Milky Way is a single-channel video produced by Lily & Honglei Art Studio from 2009 to 2010, now on view at Zhulong Gallery, Dallas. Following is a description of the work:

Milky Way

Artists: Honglei Li, Xiying Yang, He Li
Medium: Oil on Paper, video
Film Duration: 4’20”
Completion Year: 2009-2010

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Still image of ‘Milky Way,’ by Lily & Honglei Art Studio. On view at Zhulong Gallery, Dallas

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Still image of Milky Way, by Lily & Honglei Art Studio.

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Still image of Milky Way, by Lily & Honglei Art Studio.

An ancient folklore has become reality in present-day China.

The tale of the Weaving Maiden and the Buffalo Herder is known to practically every segment of the Chinese population. The narrative, which roots could be traced back thousands of years, revolves around a romance between the two namesake characters. The Weaving Maiden, a deity of the traditional Chinese pantheon, comes down to Earth and falls in love with the poor mortal Buffalo Herder. They marry in secret, transgressing against the boundary set between the human and the divine. When this serious offence is discovered by the Maiden’s mother, the chief goddess of Chinese folk religion, tragedy becomes inevitable. The mother calls her daughter back to the celestial realms, intending to undo the forbidden relationship. The Buffalo Herder, though, does not relinquish his love with such ease; he tries to reunite his family by sneaking into heaven with his two children. The plan is nonetheless foiled when the mother goddess draws a line in the sky, dividing the husband and the wife. The line becomes a river as deep waters gushes in and pushes through the heavenly nether.

Their love, though, finds a glimpse of respite when the mother decrees that they may reunite for one night each year. Only on the seventh night of the seventh month on the Chinese lunar calendar were the mythical lovers allowed to seek each other’s company. Such a tragedy is crystallized in the saga of Chinese astrology: the constellation Altair represents the Buffalo Herder while Vega is likened to the weaving maiden. The Milky Way is the celestial river which separates them.

As fancifully heartbreaking as the story is, it is undoubtedly more tragic that the tale has become reality for rural families in contemporary China. The traditional lifestyle of the agrarian population has been destroyed by the economic development that has been taking place over the past few decades. In order to fulfill their basic needs of living, hundreds of millions of rural people have poured into cities as migrant workers. True to the folklore, families have been separated and have no means of reuniting except for a day or two each year during the traditional Spring Festival. Such separation has not only brought dread to families, but also the collapse of cultural morality that roots in the relationship between land and people.

The animated film Milky Way reimagines the story of the Weaving Maiden and Buffalo Herder to reflect the social reality of present-day China. Settings include the urban landscape of Shanghai, the fireworks ceremony at the Beijing Olympics Stadium, and the ruinous aftermath of the Sichuan Earthquake that was concurrent with the 2008 Olympic Games.

The short film Milky Way is composed of a series of original oil-paintings created by Lily & Honglei from 2009 to 2010.

©2008-2014 LILY & HONGLEI ART STUDIO. All Rights Reserved.

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[Photograph below courtesy of Zhulong Gallery]

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Milky Way, video by Lily & Honglei. Zhulong Gallery. 2014

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Lily & Honglei’s video piece Milky Way at Satellite new media art exhibition, Zhulong Gallery. 2014

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Lily & Honglei’s video piece Milky Way, Zhulong gallery. 2014

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Painting of Milky Way, at Satellite new media art exhibition, Zhulong Gallery. 2014

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Milky Way, oil on paper, Zhulong Gallery

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Preview Reception of ‘Satellite’ inaugural exhibition presenting new media art. Zhulong Gallery, 2014.

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State-of-the-art facilities, Zhulong new media art gallery. 2014

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Preview night: new media art exhibition ‘Satellite’ at Zhulong Gallery.

Curator: Aja Martin

Curatorial Statement

Satellite, the inaugural exhibition at Zhulong Gallery, features New Media works by 11 contemporary artists. Satellite frames the primary focus of our technologically-driven gallery as a hub for receiving and transmitting art and ideas. Projecting information through time and space, the selections presented in Satellite indicate future solo exhibitions at Zhulong Gallery. The works and the exhibition interpret and respond to data, culture, travel and time. Some works present subject matter relating to the exploration of outer space, and others hint at the satellite and its functions in an abstract, yet tangible manner. Of course, many of the works help raise the inevitable question, “Whose technology is it?”

