June 22, 2016
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May 8, 2014
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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.
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.
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’.
April 16, 2014
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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.
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.
Issue 7 ‘Fun and Games – Playing to the Limit’
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:
March 5, 2014
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Commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts Inc., new media art project Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China is complete in May 2014 and soon to be launched via Turbulence.org.
Designed and produced by Lily & Honglei Art Studio, a New York-based collective with three artists, Xiying Yang, Honglei Li and He Li, ‘Urbanization of China’ is a multimedia project comprised several phases. Following the first phase ‘Shadow Play,’ more work will be unveiled over next 2-3 years period, with funding from varied channels.
Commissioned by New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc.
Shadow Play: Tales of Urbanization of China
Over the past few decades, China has been undergoing urbanization at an astounding pace. In 2013, the newly inaugurated national leadership raised the process to a new gear when it unveiled its plan of converting 70 percent of the population to a city-oriented lifestyle by 2025. Such a significant change would undoubtedly transform the character of a country that has been largely agrarian throughout its millennia of history. One may wonder how, and to what extent, the landscape, culture, and daily being of the nation’s people may be altered. As artists, we are compelled to explore and reflect upon the various phases of this historic undertaking. Through fieldwork in China, we collect the ingredients necessary for a multimedia production that combines traditional artistic expressions with emerging technologies. The project make use of innovative means of expression such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) to visualize the metamorphosis that results from the urbanization process. With an outlook to the future through digital technologies, a retrospective into the past through time-honored imagery, and a reflection of the present through immersion in the realities of the modern China, we seek to present the unfolding of a monumental development to the conscience of a worldwide audience. (2014 © Lily & Honglei Art Studio)
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.
July 20, 2010
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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.
July 3, 2010
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Gawker Artists is a curated online art community and exhibition program promoting the works of artists of all media. Participating artists receive profile pages on Gawker Artists and are eligible to have their works published in the ad space on Gawker Media titles and included in Gawker Artist sponsored exhibitions. All participation for artists and exhibitors is free.
Lily & Honglei
As a Chinese immigrant artist team, our work deals with cultural displacement and identity issues, as well as social and cultural problems in today’s China in the context of globalization. Taking form of digital multimedia presentation, our projects often adapt symbolism and metaphors from Chinese folklore, and reinterpret them in a contemporary context. To give new imputes to aesthetics and cultural traditions, we integrate new media approaches, such as digital animation and virtual reality, with fine arts language to create visual experiences belong to the 21st century. More
May 9, 2010
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Official report on the exhibition in Shanghai: http://www.cnarts.net/cweb/info/read.asp?id=1193&kind=画廊
Concurrent with Shanghai World Expo, Shanghai University is launching New Ink Painting Generation I at 99 Art Space. We’re glad that our new animation project The Peony will be on view in this exhibition.
The Peony continues our practice integrating Chinese cultural and aesthetic traditions with new media expressions. Ambient sound, 3-D space, time duration and subtle motions are deployed to make a static brush painting alive. The infinite loop of the animation constructs a space for rethinking Chinese painting’s cultural and artistic values that remain largely underestimated.
‘As a medium, agent and concept, Chinese ink painting functions to unveil contemporary issues. New Ink Painting Generation discusses the future and reflects the recent developments of contemporary Chinese ink painting.’ Ma Lin, the curator and chair of Department of Art History of Shanghai University, said.
The animation excerpt is viewable at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh8tN8PLuDs
More information about the exhibition at: