Lily & Honglei new media artist, new media art China, venice biennale, manifest.ar, Lily & Honglei Chinese contemporary artists

Lily & Honglei: Crystal Coffin-Virtual China Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial

SPATIAL NARRATIVES IN ART

by SIMONA LODI, Art Director Share Festival , Curator, Art Critic

simona.lodi@toshare.it

Abstract

The text analyzes the work of artists who use augmentation, information and immersion in specifc contexts—public orprivate spaces. Te aim of the analysis is to understand socio-cultural transformations in the felds of art and technologyin social space and what new forms of aggregation and participation have developed, providing an opportunity to refecton new concepts of democracy that are emerging in our global media age. Te question underlying the study is how doartists who use augmentation, information and immersion give new meaning to the concept of public space, changingthe proprietary boundaries of that space and concept of what it is to perceive reality.

Manifest.AR members John Craig Freeman and Sander Veenhof, with Simona Lodi from the Invisible Pavilion, at Venice Biennial 2011 Opening

Manifest.AR members John Craig Freeman and Sander Veenhof, with Simona Lodi from the Invisible Pavilion, at Venice Biennial 2011 Opening

Working on the Invisible Pavilion project for the 54th Venice Biennale, it so happened that we came across another group of artists working on much the same issue, so we decided to cooperate with them and launch ajoint attack on the Biennale from diferent fronts and perspectives. In June 2011, the cutting-edgeinternational cyberartist group Manifest.AR¹¹ issued a statement to the general public and to the presidentand director of the 54th Venice Biennale informing them that they had created additional pavilions in theGiardini concourse, built in the new medium of augmented reality, and that some of the works had leakedout into the public space of Saint Mark’s Square. Te artists Mark Skwarek, Sander Veenhof, Tamiko Tiel,Will Peppenheimer, John Craig Freeman, Lily and Hong Lei, Naoko Tosa and John Cleater all took partdirectly in the project.

Tamiko Thiel, with Simona Lodi and Gionatan Quintini from the Invisible Pavilion

Tamiko Thiel, with Simona Lodi and Gionatan Quintini from the Invisible Pavilion

As Tamiko Tiel explains:

“Augmented reality has redefned the meaning of ‘public space.’ As corporations privatize many public spaces and governments put the rest under surveillance, augmented reality artists take over the invisible but actual realm that overlays real space with multiple parallel universes. Augmented reality actualizes the metaverse in the real universe, merging the digital and the real into a single, common space. Augmented reality can conquer space but it is not indifferent to space. With my artworks you must negotiate real space in order to view the works. They are usually not single images or objects, but installations that surround you. In order to look at them you must move your body in space, looking up, down and twisting around.12” In Shades of Absence: Outside Inside, Tamiko Tiel inserted into the closed curatorial space of the Giardini concourse in Venice the silhouetted fgures of artists who have been threatened with arrest or physical violence. Regardless of whether they are outsiders or insiders to the Art System, known internationally or only within small circles, their work has excluded these artists from the safety of protected space.

More info:

http://manifestarblog.wordpress.com/manifestar-opening-venice-biennial-2011/

Read the entire article here.

Title: Moon

Artists: Lily & Honglei Art Studio (Xiying Yang, Honglei Li, He Li)

Year of production: 2015

Duration: 8’00”

Medium: Chinese ink painting on rice paper, video

A video excerpt is viewable at http://youtu.be/P9mf3GozppE

Moon (synopsis)

In the video Moon, the lunar phases are looked upon through a poetic lens. In Far Eastern culture, such phases symbolize the elusiveness of fate as well as both the separation and reunion of loved ones. By setting original ink painting works in motion, Moon presents a natural phenomenon in a manner that unveils an introspective human world – an approach is profoundly inspired by traditional Chinese poetry and art. A reflection upon humanity, conflict, loss, and hope is drawn through space and time as a dreamscape of inner emotions merged with the natural world. The film is comprised of a series of Chinese ink paintings on rice paper and could be projected on a variety of different surfaces such as a solid wall or a still pond of water. Both indoors and outdoors environments are fit within the scale of this project. (2016 © Lily & Honglei Art Studio. All rights reserved. )

new media art, video art by Lily & Honglei, He Li, new media art in China, Chinese contemporary artist

Moon still 1, Chinese ink painting on rice paper, 24x36in. by Lily & Honglei. 2012

Inspirations

A Flowery Moonlit Night on a Spring River (by Zhang Ruoxu, Tang Dynasty in China)

(Translation source: http://www.joyen.net/article/listen/2/201103/3975.html)

‘In spring the river rises as high as the sea,
And with the river’s rise the moon up-rises bright.
She follows the rolling waves for ten thousand li,
And where the river flows, there overflows her light.

