"Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China" is a 2014 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., 
 for its Turbulence.org website. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.

Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China
by Lily & Honglei

Lily & Honglei, new media art, He Li, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Turblence commission

Screenshot of Shadow Play VR installation. Lily & Honglei © 2014

Lily & Honglei, new media art of China, He Li, Rose Goldsen Archieve of New Media Art, Turblence.org commission

Screenshot of Shadow Play VR installation. Lily & Honglei © 2014

http://turbulence.org/Works/shadowplay/

Over the past few decades China has been urbanizing at an astounding pace. In 2013, the People’s Republic unveiled its plan to relocate 260 million people from China’s countryside to one of 21 “mega regions” by 2020 (cbsnews.com). Such a significant shift will undoubtedly transform China’s national character, which has been predominantly agrarian for millennia. Shadow Play weaves three interfaces, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Physical Reality (PR), and combines the past and present – through time-honored imagery, paint, shadow play, and new media technologies – to immerse participants in the realities of contemporary China.

Lily & Honglei, Turbulence.org, new media art China, Rose Goldsen Archive of new media art, China urbanization

Shadow Play, Chapter I. The Land: Death of the Village Head (AR Screenshot)

Lily & Honglei, new media art, turbulence.org commission of net-art, China urbanization

Shadow Play, Chapter III. The Ruins: Lost Children

Lily & Honglei, He Li, new media art China, Rose Goldsen Archive of new media art

Shadow Play, Chapter IV. The Maze: No Exit (AR Screenshot)

Thanks to the great support from co-directors, Jo-Anne Green and Helen Thorington, Shadow Play also becomes part of Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Division of Rare and Special Collections at Cornell University, NY.

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Site Venice Site Biennale: The Manifest.AR Augmented Reality Intervention to the 2011 Venice Biennale
By Tamiko Thiel, AR[t] Magazine issue 5, Page56-65

Virtuale Switzerland

http://virtualeswitzerland.wordpress.com/

Virtuale stands for Virtual Biennale and is a Festival 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 program content for Virtuale focuses on the use of public space, mobile communication technologies, and explores the types of audiences found in public space,  inventing “playful” new strategies to bring the public into the exhibit as “real” visitors being offered a unique experience.

The project encompasses Artworks using Augmented Reality, Urban or Location Based Gaming, and Digital Heritage applications. It is interdisciplinary, bridging areas such as art and technology, digital heritage and tourism, as well as digital culture and art mediation.

http://virtualeswitzerland.wordpress.com/virtuale-2014/lausanne/artworks-lausanne/

The Butterfly Lovers – Derived from a popular Chinese folktale Butterfly Lovers, the painted figures in traditional costumes are placed at varied locations around the world. Utilizing Augmented Reality, the work addresses issues of Chinese diaspora and cultural identity, and visualizes the restless, roaming cultural spirit of the East hidden in western metropolis.

laussanne_butterflylovers_lillyhonglei

http://virtualeswitzerland.wordpress.com/virtuale-2014/basel/artworks-basel/

liliehonglei

http://virtualeswitzerland.wordpress.com/virtuale-2014/lugano/artworks-lugano/

The Crystal Coffin – The augmentation is inspired by the crystal coffin displayed in Mausoleum of Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Square since 1977, a year after Mao’s death. In the twenty first century, while China has been transforming itself into a modern society in many ways and gaining more influences economically and politically around the globe, Mao’s crystal coffin, the immortal-looking shell, remains exist as a symbol of authoritarian ruling system. During spring 2011, a crackdown on dissent – including detaining many intellectuals and members of religious group – followed by distinct signs of revival of Maoist policies, has left people baffled about the future direction of China. We therefore use Crystal Coffin of Mao as main body of the virtual China Pavilion topped with a tower and roof with ancient Chinese looking, as regulated by Ministry of Construction of China: architectural ‘designs must reflect traditional Chinese building styles’.
lugano_crystal-coffen

 

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

Lily & Honglei Art Studio, new media art in China, He Li, new media art, art in america magazine

Still image of Milky Way, by Lily & Honglei Art Studio.

Lily & Honglei art studio, zhulong gallery, art in america, He Li, Chinese new media artist

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.

