Our new site-specific installation and performance ‘Portrait of America’ will take part of Jamaica Flux 2010: Workspaces & Windows. This year’s theme is ‘Art as Action.’

Given space limit, we have adjusted our initial plan of video installation ‘Portrait of America’ and will present them in separate spaces: installation and performance – in front of Jamaica Center for Art and Learning, Jamaica Avenue; video – Performing Arts theatre, which will be part of Video Slam. The event opening is taking place on April 10, 11Am – 6PM, ending with a reception 6PM – 9PM. A follow-up article covering work details and event impressions will be posted in the near future. Many thanks to JCAL and curator Heng-Gil Han for the generous support making the realization of the artwork possible! More information at:  press release – Jamaica Flux10

Portrait of America

Artist: Lily & Honglei

Producing Year: 2004 –2009
Medium: Site-specific Installation and Performances on Jamaica Avenue, Queens, NY

As a result of five-year investigation on Chinese immigrant artists’ lives in America, this project creates a ‘live sculpture’ signifying individual’s dilemmatic situation in our global society, which is intended to discover meanings of social behaviors within the contexts of collisions of ideology and culture. Applying the ‘social realistic’ approach that integrates installation, performance, environment and interaction with audience, ‘Portrait of America’ produces an opportunity pondering everyday activities such as running a typical celebrity portrait business with Chinese immigrant artists who themselves can be considered the signifiers of clashes between beliefs and reality.

Many intricate implications might be overlooked in everyday life: the immigrant artists from China are individuals obtaining outstanding drawing and painting skills that were intended to glorify socialist ideal and communist party. Like others in China, their beliefs were shaken and finally collapsed when western culture and lifestyles were introduced to the country as part of open-door policy of China during the 80’s. Pop culture from west, especially from U. S., greatly inspired several generations of Chinese people including artists to rethink individuality and human nature, to practice ‘free thinking.’ In fact public figures and celebrity culture from U.S. once functioned to subvert autocratic control. Under those influences and ‘enlightenments,’ many Chinese artists decided to come to America for pursuing freedom of expressions or live experiences, where they immediately realized that they were trapped between financial difficulties and cultural isolations. To survive, many Chinese immigrant artists started running celebrity portrait business by making drawings of popular figures. With impressive artistic skills, they have managed to make living or even thrive. Inevitably, during this process, the value shifts have taken place: now, their artistic skills serve consumerist society instead of communist ideal, and the western cultural figures that once influenced them spiritually become no more than profitable resources.

For Jamaica Flux, by using physical surrounding of Jamaica Avenue, a business area, generating interactions with audience/passerby through commercial activities such as selling and bargaining, as well as doing performance of making celebrity portrait on street, ‘Portrait of America’ produces a scene extracted from real life, which is then displaced and reexamined within the context of contemporary art, and challenges people to uncover underlying meanings of social phenomena that may be invisible as part of everyday live, but in fact indicate radical cultural and political changes on a global scale. 

The work is produced, in part, by generous support of Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, NY.

Video Slam

The Butterfly Lovers 梁祝

Direct and Animation by: Lily & Honglei

Year of Completion: 2009

Running Time: 5minutes 30seconds

Media: Digital film, oil paintings, soundtrack

Film Synopsis

The Butterfly Lovers is an animated film combining fine arts and video languages to reinterpret a Chinese folktale metaphorically reflecting on cultural displacement.

As one of the most popular love stories in China, the original storyline of The Butterfly Lovers depicts how a young couple broke through social conventions, sacrificed their lives to pursue ideal and love. In the film, dressed in traditional Chinese opera costume, the couple roams around in Manhattan’s night. With the dreamlike dislocation, the heart of the characters is dominated by loneliness and isolation. The situation of becoming spiritually homeless leaves them struggling with their dignity and identity.

As Chinese artist living in selfexile for years, on one hand, we have experienced the reality of Chinese diaspora in America, which raises concerns about the westernization’s impact on both the culture and individual, on the other hand, we have witnessed that the spirit of the thousand-year-old Butterfly Lovers remains alive in everyday Chinese people’s heart, although being distorted and misplaced.

To develop new artistic expressions with aesthetic traditions and new media, a series of large-scale oil paintings are produced, then digital animation and sound techniques are deployed to create the five-minute video.

Cyber MOCA announcement DSL collection & Land of Illusion

Dsl collection represents 90 of the leading Chinese avant-garde artists who have a major influence on the development of contemporary art in China today. It was started from a museum approach, which means that we are collecting a wide range of media including painting, sculpture, installation, video, and photography. We want to share the experience of contemporary culture and to make it more accessible and meaningful for a broader public.

Dsl collection ongoing projects

Communication Tools

Dsl collection produces communication tools, including flyers, the virtual museum and the E-book on DVD, etc.. In addition to being passed out personally to a network of curators and art professionals, the dsl collection is also identifying bookstores, libraries, and art organizations that may be interested to distribute these communication items at different venues.

