work in progress –

whose banquets?

whose fruits and who can enjoy?

folk tales

Heavenly Peach Banquet [1]

Monkey travels to heaven to demand recognition of his new found power. There he finds seven fairies preparing a banquet for the birthday of the Queen Mother of Heaven. Incensed that he has not been invited, he begins to eat the Queen Mother’s magical heavenly peaches, and fights off each of her divine guests who try to prevent this. The Queen Mother then calls upon Buddha to deal with Monkey.

Rebellion Against Heaven

Rebellion Against Heaven

Monkey King’s (Sun Wukong 孙悟空)profile [2]

also called – Great Sage Equal of Heaven (Qi Tian Da Sheng 齐天大圣)

When he returned to Flower Fruit Mountain after leaving his post as Bi Ma Wen, two single-horned demon kings came to him and suggested that he take the title of Great Sage Equal of Heaven. Wu Kong was very receptive of this idea and called himself by that title from then on. Afterwards, when he defeated all the Heavenly generals sent to capture him, the Jade Emperor (ruler of Heaven) gave him the post of Great Sage Equal of Heaven to placate. It was, of course, an empty post with no work for Wu Kong to do.

About “As-one-wishes” Rod 如意金箍棒 [3]

如意金箍棒 is pronounced as Ruyi Jingu Bang, literally meaning “As-you-will Golden-bound Cudgel”, is the poetic name of a magical weapon wielded by the Monkey King in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West.

Monkey King's "as-ones-wishes" rod

Monkey King's magical weapon - "As-one-wishes" Rod

rather than changing sizes, varied patterns are emitted from the rod - as my wish!

rather than changing sizes, varied patterns are emitted from the rod - as I wish!

It is an iron rod whose size changes “as-one-wishes”, once used by Da Yu to measure the depth of the flood waters destroying ancient China, which Wukong obtains from the undersea palace of Ao Guang, the Dragon King of the East Sea. It is immensely heavy; in modern measurements, it is slightly weightier than 7.5 metric tons. When it is not in use, Wukong shrinks it to the size of a sewing needle and keeps it behind his ear. It is often depicted as red and having gold bands near the ends. In other depictions, it is shown as a silver staff with golden ends, or as a solid gold or copper staff. In some forms of the legend Journey to the West, Ao Guang is shown to have believed that the cudgel was hardly worth anything, until Wukong commanded it to both shrink and grow, showing its extreme worth to his dismay, because he did not particularly like Wukong.

a new project about “utopias’ realities”

Rebellion against Heaven is one of the most popular animated films when I was a kid. It was adopted from Journey to the West as a propaganda program convincing people that “rebelling is reasonable.” It’s a beautiful film with visual style mimicking colorful Chinese woodcut print, and the exciting narrative based on the Chinese classical. All children love Monkey King, and admire his power with “72 transformations” that defeated generals and army from heaven, especially  the unbeatable “as-one-wishes” rod, which perhaps symbolizes his “revolutionary spirit.” I guess all of these have moved me deeply, that I decide to make a new machinima covering “climbing cloud ladder to reach heaven” and “rebellion at heavenly Peach banquet.” Former was completed on  Jan. 31.2009. As for the latter, I built a “water cube” (the swimming stadium in 2008 Beijing Olympic Game) suspending right over the “cloud ladder” with a banquet inside; then myself has been transformed to Monkey King, the owner of “as-one-wishes” rod, which starts the stories.

Monkey King in Water Cube

Monkey King in Water Cube

Last week I was in half way building “drifting inspirations”(adopt Qu-Shui-Liu-Shang drink game in ancient China) disseminating recluse culture of China. Peach Blossom Shangri-la was the title by then. I thought it’s important to use “Shangri-la” because the work is interpreting independence and solitude. Things went smoothly with filming on Winter Blossom Dance and Monument ’08 – climbing and falling.

