We’re so honored and pleased to join NYFA Fellows this year. Under the category of Interdisciplinary Work, our portfolio comprises of multimedia projects that utilize VR, AR and video installations reflecting on the complex reality in China and its global implication.

Lily & Honglei, new media art, multimedia art, video art

Video still of “Elegy of the Middle Kingdom,” Lily & Honglei art studio


NYFA Announces 2015 Artists’ Fellowships

The New York Foundation for the Arts has announced the recipients of their 2015 Artists’ Fellowships. Awarded since 1985, the fellowships are reserved for artists living in New York state and are given out as unrestricted cash grants of $7,000 across fifteen categories over the course of three years.

The current round of fellowships were given out in the areas of fiction, folk/traditional arts, interdisciplinary work, painting, and video/film. Recipients include Jaimie Warren and Molly Lowe in the interdisciplinary category, while Kalup Linzy and Eve Sussman are fellows in the video/film area. For a complete list of fellowship recipients, see the NYFA website.

Also read the article on University of Massachusetts Dartmouth website: http://www.umassd.edu/news/lilyandhonglei.html



Colour Out of Space is one of the UK’s leading festivals of international, experimental music and sound, and returns to Brighton for a sixth year with a huge, extended ten day programme of performances, events and screenings. The three day festival core will take place at The Old Market and feature over thirty performances from some of the most visionary sound artists  from around the world. Artists include Ilan Volkov, Hiroshi Hasegawa (Astro), Azuma Reiko, Angela Sawyer, Dinosaurs With Horns, Maya Dunietz, Alessandro Bosetti, Joachim Nordwall, Luke Fowler and many more.

The COOS film programm explores the crossover of experimental sound into moving image – from the direct colour fields and sonic loops of Bruce McClure to the early sound as image experiments of Steina Vasulka, from the handpainted super 8mm’s and homebuilt electronics of Ian Helliwell to the dimestore psychodramas of George Kuchar.

Further details at www.colouroutofspace.org

Open Colour / New Experiments in Film
Sallis Benney Theatre
Sunday 10th November / Midday – 2pm




by Lily & Honglei

Utilizing animation and traditional oil painting, Tripitaka is a silent short film (4-minute 27-second) 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.






Video stills of Tripitaka

For more details, please visit http://lilyhonglei.com/LandOfIllusion/tripitaka.html

Cologne Art & Moving Images Awards is announcing:

CologneOFF 2013 India II
@ CeC – Carnival of eCreativity
Sattal/India – 22-24 February 2013

Lily & Honglei, video art, new media art, He Li, Chinese new media artists

featuring the curated festival programs of

CologneOFF VIII – Continental Drift I & II
1#minuteCologne – Cologne One Minute Film Festival
animateCOLOGNE – Cologne Art & Animation Festival
exDox – Experimental Documentary Film Festival
VideoChannel – curatorial platform for art & moving images

including your video listed below

He Li, video art, new media art from China, Chinese new media artist, Lily & Honglei Art Studio, new york artist

Still of video ‘Dragon,’ by Lily & Honglei Art Studio

Kok & Deiman (Netherlands) – The Highlights, 2012, 2:20
Ulf Kristiansen (Norway) – The Art Awards, 2012, 15:34
Nina Kurtela (Croatia) – TRANSFORMANCE, 2010, 8’15
Michael Lasater (USA) – And Then, 2011, 9:13
Lily & Honglei Art Studio (China) – Dragon, 2012, 4:20
Gina Marie Napolitan (USA) – A Catechism of Familiar Things”, 2012, 8:00
Barbara Marcel (Brazil) – A Tooth is a Tooth is a Tooth, 2011, 5:48
Ygor Marotta (Brazil) – Homeless, 2011, 2:53
QNQ/AUJIK (Sweden) – 9 States of Ambivalence, 2012, 1:30 min
Shuai Cheng Pu (Taiwan) – Ferry Paradise, 2012, 3:48
Robby Rackleff (USA) – Mistakes: Restaurant, 2011, 05:12
Marlena Rask (Denmark) – The Signal, 2011, 07:13
Pablo Renee Rosero Marino (Ecuador) – Nebula Hmlovina, 2011, 6:05
Simon Ruschmeyer (Germany) – Alter Ego, 2012, 04:10
Brett Underhill (USA) – Threadbare, 2012, 4:40
Loes van Dorp (Netherlands) – Framed Memory, 2012, 5:36
Ezra Wube (Ethiopia) – Mela, 2006, 1:54
Susanne Wiegner (Germany) – At the Museum, 2012, 3:00
SuZi Zimmermann (Germany) – Once Upon a Time,2011, 2:30


