parade ever since.

During the conclusion of the film Midas could cleanse neither the gold nor blood off his hands, even after washing himself the river Pactolus. Tormented by the golden touch, the starving Midas drank his own blood and ended his life.

For more info please visit: http://lilyhonglei.com/ExperimentalAnimation/index.html
LILY & HONGLEI © 2014. All rights reserved.

"Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China" is a 2014 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., 
 for its Turbulence.org website. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China
by Lily & Honglei

Lily & Honglei, new media art, He Li, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Turblence commission

Screenshot of Shadow Play VR installation. Lily & Honglei © 2014

Lily & Honglei, new media art of China, He Li, Rose Goldsen Archieve of New Media Art, Turblence.org commission

Screenshot of Shadow Play VR installation. Lily & Honglei © 2014

http://turbulence.org/Works/shadowplay/

Over the past few decades China has been urbanizing at an astounding pace. In 2013, the People’s Republic unveiled its plan to relocate 260 million people from China’s countryside to one of 21 “mega regions” by 2020 (cbsnews.com). Such a significant shift will undoubtedly transform China’s national character, which has been predominantly agrarian for millennia. Shadow Play weaves three interfaces, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Physical Reality (PR), and combines the past and present – through time-honored imagery, paint, shadow play, and new media technologies – to immerse participants in the realities of contemporary China.

Lily & Honglei, Turbulence.org, new media art China, Rose Goldsen Archive of new media art, China urbanization

Shadow Play, Chapter I. The Land: Death of the Village Head (AR Screenshot)

Lily & Honglei, new media art, turbulence.org commission of net-art, China urbanization

Shadow Play, Chapter III. The Ruins: Lost Children

Lily & Honglei, He Li, new media art China, Rose Goldsen Archive of new media art

Shadow Play, Chapter IV. The Maze: No Exit (AR Screenshot)

Thanks to the great support from co-directors, Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington, Shadow Play also becomes part of Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Division of Rare and Special Collections at Cornell University, NY.

Site Venice Site Biennale: The Manifest.AR Augmented Reality Intervention to the 2011 Venice Biennale
By Tamiko Thiel, AR[t] Magazine issue 5, Page56-65

Curators: Lily & Honglei (Xiying Yang, Honglei Li, Curatorial Assistant: He Li)

Event: Digital Art Weeks Festival 2014, Seoul

Exhibition Dates: Oct 5th -Dec 22nd, 2014

Organization: DAW International

Curatorial Statement:

The Augmented Realism

by

Lily & Honglei (Lily X. Yang, Honglei Li and He Li)

The artistic application of Augmented Reality (AR) mobile technology is a new approach to creativity. With a mobile-device program, AR technology allows artists to set up site-specific installations that integrate digital art with physical surroundings. The audience can then view these works through their cell phone cameras, resulting in an artistic experience that challenges the existing definitions of space and medium.

Like any site-specific installations, the physical setting of AR artwork plays a vital role as a visual and contextual component of the overall piece. By inserting virtual artistic elements into a physical site, the AR medium provides artists with an opportunity to redefine a particular space with a new historical, political, or aesthetic light. Contrary to traditional forms of site-specific installation, the presence of AR art does not require permission from authorities that have jurisdiction over the physical space. This unique liberty is exemplified by 4Gentlemen’s installations Goddess of Democracy and Tank Man in Tiananmen Square, projects which certainly would have been obstructed by the Chinese government if it was not for the discreetly expressive nature of AR technology. Thus, in many respects, AR has made the whole world a canvas for new media art.

Moreover, artists and audiences alike are often challenged to think beyond their native cultures and landscapes in this global age. While environmental, economic, and political issues have come to span across the entire world, individuals often find themselves acquainted with unfamiliar peoples, places, and history. AR art corresponds precisely to this globalizing trend because it provides artist with an expressive medium that could take form anywhere in the world in a direct and efficient manner.

AR art is a “realistic” art style- not only because it stands against the backdrop of the real physical world, but also because it requires artists to ponder on the relationship between the physical setting and their virtual sculptures. It is only when a concordance exists between these two domains that compelling and relevant ideas could be put forth. In this way, the artist is able to present their own take on reality to the audience through their mobile devices, unraveling a new “realism” of the digital age.

The AR exhibition that is to be held at the at Changdeokgung Palace’s Secret Garden and Cultural Station 284 in Seoul will embody all of such concepts discussed above. We would like to thank Digital Art Weeks International Festival 2014 as well as all contributing artists for making this invaluable opportunity possible.

 

______________________________________________________

Background information for participating artists and audience:

Location One:

Culture Station 281 Seoul

The old building of the Seoul train station was designed by Tsukamoto Yasushi, a professor of Tokyo University. Construction of the station started in June, 1922 and was completed in September, 1925. Due to its unique domed roof and large size, the station attracted much attention in its early years.

After Korea regained its independence from under Japanese colonial rule, the station’s name was changed from ‘Gyeongseong Station’ to ‘Seoul Station’. During the Korean War, the station was partially destroyed but later restored. After Korea began industrializing after the war, the South annex and West annex were constructed to handle the increasing transportation volume.