Then I started worrying a little that the theme appears too aloft to be understood by audience. At this point, Honglei came to talk about his research on folk opera about Monkey King, and how this could be a perfect theme discussing religion and values lost during globalization and economic development of China. What a backward since ’89! Does the openness only mean being slaves for the global market, or showing off their vanity? and their belief and confidence resulted by the economic success have led them to extend ambitions in some dangerous directions… Yet we don’t want to see riot, “I just hope the country is alright, not too good neither too bad, so others will leave it alone.” Honglei said. I agree. And I signed 08 Charter. It’s alright. The shoe missed the goal again. It’s not a bad thing to know that many “(con)temporary Chinese artists” are thinking of new occupations under the stress of financial crisis.

Water Cube susbanding in Land of Illusion - reach it with cloud ladder

Water Cube suspending in Land of Illusion - reach it with cloud ladder

Yes, things are changing. One of my blogs needs to be closed, because I don’t care a “public service;” then it’ll be merged into my personal blog, for making voices in a more real and enjoyable way. Same to my teaching – I declined an offer in Boston, simply consider it’s worth nothing to my creative self. We’re moving to NYC, where I will be a recluse again. People come to suggest, hey Lily let’s collaborate on something about new media, it’ll be exciting… no, it’s in fact boring. We all get a point that technology has become so sophisticated that any artist can use computer to produce work, and not bothered by much coding. When technology is advancing, it becomes more unnoticeable, naturally taking part of artistic creativity. “Science and art” likely begin breaking apart again, relatively I mean. They’ll walk on their own track as usual. I don’t believe most scientists can be artists as well, vise versa. And I promise you academia will pull you back as an artist – you think anyone can teach you to be creative? Coding won’t help. It’s simply not the way resulting great art. It was an exciting concept or motivation barely fruiting, mainly because science is dominant in this trend which results conservative work in terms of getting in touch with our innermost feelings. Ha! Clearly I’m out of the cage already, saying something that I believe – learn from the real life rather in lab or studio! And if you are a real artist, nothing can stop you.  If you are driven by profit, it’s a bad time. Don’t show me your project only with empty big names and work with big budget, that proves you can’t see anything through your own eyes. Have you seen Rikoko’s dairy? The Japanese girl’s journey in Second Life is admirable for its freedom, beauty, independence and loneliness! You may argue it’s something else than contemporary art. Who cares.

Lily Jun checking Man's Dream Umbrella at RMB city's People's worksite

Lily Jun checking Man's Dream Umbrella at RMB city's People's worksite

the realities of utopias - this could be the theme for upcoming SL presentation in Boston Cyberarts 2009

the realities of utopias - this could be the theme for upcoming SL presentation in Boston Cyberarts 2009

Dream Umbrella and “As-one-wishes”

Taking Honglei’s suggestion about Monkey King distroying “heavenly peach banquet” instead of yinshi (recluse) in Peach Blossom Shangri-la this time, I set the background at Water Cube of Olympics 2008, and truly feel the rebelling Monkey is waking in my soul.

It’s in fact the point we are going to organize a SL presentation for Boston Cyberarts. UMass design gallery provides professional setting up for new media work. I’ll need to test the Internet speed for live SL performance. If impossible, still we can show machinimas based on a few sites with intriguing inputs. I’m adding a map directing visitors to these stops: Land of Illusion (lily & honglei), Arena (upbar), a place for “dream umbrella”(patrick). Those sites/artists alway have some new work to show. Their latest experiments are exciting.

dream umbrella by Man Machinaga - in Land of Illusion

dream umbrella by Man Michinaga (Patrick) - in Land of Illusion

After a conversation with Patrick, I paid a visit in RMB city People’s Worksite, as I first saw “dream umbrella” there. Luckily Patrick was online and responded my request with a cutely designed lady’s umbrella. I like the whole idea that once you type in “/7show”, the list of  available items appear, then type /7xxxx, one expects image or object to be emitted, while the umbrella tells the dream related to the item….

I adopt the script from “Dream Umbrella” (Patrick Lichty or Man Michinaga) to make my “as-one-wishes” rod. It’s fine as long as you’re not selling them. The script image/object emission is actually not new  in SL and can be seen in many locations.