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[Photograph below courtesy of Zhulong Gallery]

Lily & Honglei, new media art, Chinese new new media artist, video artist, new york new media artist, contemporary Chinese artist Lily & Honglei

Milky Way, video by Lily & Honglei. Zhulong Gallery. 2014

Lily & Honglei, zhulong gallery dallas, new media art, Chinese new media artist, video artist new york,

Lily & Honglei’s video piece Milky Way at Satellite new media art exhibition, Zhulong Gallery. 2014

Lily & Honglei,new media art, Chinese new media artist, new media artist new york, video artist, contemporary chinese artist Lily & Honglei

Lily & Honglei’s video piece Milky Way, Zhulong gallery. 2014

lily & honglei,new media art, video artist new york, new media art in China, Chinese contemporary artist

Painting of Milky Way, at Satellite new media art exhibition, Zhulong Gallery. 2014

Lily & Honglei, new media  art from China, Zhulong Gallery, Video artist Lily & Honglei, new york new media artist

Milky Way, oil on paper, Zhulong Gallery

new media art, Zhulong Gallery Dallas, Lily & Honglei, Chinese new media artist Lily & Honglei, Chinese contemporary artist, new media art, video artist from new york

Preview Reception of ‘Satellite’ inaugural exhibition presenting new media art. Zhulong Gallery, 2014.

Lily & Honglei, Zhulong Gallery Dallas, new media art new york, contemporary Chinese artist, new media art

State-of-the-art facilities, Zhulong new media art gallery. 2014

Lily & Honglei, new media art, Chinese contemporary artist Lily & Honglei, video art, New York artist

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

 video art by Lily & Honglei, new media art China, new media artist

Butterfly Lovers, still image of video by Lily & Honglei.
Oil on paper. 2009

Video painting is a form of video art presented via projectors, LCD or other flat panel display and wall-mounted in the same manner as traditional paintings. [1]

Ambient video will emerge as a supremely pictorial form – relying on visual impact and the subtle manipulation of image, layer, flow, and transition. It sits in the visual background of our lives – always changing, but never too quickly. It does not conquer, it seduces. It rewards attention, but never commands it. Rather, its aim is to support whatever level of attention the viewer cares to bestow in the moment: a passing glance, a more intentional look, or a longer and deeper immersion within the dynamically changing experience of an ambient video world.” – Jim Bizzocchi (http://www.dadaprocessing.com), an artist and Assistant Professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology.

moon1

Title: Flow. Chinese ink painting on rice paper. Still image of video ‘Moon,’ by Lily & Honglei. 2012-13

“my philosophy is that collectors should have a screen devoted to art in their home. It’s not about watching television—it’s about screen-based experiences that are art-related. And it comes down to cost and accessibility, right? You can buy a 46-inch screen today for $400, or you can buy a Mac Mini or a comparable PC that can run Quicktime movies, et cetera, for $500. A devoted system works great if you don’t have an enormous home but have several pieces of video art.

“Of course, this is dependent on the artist being okay with that—they may insist on their art being screened on a specific, single-purpose unit. But more often than not when you buy unframed video, as long as you’re playing it to the right specifications, it’s fine. So you, as a collector, can amass a large amount of work in a single location and experience many, many pieces as you wish. You can really have an incredible range of work within that devoted system. And you can frame it in beautiful ways, with wood frames made for the screen so they have more than a presence. Then you can have a central server to hold and maintain the art. There are so many different ways to do it.

“I’m a huge believer in promoting the integration of new media work into collections, especially in homes that have traditional displays. You buy it because you love it, and the fact that it’s active shouldn’t matter. I think the devoted screen in your home is just one avenue that will become more and more common, especially with art collectors. ” – Bitforms Gallery’s Steven Sacks [2]

 

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_painting

[2] http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/how_to_collect_new_media_art

Manifest.AR is an international artists’ collective working with emergent forms of augmented reality as interventionist public art. During the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial, the group responded to the theme of the biennial, “Seeking Silicon Valley,” by created a citywide augmented reality public art exhibition with parallel components at the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University in Lewisburg Pennsylvania. Titled “Manifest.AR @ BIC,” the group drew on collective, participatory art practices centered on mobile augmented reality technology to aggregate and map a series of artworks, which re-imagined and reinterpreted the high-tech corporate campuses and products of Silicon Valley. Performative and site-specific works were located throughout the cities of San Jose, San Francisco and Lewisburg.

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 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.