In 2004 when the privately-funded new station was constructed, the old station closed down, but after reconstruction in 2011 opened as a multicultural space called ‘Culture Station Seoul 284’. The main section (Jungang Hall) is for performances, exhibitions, events, and cafés, while the 2nd floor houses a hall that serves as a venue for cultural performances, exhibitions, academic seminars, business meetings, and more.

source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1340416

More info, please read:

http://discoveringkorea.com/111220/culture-station-seoul-284

___________________________________________________

Location Two:

Secret Garden of Changdeokgung Palace, Seoul

Taking up 60% of the entire area of Changdeokgung Palace, the Secret Garden (‘Biwon’ in Korean) was a private garden where the kings and royal family members relax and enjoy the picturesque nature.

Changdeokgung’s rear garden was constructed during the reign of King Taejong and served as a resting place for the royal family members. The garden had formerly been called ‘Bukwon’ and ‘Geumwon,’ but was renamed ‘Biwon’ after King Kojong came into power. The garden was kept as natural as possible and was touched by human hands only when absolutely necessary. Buyongjeong, Buyongji, Juhabru, Eosumun, Yeonghwadang, Bullomun, Aeryeonjeong, and Yeongyeongdang are some of the many pavilions and fountains that occupy the garden. The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall.

source: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=264348

Introductions by UNESCO & World Heritage Convention

Changdeokgung Palace had a great influence on the development of Korean architecture, garden and landscape planning, and related arts, for many centuries. It reflects sophisticated architectural values, harmonized with beautiful surroundings. The palace compound is an outstanding example of Far Eastern palace architecture and garden design, exceptional for the way in which the buildings are integrated into and harmonized with the natural setting, adapting to the topography and retaining indigenous tree cover.

The Daejojeon Hall nearby was for the use of the queen. The garden was landscaped with a series of terraces planted with lawns, flowering trees, flowers, a lotus pool, and pavilions set against a wooded background. There are over 26,000 specimens of 100 indigenous trees in the garden. To these should be added 23,000 planted specimens of 15 imported species, including yew, stone pine, white pine, gingko and Chinese junipers.

Watch video: http://youtu.be/_M3hwhsm7Hw

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC

History of Changdeogung:

source: http://eng.cdg.go.kr/info/info_history.htm

contents_history

 

Invited by Dr. Alberto Guevara, the editor-in-chief of inTension journal of York University, virtual reality project Land of Illusion by Lily & Honglei Art Studio (currently with three active members, Xiying Yang, Honglei Li and He Li) will be published in the next issue of this academic journal.

http://www.yorku.ca/intent/issue7/

Lily & Honglei, new media art, Chinese contemporary artist, new media artist from China, new york artist Lily & Honglei

screenshot of ‘Land of Illusion: Monkey King at Heavenly Banquet’ virtual reality art project, by Lily & Honglei Art Studio

Lily & Honglei Art Studio, new media artist from China, He Li, contemporary Chinese art, Chinese new media artist, new york new media artist, new york artist, Lily & Honglei

screenshot of ‘Land of Illusion: Carousel of Sichuan Earthquake,’ virtual reality art project by Lily & Honglei Art Studio

http://www.yorku.ca/intent/cfw.html

Issues of the journal are theme-based, but space is provided in each issue for articles, reviews, and artwork that engage the core interests of InTensions: the theatricality of power, corporealities of structural violence, and sensory regimes.

InTensions is now accepting proposals for guest edited issues. Please contact Alberto Guevara or Elysée Nouvet.

Issue 7 ‘Fun and Games – Playing to the Limit’

Guest Editors:
Dr. David Harris Smith, McMaster University
Dr. Elysée Nouvet, McMaster University

To play is human. Play is a social act of often unclear boundaries. The delineation of playing as a special conditional form of doing or acting in the world relies upon registers of seriousness, authenticity, consequence and import, yet these registers are ultimately ambiguous. Play can materialize and relativize banal affective and social relations. Play can imagine, insist on the possibility of, or suppress, difference. Play may provoke shock or distraction, conceal or reveal intention. Play may be encouraged or denied, rewarded or punished, feared, disdained, addictive, fatal.

What becomes possible as a result of play in specific contexts? What socio-cultural relations are inscribed in the various sites of play? Are there limits to the social power of play, or limits to the social contexts in which playful acts may be asserted? Or is the very delineation of some actions as play itself a limit on imagination and transformation? To what extent do the connotative associations of theatre, sport, or childhood constitute a limit on what is considered play? What is the role of play in science, industry, politics, or war? What associations are can be traced between play and inductive, exploratory, or experimental knowledge generation?

Developmental theories situate play in the process of accommodating to reality, whereby the child first assimilates difficult and incongruous aspects of reality by revisiting them with familiar schema. For Baudrillard, the reproduction of the ‘real’ risks eclipsing its truth-value. These positions inscribe a vast territory populated by varying admixtures of representation and awe. Is play necessarily reactionary if it is absorbed into the normative and normalizing practices of (re)production and consumption (Debord)? When are play and playfulness critical distractions to organized protest? Alternatively, how might simulation and virtual worlds unleash important re-imaginings and re-mappings of the social (Deleuze)?  What are the unique potentialities of play when engaged as formative, preliminary, inconsequential, non-serious, speculative, or exploratory?

In this issue, we invite scholarly/artistic contributions that engage the relations between play, power, and social reproduction. We welcome theoretical explorations, as well as reflections, experiments, reports, or ethnographies on play and playfulness in its lived, historical, and cultural contexts.

View past issues of InTensions:

http://www.yorku.ca/intent/pastissues.html

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