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


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/
Screening in Iran:
Private Negation


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.


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

Lily & Honglei’s video series ‘Fourth Cry of the Monkey’ will be included in ‘Locating the Sacred’ Festival curated by Asian American Art Alliance. New York Art Residency and Studio (NARS) Foundation Gallery will host the exhibition in September 2012.

Fourth Cry of the Monkey

Medium: Digital Animation, Oil painting, and Soundtrack
Duration: 24-minute
Year of Completion: 2008 – 2011

Artist Statement

Fourth Cry of the Monkey, originally, is the title of a Chinese opera written in the 16th century, meaning ‘grief and sorrow beyond expression.’ Its narrative structure and symbolic approach inspire Lily & Honglei to produce this animated film with four chapters reassembling popular Chinese folk tales about ordinary people’s spiritual journeys.

Still image of animated film ‘The Fourth Cry of the Monkey’

Chapter I. Three Gorges (三峡), reflects the world’s largest hydropower project, Three Gorges Dams’ social, cultural and environmental impacts. In the film, chilling cries of a monkey echo above mountain and river, as if bewailing the destiny of the soon-to-be submerged landscape. On a cliff, the naked ‘mad drummer,’ famous confucian scholar Mi Heng, is cursing those in power with drumming sound. In the last scene, Lady White Snake watches a town collapsing in the earthquake, and leaves. This chapter addresses loss of physical and spiritual homeland.

Still image of animated film ‘Butterfly Lovers’

Chapter II. Butterfly Lovers (梁祝), reinterprets one of the most popular love stories of China. Set in a contemporary setting, the lovers, dressed in traditional Chinese opera costume, roam Manhattan at night. The two protagonists repeat scenarios from the original story such as “Seeing off for Eighteen Miles” and “Meeting at the Balcony.” With dreamlike dislocation, the film depicts the characters’ isolation and vulnerability in their spiritual exile.

Still image of animated film ‘Peony Pavilion’

Chapter III. Peony Pavilion(牡丹亭), is inspired by a popular traditional Chinese opera visualizing the revival of soul. ‘The young maiden in the story, Du Liniang, falls in love with a scholar whom she’s only met once in a dream and dies longing for him. The scholar, Liu Mengmei, happens to be a real person and through sheer accident ends up staying in her town. Discovering Du’s self-portrait, Liu immediately admires her beauty. Eventually, Liu meets Du’s ghost, disinters her body, and she comes back to live,’ J. Lau summarizes the plot in ‘A Chinese Love Story from Beyond the Grave.’ In the animation, Lily & Honglei are interested in presenting the contrast between ancient spirit of the characters and the materialistic environment of the contemporary world. The soundtrack includes famous verses from the original play:
‘Where is the pleasant day and pretty night? Who can enjoy contentment and delight?’
‘As innocent as flowers, unaware of the time sweeping past like a river.’

Still image of animated film ‘Peacock Flies Southeast’

Chapter IV. Southeast Fly the Peacocks (孔雀东南飞), is the final chapter inspired by one of the most beloved Chinese traditional poems, that depicts a tragedy of a couple committing suicides for love and dignity against the power. Our reinterpretation intertwines imagery of the ancient story and 1989 Tiananmen Student Protest, highlighting everyday people’s spiritual struggles and persistence. The soundtrack is a popular children song in Communist China, with lyric glorifying the party’s leadership and praising it has brought Chinese people happy life, in strong contrast with the visual component.