Dsl Cyber Museum of Contemporary Art

Dsl collection and the artists Lily & Honglei intend to promote and develop highly interactive online exhibitions for contemporary art, and to present varied types of artworks in Cyber Museum of Contemporary Art (based on “Land of Illusion” in Second Life). We wish to create new art vocabulary in this cyber museum which utilizes digital multimedia, online performances, virtual sculptures and traditional fine arts language. Our goal is also to contribute to artist community building with communication technology in the Internet age, to enhance global artist collaborations, to stress on audience/artist or artwork interactions, meanwhile emphasize education and cultural exchange functions.

Reaching Out To Students

Dsl collection aims to expose university and art students to Chinese contemporary art. Starting in 2009, the dsl collection will be offering a full Master course at Shanghai University’s School of Fine Arts, teaching students about Art Management with the help of Defne Ayas.

more information:

dsl 收藏计划

dsl 收藏汇聚了90多位最具影响力的中国前卫艺术家们的作品,是对今日中国当代艺术发展历程的见证。dsl 收藏是以美术馆的标准为始发点,收藏广泛涵盖了绘画、雕塑、装置、录像和摄影等各个方面。我们的宗旨在于能够让大众共同分享当代文化的成果并让更多的人参与到我们的收藏中来,并体验到其意义所在。

交流工具: dsl 收藏积极创造各种交流工具,无论是运用传单、虚拟美术馆的DVD、或是电子图录的DVD等等。dsl 收藏远远不止于个人行为,通过其与策展人及专业网络之间的互动,dsl 收藏同样希望能够寻找到各种书店,图书馆,或是感兴趣的艺术机构作为合作伙伴来共同传播这些交流工具。

dsl网络博物馆: dsl 收藏与艺术家Lily & Honglei合作开发高度互动的网上当代艺术展览,在虚拟空间“第二人生-“太虚幻境””中创建DSL当代艺术博物馆,展示各类当代艺术作品。利用二十一世纪的数码与通讯技术,DSL 网络博物馆将在虚拟空间中创造新的视觉艺术经验和语汇。DSL网络博物馆的文化活动将增强网络艺术社区功能,促进全球范畴内艺术家合作。DSL网络博物馆注重与观众互动,强调文化交流与教育作用。

深入学生群体: dsl 收藏针对各大学及艺术类学生展示中国当代艺术。从2009年开始,dsl 收藏将在上海大学美术学院开设全面的硕士课程,与 Defne Ayas 合作面向学生传授艺术管理的课程。

研讨会: dsl 收藏积极参与各类讲座、研讨会及各艺术机构或活动举办的演讲。2008年我们参与了在清华大学和上海大学的研讨会。2009年我们将参加马德里ARCO博览会的研讨会,并将在纽约大学进行演讲。

dsl语音阅读软件: dsl 语音阅读软件是dsl 收藏与创星数码共同合作开发的项目,这是一个从文本到语音的转换软件,它用自然的英文和中文将任何书面的文字,如微软Word、网页、PDF文件、电子邮件用语音阅读出来。本软件不仅安装快捷且易于使用。我们将免费提供该软件的使用权。

欲知更多详情有关dsl 收藏请联络

It was a busy night.

“Dancing First”

First we three, Ry (PumpkinWeirdo Keng), Kristy (Victoria Bury) and me (Lily Jun) performed “Winter Blossom” dance, 3Star Tyne designed the flower-like dress, Jimmy composed music. Ry probable designed 20 gestures/animations for dancing, I’m still not sure I followed his instruction, let’s wait to see the outcome in videos.

Winter Blossom Dance

Winter Blossom Dance

On Monument ’08 – Cloud Ladder

Then I shouted to the group, “let’s start climbing the cloud ladder on the Great Fire Wall!” Indeed, I  captured a bunch of footage showing how people were struggling between heaven and ground! Obviously it’s a frustrating and somehow scary experience – when attempting to reach the sky…

"get ready to reach the sky!"

"get ready to reach the sky!"

Sowa Mai is the bravest and most successful one!

Sowa Mai is the bravest and most successful one!

she's hestating, on "cloud-ladder" in Land of Illusion

she's hesitating

"a beautiful struggle"

"a beautiful struggle" - PumpkinWeirdo, the dancer, and 3star Tyne, our fashion designer, are standing on the ladder

Sowa Mai is falling ...

Sowa Mai is falling ...

