January 21, 2014
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October 6, 2013
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The above is a still image of the video Tripitaka, view it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5nEENzy0SY
Utilizing animation and traditional oil painting, Tripitaka is a silent short film reflecting on individual’s journey seeking enlightenment, as well as the issue of religious freedom in contemporary China. Inspired by Chinese classic Journey to the West, a fictionalized account of the legendary pilgrimage of Buddhist monk Tripitaka and his three disciples-the Monkey King, Pigsy and Sandy-traveling to India to obtain sacred texts, the work metaphorically depicts ordeals of individuals journeying towards enlightenment. As Han Chinese themselves, artists Lily and Honglei deeply concern the religious repressions and ethnic hostility experienced by Tibetan people on a day-to-day basis; Tripitaka is created as a result. Meanwhile, the storyline of Tripitaka is intentionally designed to resonate biblical tales, insinuating the universality of religions.
October 6, 2013
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CREDIT: Digital Art Weeks @ SIGGRAPH Asia 2013
TEAM: Arthur Clay (CHE), Curator, Monika Rut (PLN), Communication
Photos are available at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5ypkznv30f3f6uf/jewRIT0SHZ
“The Virtuale” stands for Virtual Biennale and is brought to you by Digital Art Weeks International via Siggraph Asia. The Virtuale is an exhibition of Augmented Reality (AR) artworks for public space using new digital tools not only to view the artworks and to interact with them, but also to design the experience of participation itself. The exhibition encompasses artworks using AR and focuses on the use of public space, mobile communication technologies, and explores the types of audiences found in public space, as well as inventing “playful” new strategies to bring the public into the exhibit as “real” visitors being offered a unique experience. The goal of the Virtualle to use publically engaging art to add a cultural flair to commercial business districts by placing digital creative accents, enliven and mark historical centers and niches around the city, and link hot spots with urban connectivity into a city-wide virtual arts space, inviting the public to explore the borders between the real and the virtual using their mobiles as a looking glass while expanding their notion of what constitutes exhibition space and how art can manifest and enjoyed in public space. – Arthur Clay, Zurich 2013
AR work by Lily & Honglei
Title: The Butterfly Lovers
About: The Augmented Reality installation is derived from Lily & Honglei’s animated short The Butterfly Lovers. Reinterpreting Chinese folk tale Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingta (梁山伯与祝英台) or The Butterfly Lovers, the work develops traditional aesthetics with new media art. The series of paintings depict scenarios from the original story such as “Seeing off for Eighteen Miles” and “Meeting at the Balcony.” With dreamlike dislocation, the work depicts isolated protagonists, metaphorically implying the vulnerability and resistance of Chinese cultural spirit during the process of westernization. Placement: Hong Kong Park
Title: Mad Drummer
About: Mi Heng is a reputed scholar in ancient China. By beating a drum naked in the imperial court and mocking officials in power, he becomes subject of a famous drama, and is praised as the most courageous intellectual throughout Chinese history. This figure repeatedly appears in our work, including animated short film and virtual reality art project. Based on an image sequence extracted from Fourth Cry of the Monkey, the animated virtual sculpture deploying mobile phone augmented reality technology, is performing timelessly at Chinatown of Los Angles as a spiritual symbol of Chinese culture. Placement: Chater Garden
Title: South East Flies the Peacock
About: The work assembles images of some most influential folktales of China, including Southeast Flies the Peacock, The Peony Pavilion, Lady White Snake, Death of GeneralYang Zaixing,and Cowherd and Weaving Maid, featuring tragic romances as well as epic heroes/heroins admired by Chinese people from generation to generation. In contrast to the the spiritual, legendary figures in the foreground, which are designed as ‘virtual sculptures’ through Augmented Reality application on mobile phone, the background is set at a highly commercial area of a metropolitan city – China Town. By comparing virtual and physical, ancient and modern, east and west, we question the longevity of Chinese culture’s spiritual traditions in the process of capitalization. Placement: Hong Kong Park
Lily & Honglei (USA/CHN)
Based in New York and Beijng, Lily & Honglei work as an artist collective. Utilizing traditional painting and animation, as well as new media such as virtual reality and augmented reality, Lily & Honglei create ‘visual fables’ intertwining current social issues with cultural heritages.Lily & Honglei’s works exhibit at numerous international and national venues, including Museum of Art and Design in New York, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, The Painting Center of New York, Eyebeam Art Technology Center New York, Zero1 Biennial in San Jose CA, New York Artist Residency Studios Foundation Gallery, Shanghai University Gallery in China, FILE-Electronic Language International Festival in Brazil, Queens Museum of Art in New York.
July 12, 2012
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Concept & Visual Design: Lily & Honglei
3D modeling & Augmented Reality: John Craig Freeman
Collaborating with John Craig Freeman, Lily & Honglei’s new project Chinese Take Out will be premiered during ZERO1 Biennial Seeking Silicon Valley, in San Francisco CA, along with another AR work From Lewisburg, PA to Silicon Valley.
With locations at the Presidio overlook of the Golden Gate; the Powell Street cable car turntable at Market Street; the Gates of San Francisco’s Chinatown at Bush Street and Grand Avenue; and the Caltrain Diridon Station in San Jose, “Chinese Take Out,” visualizes the gruesome reality that the Chinese government has been systematically harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners for profit.
