Lily & Honglei, Creative Capital, media art, Chinese new media artist

Lily & Honglei’s presentation at EMPAC theater, RPI campus in New York, 2015

Representing the art studio, Lily & Honglei presented on-going project “Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China” during a week long gathering of art professionals and Creative Capital grantees in both 2015 and 2013, who have received support from the organization for their projects in four categories: Moving Image, Visual Arts, Emerging Field and Performance Arts.

“We’re deeply moved by these artists’ courageous works that are pushing the boundaries, advocating for social justice, or promoting community wellbeing.” Lily and Honglei stated, “it was a great honor and wonderful opportunity to share our work with a group of exceptional artists. Through our project, we wanted to make a voice for those who cannot.”

Lily & Honglei, Creative Capital, media artist

Creative Capital 2015 presentations at EMPAC Theater, Rensselaer Polytech Institute, NY

A transcript of Lily & Honglei’s presentation:

Our project is called “Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China.” We are building the piece on both deep research and our 30-year life experience in China. The intention of this multimedia project is to visualize the urbanization process that has irreversibly changed the society, culture, and environment of the world’s most populous country.

Visually, the project is inspired by traditional Chinese shadow play, while technologically it’s decidedly forward-looking: first, we are developing digital animations for video installation in physical space; second, virtual reality sets the foundation for another facet of the piece- much of the project could be experienced through an immersive environment in cyperspace that anybody with Internet connection could access in real-time. A third segment of the piece will be developed using augmented reality technology on mobile devices. The three layers combine into a visual account of the complex process of urbanization, highlighting the tragic story of one Chinese rural family. The work is presented in four chapters:

The First Chapter shows the family of the village head leading a peaceful live in the countryside. It presents a landscape with traditional residences built in harmony with the natural environment. This chapter also depicts the violent confrontations between the villagers and a demolition team working for the local government and real estate developers. This type of clashes, often deadly, has become commonplace as a result of large-scale land-grabbing over the past two decades. At the end of this chapter, the village head is brutally crushed to death by the demolition team’s truck.

In Chapter 2, the village is demolished and most parts reduced to rubble. The rural landscape has been drastically transformed. The child of the village head is alone playing outside one night when a stranger in dark suit emerges and gives the child candy. Subsequently, the child is drugged and abducted. This chapter addresses the serious social problem of child abduction. It’s estimated that some 70,000 children are kidnapped in China every year, with many of them sold for adoption. The one-child policy, a fundamental strategy for China’s economic growth, has contributed to this problem.

Lily & Honglei, media art, new media art from china, creative capital award

In Chapter 3, the mother begins her journey looking for the missing child. She arrives the city’s train station along with countless migrant workers who are later struggling with their urban lives. Many of them have to live in the ‘underground city,’ which is an enormous network that comprises of tunnels, basements, even bomb shelters. This complex is located underneath the skyscrapers that they built with their own hands. The imagery of the falling workers is a metaphor for their fate. This specifically reflects on the worker suicide cases at the Foxconn factory, the electronics manufacturer behind popular products like the iPad and the iPhone.

In the last chapter, the mother continues to travel across the country in search of her child. Through her journey she observes the environmental degradation. Water and soil are severely polluted by industrial waste. Both rural and urban areas are shrouded in smog. All of such is caused by the mindless exploitation of the environment for the sake of fast economic growth. Meanwhile, the cultural heritage verges on extinction. Countless historic sites have submerged underwater as a result of gigantic engineering projects. The social environment remains as repressive as ever: the whole system can be compared to a maze without an exit, with people trapped within.

One day, the mother finds herself facing a heartbreaking sight: 5 homeless boys are found dead in a garbage container. They died from carbon monoxide poisoning after attempting to warm themselves by burning charcoal inside. In fact the five kids are among the 60 million Chinese children who left behind in the countryside when their parents set off as migrant workers.

We will also share a few clips of our previous work. Our proposed project “Shadow Play” will be completed around the summer of 2016. we are seeking some opportunities, particularly exhibition venues such as museums, galleries or art festivals. Also, we hope to develop collaborations with our fellow artists. This is our project. Thank you very much!

 

Visit Creative Capital blog for more info:

http://blog.creative-capital.org/2015/07/the-2015-creative-capital-artist-retreat-begins/

Lily & Honglei, Creative Capital 2015

and on Instagram: https://instagram.com/explore/tags/ccretreat/

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PROJECT PAGE:

http://creative-capital.org/projects/view/804

Special thanks and acknowledgement to He Li, assistant producer, researcher and artist at Lily & Honglei Art Studio.