‘The river winds around the fragrant islet where
The blooming flowers in her light all look like snow.
You cannot tell her beams from hoar frost in the air,
Nor from white sand upon Farewell Beach below.

‘No dust has stained the water blending with the skies;
A lonely wheel-like moon shines brilliant far and wide.
Who by the riverside first saw the moon arise?
When did the moon first see a man by riverside?

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

Moon still 2, Chinese ink painting on rice paper, 24x36in, by Lily & Honglei, 2012.

‘Ah, generations have come and past away;
From year to year the moon looks alike, old and new.
We do not know tonight for whom she sheds her ray,
But hear the river say to its water adieu

‘Away, away is sailing a single cloud white;
On Farewell Beach pine away maples green.
Where is the wanderer sailing his boat tonight?
Who, pining away, on the moonlit rails would learn?

‘Alas! The moon is lingering over the tower;
It should have seen the dressing table of the fair.
She rolls the curtain up and light comes in her bower;
She washes but can’t wash away the moonbeams there.

Lily & Honglei Art Studio, Chinese new media artist, new media artist New York, He Li, contemporary Chinese art

Still of “Moon,” Chinese ink painting on rice paper, video. Lily & Honglei Art Studio. 2012-13

He Li, contemporary art, Chinese new media artist, video art, Lily & Honglei art studio

‘She sees the moon, but her beloved is out of sight;
She’d follow it to shine on her beloved one’s face.
But message-bearing swans can’t fly out of moonlight,
Nor can letter-sending fish leap out of their place.

Last night he dreamed that falling flowers would not stay.
Alas! He can’t go home, although half spring has gone.
The running water bearing spring will pass away;
The moon declining over the pool will sink anon

The moon declining sinks into a heavy mist;
It’s a long way between southern rivers and eastern seas.
How many can go home by moonlight who are missed?
The sinking moon sheds yearning o’er riverside trees.’

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

Lily & Honglei, Chinese contemporary artist, new media art in China, He Li, new media art new york, video art

Still of “Moon,” Chinese ink painting on rice paper, video. Lily & Honglei Art Studio. 2012-13

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Background

Since the years spent separately in Germany and China in the ’90s, we have been pondering on producing a contemporary piece based on Chinese poetry and ink painting traditions. Although many compositions were sketched around this idea, the complete piece had not been fully planned out until a discussion occurred in 2012 with curator Heng-Gil Han, who was then proposing a series of international exhibitions focusing on unification of Korea with his ambitious curatorial concept.  Fitting the exhibition theme, video piece ‘Moon,’ inspired by Chinese shanshu (mountain-and-river) paintings and poems such as A Flowery Moonlit Night on a Spring River by Zhang Ruoxu, and Shui diao ge touMoon by Su Dongpo, was finally materialized.

Oakland Gardens & Alley Pond in New York, where we stroll on  hilly forest paths discussing ‘Moon’-

Lily & Honglei Art Studio, He Li, video art

our daily walking route by Oakland Lake, where we discuss new work…

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Lily & Honglei Art Studio

Alley Pond, outside the art studio in New York

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Moon is commissioned by Korean Art Forum and will be presented at Common Ground exhibition in UK in 2014, curated by Heng-Gil Han.

Collaborating with John Craig Freeman, our new AR project “From Lewisburg to Silicon Valley” is participating Zero 1 Biennial 2012 in San Jose, CA, Sept. 12 – Dec. 8, 2012, with a Media Preview at Catherine Clark Gallery’s New York Pop-Up Space in May 2012.

Mobile phone screenshot of AR project ‘From Lewisburg to Silicon Valley’

The connection from Lewisburg Pennsylvania to the high-tech corporate campuses of Silicon Valley can be traced in the migration of the worlds manufacturing on its never ending quest for the least expensive, least regulated labor force and the trail of economic devastation it leaves in its wake. Viewed through their own mobile device, the “From Lewisburg, PA to Silicon Valley” augmented reality public art projects asks the audience to consider their own implications in this global history.
– John Craig Freeman,  From Lewisburg, PA to Silicon Valley
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MANIFEST.AR @ ZERO1 Biennial 2012 

ManifestAR_Silicon Valley Global 2_by Tamiko Thiel.jpg
  • ManifestAR_signs-over-semiconductors-draw1_b.jpg ManifestAR_15 Minute Companies_by Sander Veenhof.jpg Bottomless_Pit_Skwarek.jpg apple_campus.jpg

Commissioned by the Samek Gallery at Bucknell University for the ZERO1 Biennial and presented in collaboration with ZERO1

The collective proposes to establish an onsite installation for exhibition at the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial with parallel components at the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University in Lewisburg Pennsylvania. Titled “Manifest.AR @ ZERO1,” the group will draw on collective art practices centered around mobile augmented reality apps that aggregate and map a series of works re-imagining and reinterpreting the high-tech corporate campuses and products of Silicon Valley. Performative and site-specific works will be created around the cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Lewisburg.