This inhuman practice was exposed in 2007 by David Matas and David Kilgour’s investigative report Bloody Harvest. However, this topic remains taboo among Chinese intellectuals, who fear persecution by the Party. While the country recently set new regulations prioritizing organ transplantation operation for domestic patients, foreign demand has driven the market initially and continuously. We therefore intent to arouse greater awareness within international community by visualizing the issue with art.
December 31, 2011
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Southeast Flies the Peacock at Chinatown, Los Angles: Augmented Reality Art by Lily & Honglei, John Craig Freeman.
The work assembles images of some most influential folktales of China, including Southeast Flies the Peacock, The Peony Pavilion, Lady White Snake, Death of GeneralYang Zaixing,and Cowherd and Weaving Maid, featuring tragic romances as well as epic heroes/heroins admired by Chinese people from generation to generation. In contrast to the the spiritual, legendary figures in the foreground, which are designed as ‘virtual sculptures’ through Augmented Reality application on mobile phone, the background is set at a highly commercial area of a metropolitan city – China Town. By comparing virtual and physical, ancient and modern, east and west, we question the longevity of Chinese culture’s spiritual traditions in the process of capitalization.
Mad Drummer Mi Heng at Chinatown, Los Angles: (animated) Augmented Reality Art by Lily & Honglei, John Craig Freeman
Mi Heng is a reputed scholar in ancient China. By beating a drum naked in the imperial court and mocking officials in power, he becomes subject of a famous drama, and is praised as the most courageous intellectual throughout Chinese history. This figure repeatedly appears in our work, including animated short film and virtual reality art project. Based on an image sequence extracted from Fourth Cry of the Monkey, the animated virtual sculpture deploying mobile phone augmented reality technology, is performing timelessly at Chinatown of Los Angles as a spiritual symbol of Chinese culture.
ManifestAR @ LA Re.Play
LA Re.Play, an Exhibition of Mobile Art in conjunction with Mobile Art: The Aesthetics of Mobile Network Culture in Place-making during the College Arts Association Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, February 22-29, 2012
Co-curators: Hana Iverson, Visiting Scholar, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Dr. Mimi Sheller, Director, Center for Mobilities Research and Policy, Drexel University and Jeremy Hight, independent artist and curator
Opening reception at CAA Convention Center LA Re.Play Hub Location, February 22, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Reception: DESMA Grad Art Gallery, Broad Art Center, UCLA,Friday, February 24, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Whereas the public square was once the quintessential place to air grievances, display solidarity, express difference, celebrate similarity, remember, mourn, and reinforce shared values of right and wrong, it is no longer the only anchor for interactions in the public realm. That geography has been relocated to a novel terrain, one that encourages exploration of mobile location based public art. Moreover, public space is now truly open, as artworks can be placed anywhere in the world, without prior permission from government or private authorities – with profound implications for art in the public sphere and the discourse that surrounds it.
- 4Gentlemen (CN,US)
- Mark Skwarek (US)
- John Craig Freeman (US)
- Lily & Honglei (US,CN)
- Tamiko Thiel (US,JP,DE)
- Chris Manzione (US)
- Will Pappenheimer (US)
- Lalie S. Pascual (CH)
- Lili range le chat (FR)
- Geoffrey Alan Rhodes (US)
- Sander Veenhof (NL)
- John Cleater (US)
- Patricia Espinosa (MX)
- Todd Margolis (US)
- Christina Marin (CO)
December 1, 2011
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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.
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
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.
October 3, 2011
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The Harbor Gallery proudly presents a landmark exhibition of international contemporary new media artists converging on the theme of “place” in its October exhibit, Mediating Place, curated by Meredith Hoy and Kevin Benisvy. The artists hail from New York City; Berkeley, Califonia; London, UK; China (exact wherabouts unkown); and our very own Boston, MA. They represent institutions as diverse as, University of California Berkeley, University of London, Emerson College, Mass Art, MIT, and University of Rochester and have work in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. The show seeks to address issues of place in the environment, politics, the home, media and technology with work like Ben Bray’s periodic streaming video updates from his current expedition in the Arctic, John Craig Freeman (with Lily & Honglei, Mark Skwarek, Lalie S. Pascual, Caroline Bernard and 4Gentlemen) augmented reality installations famed for using their politically-minded virtual exhibitions, Ann Torke’s residual accumulation sculptures from the home, and much more.
Mobile phone Augmented Reality artworks on view (screenshots by John Craig Freeman):
Ben Bray, Miriam Dym, ecoarttech (Cary Peppermint and Leila Nadir), John Craig Freeman (with Lily & Honglei, Mark Skwarek, Lalie S. Pascual, Caroline Bernard and 4Gentlemen) , Jane Prophet, Anne Torke, and Dyllan Nguyen.
Harbor Gallery, UMass Boston
McCormack building floor 1
100 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Boston MA, 02125.
Gallery Hours & Reception
October 5th – 25th.
Reception on October 5th from 5 – 8 PM.
Open Monday – Thursday, 12 – 7 PM