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2015 CREATIVE CAPITAL AWARDS FOR MOVING IMAGE AND VISUAL ARTS ANNOUNCED

Creative Capital is pleased to announce its 2015 awardees in the categories of Moving Image and Visual Arts, representing a total of 46 funded projects selected from a nationwide pool of more than 3,700 proposals. Drawing on venture-capital principles, Creative Capital seeks out artists’ projects that are bold, innovative and genre-stretching, then surrounds those artists with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers.

The 2015 Creative Capital Artists are an incredible group of creative thinkers, representing 50 artists at all stages of their careers with an age range of 28 to 80 years old. They hail from 13 states plus Puerto Rico and Canada; more than half are women, and more than half identify as non­-European American. Each funded project receives up to $50,000 in direct funding, plus additional resources and advisory services valued at $45,000, making the organization’s total 2015 investment more than $4,370,000. “We believe it is so critical to sustain a commitment to invention and experimentation, to provocation and beauty,” said Ruby Lerner, Founding President & Executive Director, Creative Capital. “This class of Creative Capital awardees does it all; these artists are engaged with the world, and the immediacy of their projects is breathtaking.”

Lily & Honglei Creative Capital

The 2015 awardees in Moving Image are: Michael Almereyda (New York, NY) Martha Colburn (Gettysburg, PA) Cherien Dabis (Los Angeles, CA) Christopher Harris (Oviedo, FL) Lauren Kelley (New York, NY) Maryam Keshavarz (Los Angeles, CA) Klip Collective (Josh James and Ricardo Rivera) (Philadelphia, PA) Andy Kropa (Brooklyn, NY) Lily & Honglei (New Haven, CT) Shola Lynch (New York, NY) Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen (Los Angeles, CA) Jillian Mayer and Lucas Leyva (Mayer\Leyva) (Miami, FL) Lotfy Nathan (Los Angeles, CA) Pat O’Neill (Pasadena, CA) Carlo Ontal (Jersey City, NJ) Lorelei Pepi (Vancouver, Canada) Shawn Peters (Brooklyn, NY) Jennifer Reeder (Hammond, IN) Jon Rubin (Pittsburgh, PA) Ry Russo-Young (New York, NY) Lee Anne Schmitt (Altadena, CA) Dan Schneidkraut (Minneapolis, MN) Travis Wilkerson (Los Angeles, CA)

The 2015 awardees in Visual Arts are: A.K. Burns (Brooklyn, NY) Heather Cassils (Los Angeles, CA) Carolina Caycedo (Los Angeles, CA) Mike Crane (Brooklyn, NY) Danielle Dean (Houston, TX) Abigail DeVille (Bronx, NY) Maria Gaspar (Chicago, IL) Mariam Ghani (Brooklyn, NY) Eric Gottesman (Cambridge, MA) Titus Kaphar (New Haven, CT) Jon Kessler (New York, NY) Narcissister (Brooklyn, NY) Brittany Nelson (Richmond, VA) Lorraine O’Grady (New York, NY) Jeanine Oleson (Brooklyn, NY) Gala Porras-Kim (Los Angeles, CA) Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (San Juan, Puerto Rico) Carrie Schneider (Brooklyn, NY) Anna Sew Hoy (Los Angeles, CA) Amie Siegel (New York, NY) Katrin Sigurdardottir (New York, NY) Wu Tsang (Los Angeles, CA) Ivan Velez (Bronx, NY) Read more about these artists, their projects and the selection process at creative-capital.org.

Image credits (clockwise from top left): Eric Gottesman, Barbershop. A.K. Burns. Heather Cassils, Becoming an Image. Titus Kaphar, Untitled II. Jon Kessler, The Web. Cherien Dabis, still from May in the Summer. Martha Colburn, study for Western Wilds. Lily & Honglei, Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China. Maryam Keshavarz, research image for The Last Harem.

About Creative Capital

Creative Capital’s pioneering approach, inspired by venture-capital principles, surrounds adventurous artists in all disciplines with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers. Since 1999, Creative Capital’s awards program has committed more than $35 million in financial and advisory support to 465 projects representing 579 artists, including Kyle Abraham, Janine Antoni, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Theaster Gates, Meredith Monk, Laura Poitras, Rebecca Solnit and The Yes Men. Creative Capital has reached nearly 10,000 additional artists in more than 400 communities through its career-development workshops and webinars.

Creative Capital receives major support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Toby Devan Lewis, Lambent Foundation, The Theo Westenberger Estate, Booth Ferris Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, William K. Bowes, Jr. Foundation, Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, Catharine & Jeffrey Soros, Paige West, Kresge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Muriel Pollia Foundation, Clifton Foundation, Cordish Family Foundation, Sylvia Golden, Rappaport Family Foundation, Stephen Reily & Emily Bingham, Tequila Herradura, Two Sisters and a Wife Foundation, and more than 250 other institutional and individual donors.