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/

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

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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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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

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

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.

______________________________________________________________

[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:

Lily & Honglei, Art in America, Zhulong Gallery, new media art in China, Chinese new media artist

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

Great Firewall and Sunken City

Lily & Honglei

at

The BUSHWICK AUGMENTED REALITY INTERVENTION

is an augmented reality take over of Bushwick, Brooklyn NY. Artists will rework physical space with computer generated 3d graphics. A wide rang of works ranging from a site specific unicorn park to serious cometary on the state of United States veterans.

Curated by Mark Skwarek

Participating artists:

Beta Spaces

http://bushwickbk.com/2010/11/02/beta-spaces-balloons-into-a-festival/

BETA Spaces (Bushwick Exhibition Triangle of Alternative Spaces) is a free one-day festival conceptualized and thematic group exhibitions on Sunday November 14th, from 12-7pm. The festival focuses on curatorial experimentation and collaboration. There will be over 50 shows, including the work of over 250 individual artists, in spaces ranging from galleries to studios to apartments to mobile trucks to Smartphone apps!

BETA Spaces 2010

Nov 14th, 2010, Nurture Art, Brooklyn.
Also read on WNYC here

Our new animation “Home” participates Premio Terna 03  in Italy. It’s now viewable at

http://www.premioterna.it/pt03/#work/pt03-8830

Still of Home

Home

Medium: Chinese cutpapter motifs, digital animation, soundtrack. Duration: 2 minutes 30 second. Year of Completion: 2010

Artist Statement

by Lily & Honglei

Home is an emotional depiction of transformation of lives.

The video begins with lively memory of our childhood. At that time, around Chinese New Year, family members would decorate their rooms with handmade cut-paper pieces in bright red, which seemed bring warmth to home in the harshest winter days in Beijing. “Magpies and Plume Blossoms” is one of the most typical motifs found on windows. The small building in Hutong (courtyard) style, Spring Festival pictures with painted door-gods, exquisite lantern, firecrackers, giggling chickens, and wind wheels – all of these recall happiness of simple live in the past. …The world changes so fast. Things we cherish only remain in memory. In the reality, the entire neighborhood of our home was demolished prior to Beijing Olympic Game. We captured the bleak landscape outside our window with a camera. It was another day around Chinese New Year.

In China’s, recently, demolishing residential areas and relocating millions of people become everyday practices for economic development that lead to countless family tragedies. Through telling our personal experiences, Home, the short animated film composed with traditional Chinese cut-paper images, indicates the situation that both people’s property and feelings have been trampled as a result of the social transformation inducing bottomless desire for profit.

On Mar. 22nd, we gave a lecture about our new media artworks at Auditorium of O’Leary Library, UMass Lowell. This was part of Upgrade! Boston organized by Turbulence.org. We wanted to send our gratitudes to Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington for always generously supporting new media artists! Also many thanks to Jehanne-Marie Gavarini and Department of Art, UMass Lowell for sponsoring this event. More information, please read here.

Lily & Honglei: artist talk at Auditorium at O'Leary Library, UMass Lowell

 

 

Trace

(machinima based on Land of Illusion, 5 mintues 30 seconds, with sound. 2009)

“The trace is not a presence but is rather the simulacrum of a presence that dislocates, displaces, and refers beyond itself. The trace has, properly speaking, no place for effacement belongs to the very structure of the trace….In this was the metaphysical text is understood; it is still readable, and remains read.” – Derrida

Virtual Environment Developed by Lily & Honglei

Machinima Director, Video Edit and Sound Effect by Lily & Honglei

“Underwater” Porformance organized by Daniel Shanks, conducted by Jade Sharkfin, Jolene Sabetha, Kai Serapis.

more info: http://lilyhonglei.com/LandOfIllusion/

Portrait of America

Lily & Honglei

"Portrait of America" installation

"Portrait of America" installation

Installation detail

Installation Detail

Media: installation, animation projection and drawings

Producing year: 2003-2009

Size: varied (depending on available space)

Description:

The installation’s construction is inspired by portrait art kiosk found in many shopping malls in America. The walls of the installation are made up of hundred celebrity portraits, while the inside is left for projection of animated film created by Lily & Honglei. Audience can peep through a few hollow frames on the walls, as well as walking inside to watch the video. During the opening, Honglei is conducting a performance by drawing a popular figure in American culture inside the installation.

Both video and portrait components reveal how the mainstream ideology impacts another cultural group’s everyday life and traditions, such as lives of Chinese diaspora in America. The spatial relationship of the installation implies that the effect of Americanism may be obvious on surface, however, our inner struggle for displacement, desire and identity remains crucial.

In order to survive, many well-trained Chinese artists make living by producing portraits in shopping malls or on street in America. With their superb drawing technique that they obtained from art schools in China, which provide training fundamentally for propaganda purposes, those Chinese artists can produce amazingly realistic portrait art for customers, some purchase the works for family events, or in memory of deceased relatives, while more people buy celebrity portrait as a gift or home decoration during holidays. Still, the work can be considered a ‘Social Realism’ art practice, and maintains the function of glorifying public idols, although now serving a consumer culture instead of socialist leadership.

Composed with oil paintings and displayed inside the installation, the video unveils live stories of Chinese immigrants in America. It is viewable at: http://lilyhonglei.com/mangoTree