Distributed Curatorial Practice and Exhibition Strategy:
Led by a collective curatorial team including Jessica Gomula of the Building Imagination Center, Jaime Austin of ZERO1, Richard Rinehart of Samek Gallery, and Lanfranco Aceti of Kasa Gallery and Leonardo Electronic Almenac, Manifest.AR members will create iterations of the work produced for ManifestAR @ ZERO1, and modify it where necessary to address the change of context to Modesto. With its genesis in Silicon Valley the work will spread to the Central Valley as if on the prevailing winds. “Manifest.AR @ BIC: Seeking San Joaquin Valley,” will act as a prototype to explore how distributed inter-institutional curatorial approaches might support emerging distributed collective art practices.

Specific projects include:

  • “Monument to Cesar Chavez,” by John Criag Freeman
  • “Parking Lot  / Farm Decorator,” by Will Pappenheimer
  • “CreatAR,” by Mark Skwarek
  • “ARt Critic Face Matrix” by Tamiko Thiel
  • “Fortune 500 Cookies” by Tamiko Thiel
  • “From Silicon Valley to San Joaquin,” by John Craig Freeman, Mark Skwarek and Lily & Honglei
  • “Chinese Take Out,” by 4Gentlemen

The Documentary Film:
With support from the BIC’s 2013 Residence Filmmaker Challenge, a 10-15 minute  documentary film will be produced about the project in Modesto, and about the possibilities of new approaches to curation and exhibition, and to consider other ways institutions might respond to the challenges posed by these new art practices. It will include documentation of the projects below, along with artist interviews.

For more information, please visit http://buildingimagination.com/?p=2936

Our new animation ‘Dragon’ has been invited to video art festivals around the world, including in Iran, Hungary and Russia.

Work Description

Production: L&H Art Studio
Animation Design: Bill He Li
Medium: Digital animation, Soundtrack
Duration: 4-minute
Year of Completion: 2012

Statement

The work is created during 2012, the Chinese Lunar Dragon Year. Associating imagery of human brain with Dragon, one of the most significant cultural creations of China, the work reflects on intriguing meaning of this symbol of Power. Dragon, the imaginary, almighty creature, is the subject of many Chinese classics specially focusing on its ability of adjusting itself for controlling. This cultural icon is vividly alive throughout Chinese history, inspiring personal and national ambitions in both ancient and contemporary societies of China. Within this context, the short film visualizes how this thousand-year-old unreal creature has influenced Chinese people’s mindset and thinking.

Screenings in Hungary and Russia:

Lily & Honglei once again collaborate with CologneOFF Video Chanel to present new animated short film Dragonat Art & Animation Festival, partnering with 3 art institutions in Europe:

–         the 8th. Budapest Short Film Festival, Hungary

–         XI Kansk International Video Art Festival, Russia

–        Anima Banja Luka (Bosnia – Herzegovina)

To learn more about Art & Animation Festival, go to http://caaf01.newmediafest.org/
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Screening in Iran:
dragon-lilyhonglei-iran
dragon-lilyhonglei-iran2
Private Negation

@ SAZMANAB
IN TEHRAN / IRAN

Experimental video animations
by 14 aritsts
Co-curated by
Morehshin Allahyari (Dallas & Denver, USA)
Alysse Stepanian (Los Angeles)
Sazmanab Location: Apt. 2, No. 99, Pardis St. Ariafar St. Sazman-e ab St. Sheikh Fazlollah HWY, Tehran, Iran
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Screening: 7PM – 8PM Tehran’s time
Q&A with the curators via the internet: 8PM – 8:30PM

More information: http://manipulatedimage.com/MI18_sazmanab.html

Curated by Morehshin Allahyari and Alysse Stepania

Our perception of reality conforms to human-made logic while the construct of logic is defined by the limitations of our perceptions. The language of power is built upon the illusion of logic, designed to create cultural hegemony and maintain social hierarchies. The subversive video animations in this show challenge the language of logic and control in unexpected worlds of simulated realities. On one level, the nature of the GUI (graphic user interface) of video and animation software directly influences the creative process, as the program itself exerts a self-contained logic and control rooted in the code and interface design. On another level, the medium of video animation in these experimental works allows visualizations of unfamiliar realities that call for reinterpretations and active participation from the viewer.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS:

Christopher Coleman | Sachiko Hayashi | Shane Mecklenburger | Jonathan Monaghan | Morehshin Allahyari | Jon Satrom | Alysse Stepanian & Philip Mantione | Michael Lasater | Jenny Vogel | Claudia Hart | Lily & Honglei | Gerald Guthrie | Albert Merino | Julia Zastav