After Falling , in Crystal Palace


"nice to see you again in Crystal Palace, Banrion Constantine:)"

Sowa Mai in Crystal Palace with "good fortune" symbol for OX year

Sowa Mai in Crystal Palace with "good fortune" symbol for OX year

we need fireworks, for the lost city...

we need fireworks, for the lost city...

visitors in Land of Illusion
visitors in Land of Illusion
We greatly appreciate all participants’ effort! The film production will be presented in several occasions, including in Digital Art@DMAC, East Village NYC, Boston Cyberarts Biennial SL art exhibition at University of Massachusetts. All participants will receive credits for performing. Any questions, please contact:
We need your participation for “new media+digital art exhibition”
in Emergence Gallery @ Duo Multicultural Art Center, East Village, NYC

“Land of Illusion” is presenting SL project at Duo Multicultural Arts Center for new media art exhibition. We need 8 to 12 avatars participating our new film project in Second Life, Peach Blossom Shangri-la.All participants will be credited for the event.

1st Filming Date: Jan. 31, 6:30 – 7:00PM SLT, or after Winter Blossom Dance by Story House Nightingale Group

2nd Filming Date: to be announced

Dress-code: formal or semi-formal, in either modern western style or traditional Chinese style

Filming Location: “Land of Illusion” in Second Life

Contact: Lily Jun in Second Life, or

Director: Lily & Honglei

Emergence Gallery @ Duo Multicultural Art Center

Emergence Gallery @ Duo Multicultural Art Center

Gallery Opening: March 16, 2009

Gallery Location: gallery Emergence@DMAC, 62 East 4th Street in the heart of the East Village.

Welcom to join us!

Lily & Honglei

“Land of Illusion – folklore in digital media”

presentation @ Upgrade! Boston

Upgrade! Boston Presentation

Upgrade! Boston Presentation

Curated by

Location: Studio for Interrelated Media, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, 621 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Schedule: May 19th, 2009

Event: artists talk by Lily & Honglei

note: Upgrade! Boston is a monthly gathering of artists, curators and the public that fosters dialogue and creates opportunities for collaboration within the new media community. Hosted by the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, each meeting consists of one or two hour-long presentations interspersed with questions and comments from the audience. Theme-based panel discussions are organized once or twice a year. The events are informal, free, and open to all. Founded by in January 2005, Upgrade! Boston continues to grow as a local node within the global Upgrade! International (UI) network.

Exhibition: Virtual Art @ NYC Broadway Gallery
 Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

Exhibition Location:

NY Arts Broadway Gallery, 473 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10013 (212) 274-8993

gallery websites:,

Exhibition Dates: February 15 – 28, 2009, Tues – Sat 10: – 6:00 pm.

Opening Reception: Thursday 6-8PM, February 19th, 2009

Exhibition Description: the exhibition explores virtual world art as a form of assessment of globalization, a venue to explore Internet-based virtual world as a Modernist techno-libertarian utopia, a political utopia, and “reality” of the dream world. The exhibition also serves as part of initiative of a new platform promoting net-art by presenting work in this field not only on Internet but in galleries in both New York City and Beijing.

Land of Illusion team: Scott Grant, Kristy Lee, Bill H. Li, Honglei Li, Ry Daniel Shanks, Bill Weaver, Lily Xiying Yang

lily, Patrick, Will & Craig discussing NY Arts Net-art initiative in VF clinic

lily, Patrick, Will & Craig discussing NY Arts Net-art initiative (first meeting in VF clinic)

Land of Illusion @ ImageRadio new media festival, Netherlands


Location: Eindhoven, Netherlands
Schedule: November 2, 19:00 – 22:00 (CET)
Event: Live performance Paradise of the Assassins
Paradise of the Assassins

Poster:Paradise of the Assassins

View Video

Work Description: “Land of Illusion” team is presenting their online performance and installation, Paradise of the Assassins, at ImageRadio 2008 new media festival held in Emergent Art Center, Eindhoven, Netherlands, October 30 – November 2, 2008. Performance, scheduled at November 2nd, 19:00 -22:00 CET, will be on view both in the exhibition and online in Second Life. Participants include new media artists Lily & Honglei, Ry Daniel Shanks, Bill Weaver and members of “Land of Illusion.”

Networked performance Paradise of the Assassins is a reflection on the traditional theme in Chinese folklore – assassinations of tyrants and authority, yet being interpreted with language of computer art. In the gallery, projection and computer workstation will allow viewers to interact with virtual encounters while
immersing in a fantasy landscape and storytelling. By controlling the avatar of Emperor Qin, in a online virtual space, viewers become confronting with performers taking forms of famous assassins from ancient China. This author/viewer relationship provokes rethinking of the individual identity in historical, social and cultural contexts.

Paradise of the Assassins performance - Grand View Garden

Paradise of the Assassins performance - Grand View Garden

Paradise of the Assassins in "Land of Illusion"

Paradise of the Assassins in "Land of Illusion"

Festival Outline: The festival is an experiment, critical reflection, and preview of how new media in public space impact our cultural, social and physical surroundings. The increase of display devices, data clouds, sensor networks, particularly in urban centers, provides a new medium. Public space becomes a playground in which dynamic and manipulative data influence our perception. Potential applications are shown in experimental installations. Theory, discussion and exchange on these topics are facilitated in the professional program and symposium.

More Information at

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