Artists Include:

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Satellite exhibition at Zhulong Gallery, Art in America, April issue 2014

For more info, visit

http://zhulonggallery.com/index.php?/Exhibitions

Also view the Preview Reception here

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http://zhulonggallery.com/index.php?/Exhibitions
http://zhulonggallery.com/Press_Releases/2014_04_04_Zhulong_Gallery_Release.doc

For immediate release:

Zhulong Gallery Premieres with Satellite

(Dallas, TX—March 11)  Zhulong Gallery launches in Dallas on April 3. Designed to showcase New Media art, its multi-level galleries reclaimed from industrial space provide a high-tech platform for contemporary art.  The gallery’s façade is a 17 x 10-foot screen for projecting images, text and video. Downstairs, the gallery space presents a museum-like setting that creates a sense of discovery for guests.  Upstairs, a poetic gallery deck provides views of Downtown Dallas and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.

Aja Martin, director of Zhulong Gallery, said, “In Satellite, we just begin to explore the wide-ranging field of New Media art.” She added, “Satellite is a sampling of artists who will be featured in future exhibitions.”

Zhulong Gallery, 1302 Dragon Street, Dallas, TX 75207
Premiere Exhibit:  Satellite
Preview, April 3, 2014, 6 – 9 pm, To RSVP, http://www.zhulonggallery.com/RSVP
Exhibit continues April 4 – May 10, 2014. Beginning April 5, Zhulong Gallery will be open Tuesday – Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm or by appointment.

Satellite features New Media works by 11 contemporary artists and frames Zhulong Gallery as a hub for receiving and transmitting art and ideas. The artists interpret data, culture, travel, and time.  Some of the works contain subject matter relating to space exploration and others hint at the satellite and its functions in an abstract, yet tangible manner.

Artists in Satellite present works that explore the expanding parameters of New Media:

• Hiba Ali (b. Karachi, Pakistan, currently Chicago, IL) creates virtual environments and documents that explore power formations and alternatives to current Western infrastructures.

• Erika Blumenfeld (USA) – With special devices, Blumenfeld records light and presents it as phenomenon in the form of installations, sound and video art, and artist books.

• Lily & Honglei (New York and Beijing) – This two-person collective meld the virtual and ‘real’, offering augmented realities (AR), video works, and virtual films communicating ideas about Chinese history and culture and its relationship to the globalized present. They are also members of the collective Manefest.AR, which uses mobile technology as strategy for visual art.

• James Geurts’ (London, UK and Melbourne, Australia) ‘Expanded Drawings’ take an abundance of forms: public installations and sculptures, graphite drawings, projections and video works. All iterations convey the artist’s observations of specific geologic phenomena.

• Susan Giles (Chicago, IL) presents architectural sculptures that relay the fragility and folly of memory. Working with spectacular and banal architectural forms and features, the artist creates large and small-scale sculptural works and video deal with transmission of experience into language—audible and gestural.

• Ira Greenberg (Dallas, TX) works in the computation medium and most recently explores new life forms through programming. His ‘protobytes’ respond to their environments living and dying among us in real-ti

• Paul Hertz (Chicago, IL) will present works from his latest series of glitch art, a program that visualizes the collapse of time and memory.

• Chris Lattanzio (Dallas, TX) creates glowing relief sculptures and environments that play on Pop Art and render the banal and the spiritual with equal affect. Highly saturated or cool and atmospheric, the works alter both space and psyche.

• Anh-Thuy Nguyen (b. Vietnam, currently Claremore, OK) is a performance and video artist who explores our significant cultural relationships with food in an attempt to present distinct but universal ideas.

• Max Schich (Dallas, TX) culls massive data and interprets it into delicate visual representations. These info-pictures communicate trends, connections and disparities that might go unnoticed without this specific visual context.

• Lauren Woods (Dallas, TX) is a conceptual artist working in hybrid media. Her ‘inkblot projections’ and other video, film and sound works set up alternative means and roles for viewing, the viewer and subject.

Zhulong Gallery:  the new light on Dragon Street.  More information is available at http://www.zhulongallery.com.

For more information regarding Satellite, please contact info@zhulonggallery.com.

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Zhulong Gallery inaugurating exhibition ‘Satellite’ in April issue, Art in America magazine, 2014

Lily & Honglei’s work on view: video and painting of Milky Way

http://zhulonggallery.com/index.php?/Artists/Lily_and_Honglei

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Still image of animated film ‘Milky Way,’ by Lily & Honglei Art Studio