Manifest.AR is an international artists’ collective working with emergent forms of augmented reality as interventionist public art. The group sees this medium as a way of transforming public space and institutions by installing virtual objects, which respond to and overlay the configuration of located physical meaning. Utilizing this technology as artwork is an entirely new proposition and explores all that we know and experience as the mixture of the real and the hyper-real.

For more information, visit http://www.zero1biennial.org/content/manifest-ar

Or download Press Release: http://manifestarblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/zero1-press-release-4-093.pdf

ASPECT: A Chronicle of New Media Art
V18: Export China
Fall 2011

In recent decades, China has undergone massive social, economic and cultural change, altering its citizens’ view of the world and themselves. China’s artists have rapidly absorbed and reinterpreted the pluralistic styles of Western art, using them to translate the unique realities of life in contemporary China. In turn, many Western artists interested in the play between the individual and society have turned their attention to China as a complex and often culturally loaded subject. This volume contains work by artists from both China and the West, participating in this cross-cultural exchange, responding to it critically from an embedded perspective.

Attempting to approach China as a single subject leads to an encounter with contradictions. Home to what is arguably the oldest continuous culture in the world, it has yet faced unprecedented changes over the past century alone. Its citizens stand between two very different worlds, and each generation’s experience is seemingly unrecognizable to the last. This struggle between the historical and ahistorical may be the cohesive element of the volume. Many of the works featured deal with a piling-on of contradictory elements, a rewriting of history, or a collapsing of past, present and future. Some attempt to present the realities of contemporary life in China through documentary footage, others merely hint at its nuances through poetic gesture. What is offered is not a complete picture of media art made in or responding to contemporary China. Instead it is an attempt to correct the assumption of a single Chinese artistic “voice” or style, to present the multiplicity of experiences in as wide a breadth as possible.

lily & honglei, chinese contemporary artists

As an artist collective from China, our work reflects social realities and cultural traditions of China. Taking form of digital multimedia presentation, our projects often adapt symbolism and metaphors from Chinese folklore, and reinterpret them in a contemporary context. Integrating fine arts language with new media approaches including digital animation and virtual art, we create visual experiences belong to the 21st century.  – by Lily & Honglei

Find more information about art project Land of Illusion – Reconstituting History and Culture in Virtual Reality, and commentary by Stephen Persing, click here.

Special Thanks to our project contributors and collaborators:

He Li, 3D modelling, animation and performance in Second Life online virtual world.

Daniel Shanks, performance in Second Life online virtual world.

Scott Grant, performance in Second Life online virtual world.

Philip Zhenming Zhai, conceptual advisor, music composition and performing in Second Life online virtual world.

Collaborating with commentator Stephen Persing, the host of Art Note, Lily & Honglei’s project Land of Illusion is featured by Aspect – the Chronicle of New Media Art, in Volume 18: Export China.

ASPECT: The Chronicle of New Media Art, a biannual DVD publication, is launching V18: EXPORT CHINA.

In recent decades, China has undergone massive social, economic and cultural change, altering its citizens’ view of the world and themselves. China’s artists have rapidly absorbed and reinterpreted the pluralistic styles of Western art, using them to translate the unique realities of life in contemporary China. In turn, Chinese art has become the subject of intense critical and commercial speculation in the West. We seek work from Chinese artists participating in this cross-cultural exchange, responding to it critically from an embedded perspective.

Reconstituting History and Culture in New Media Art: Lily and Honglei's Work and Inspiration

Beijing artists Lily and Honglei (Xiying Yang and Honglei Li) have been developing ‘Land of Illusion’ new media art project since 2006. The piece is constructed in cyberspace with virtual traditional Chinese architecture where Lily and Honglei have created a series of networked-performances and multimedia installations. It is a cultural meditation engaging history, philosophy, as well as Chinese diaspora. The work examines the current economic development of China within the context of globalization, while simultaneously exploring the meaning of virtual online communities in terms of global dialogues as they relate to cultural roots and the fantasy of China. ‘Land of Illusion’ also functions as a net-art platform aiming to fulfill the premise that the Internet is the direct continuation of Enlightenment thought, namely by promoting cultural openness, decentralization and independent thinking. As Chinese contemporary artists, Lily and Honglei consider that these notions are extremely relevant to art-making. The book includes more than 100 images of Lily and Honglei’s virtual reality work, as well as animated films inspired by Chinese folkloric traditions.