Report on Boston Cyberart Festival 2009 News Release

Tenth anniversary Festival features
increased focus on art in cyberspace

Boston, MA – Exhibitions and performances by artists who use computer technology as an integral part of their work are once again on display at the sixth Boston Cyberarts Festival, taking place April 24-May 10, 2009. The Festival, a collaboration of visual and performing artists, cultural organizations, educators, and high-technology professionals, takes place at museums, galleries, theatres, schools, and public spaces in and around the Boston area, and online at

The first Boston Cyberarts Festival took place ten years ago, in 1999, and since that time the biennial event has become an eagerly-anticipated part of the Boston-area arts and technology scene. George Fifield, Director of Boston Cyberarts, noted: “The Boston area has been a center of art and technology for decades, since the pioneering work done by institutions like WGBH, Polaroid, and the MIT Media Lab. We’re proud that for the past decade we have been able to shine a spotlight on both the rich history of art and technology, and on the visions for the future.”

One of the key features of this year’s Festival is an increased emphasis on art in cyberspace. Among the events and exhibitions that can be enjoyed on the web are:

* Loops: A Dance & Technology Project: Artists will be repurposing and reinterpreting Merce Cunningham’s “Loops,” using open-source software created from the motion-capture of the Cunningham work. The results will be available to view online, in exhibition at the MIT Museum, and in a live performance.

* HyperArtSpace Gallery: Boston Cyberarts’ own online gallery will be the site of a series of curated exhibitions of web-based artwork.

* Second Life: Boston Cyberarts is planning an array of projects in the virtual environment of Second Life. At least one of these exhibitions, organized by Lily & Honglei, will also be on view in the gallery at U. Mass Dartmouth.

A rich array of events and exhibitions in many art forms are also on tap for the 2009 Festival.

[read more…]

New Exhibition Information

Curatorial Statement

Lucian Perkins, photojournalist and two time Pulitzer prize winner

With one of America’s most significant inaugurations just behind us, the country in economic turmoil, and a multitude of wars being fought on foreign soil, freedom is not far from anybody’s mind. Not just in the political sense, for as tension rises we also seek creative escapes, and from that new ideas emerge. Gallery RFD’s upcoming exhibition, Sweet Escape, is about exploring liberty in any context. We request your views about political freedom, personal freedom, and creative freedom, interpreted into works of art.

Exhibition runs: April 11 – May 2, 2009

Opening Reception: April 11, 2009, 5-8 p.m

Gallery RFD

Gallery RFD

Lily & Honglei - China new media art

Work on View:Trilogy "Peacock Flies Southeast" by Lily & Honglei

Land of Illusion by Lily & Honglei

Work on View: Land of Illusion by Lily & Honglei

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)

Networked Performance: Hundred Schools of Thought

Dec.18, 9-10PM EST, 6-7PM SLT

Teleport to Land of Illusion now

Hundred Schools of Thought - performance in "Land of Illusion"

Hundred Schools of Thought – performance in “Land of Illusion”

Performance Description: By reflecting on the cultural phenomenon in Chinese history, “Land of Illusion” team’s new performance in Second Life, Hundred Schools of thought aims to making critical social and cultural commentaries in Cyberspace.

From Spring and Autumn to Warring States Period, during nearly 500 years in China, thought was freed, learning was unrestricted. Scholars without official responsibilities, were able to develop their views freely; heterodoxies thus could widely prevail. Men of profound thought and far vision inevitably were moved to make critical inquires into the causes and influences of these great changes, and quite naturally voiced opposition or offered constructive proposal.

In this performance in Second Life, six major philosophers reside in the Grand View Garden, presenting or advocating their thoughts and strategies freely. While the characters are identifiable by appearances and activities through historical accounts, performers, six artists and educators from China, Australia and America, have been encouraged to interpret the profound cultural message with their own reading when retaining their personal virtual identities as certain degree. Exploring “multifaceted identities” is the focus of this social-cultural reinterpretations through symbolic approaches.

Viewers are invited to log in Second Life for an immersive experience of this performance reflecting on not only Chinese history and philosophy, but legend and personality.

more information at, and