Overall, the animated film unfolds ancient stories in a contemporary setting, and is intended to reveal everlasting meaning of beautiful Chinese folk tale.


Be engaged. Be inspired.

Explore what

means to you

The Festival | 12-23 September 2012

“Locating the Sacred” is a twelve-day, twenty-event festival coordinated by the Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) that brings together artists and spaces in New York for creative explorations of the “sacred.” The festival showcases the diversity and talent of the Asian American community, which now constitutes more than 1 million people in New York (13 percent of the population) and is the most rapidly growing cultural group in the city. The artists will connect with space hosts—from museums to schools to churches—to create events together. The result of these collaborations will be presented for all New Yorkers to experience. The festival aims to promote artists as agents of change, demonstrating the power of art and culture to unleash imagination, break down barriers, and connect communities together for the greater good. At a time of great turmoil in the world—economic, political, and cultural—the festival provides opportunities to explore what remains sacred in our lives during turbulent times, how we might draw inspiration from each other, and how we can imagine moving forward as a society.

The model of the festival is simple. a4 will produce three pillar events: an opening, a closing, and a panel discussion series. For the other festival events, a4 will act as an umbrella, matching artists with space hosts in an attempt to generate creative collaborations across ethnic, religious, geographic and aesthetic boundaries. These events will benefit from the festivalʼs “stamp”, from underwriting for artist fees of up to $2,000 depending on the scope of the project, and from the exposure from the festival’s citywide PR and marketing campaign. The festival becomes the showcase of more than a dozen collaborations across the city, which we hope will continue long after the festival is over.

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Lily & Honglei’s video art is featured as Artist of the Month by CologneOFF: Video Art in a Global Context, October – November 2011:

Lily & Honglei - video artists from China

Lily & Honglei
Videos on view

1. The Forbidden City, 2007-2008, 5:48
2. Home, 2010, 3:00
3. Butterfly Lovers, 2009, 5:00
4. Window: April, 2010, 1:30
5. Window: May, 2010, 1:35
6. The Peony Pavillon, 2011, 5:46


Lily Xiying Yang and Honglei Li are new media artists from Beijing, currently based in New York City. Since 2005, they have been working under a collective name Lily & Honglei. Critiquing current global culture and society, their creativity aims to develop new artistic expressions through integrating traditional art forms including painting and Chinese folk art with digital language.

This solo will be presented during the screenings on CologneOFF 2011 Mexico City at two venues:

ExTeresa Arte Actual Mexico City &

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Xochimilco Mexico City, Media Fest & Congress “New Paradigms in Art”. During these comprehensive presentations of video art collection by CologneOFF , Lily & Honglei’s six videos are presented.

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Mexico City

Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Mexico City

video screening and lectures at Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana Mexico City (images UAM by courtesy of Diana Guzmán)

UAM - Media fest 2011 - CologneOFF 2011 - videoart in a global context

curator Wilfried Agricola at UAM - Media fest 2011

UAM - Media fest 2011 - CologneOFF 2011 - videoart in a global context

UAM - Media fest 2011 exhibition hall

More info: http://vad.nmartproject.net/?page_id=2386


Curatorial statement abstract:

“From Jamaica to China, a new evolution” examines the work of Three Jamaican artists, in addition to four artists who have lived in China since childhood: two who currently has residence in New York City, the other two artists, currently live and work in Beijing. All have studied formally in the United States as well as their home country with diverse international „profiles‟; garnering unique critical perspectives by noted writers and critics. Works executed range from large scale paintings, drawings/conceptual video narratives and New Media. These artists travel back and forth to far flung geographical -locations that they each call “home”. Their travels and unique cultural perspectives have impacted their work with a fresh for life.

Participating Artists: Ebony G. Patterson, Camille Chedda, Lily and Honglei, Liu Wentau and Bryan McFarlane.

Curated by : Bryan McFarlane, from Jamaica.

Still image of video ‘The Window – April’

View video online

Still image of video ‘The Peony Pavilion’

 View video online

Lily & Honglei and curator Bryan McFarlane