Project Overview / 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. Weaving three interfaces, namely virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and physical reality, the new media art project visualizes the metamorphosis that results from the urbanization process. With 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.



About the Artists Lily & Honglei : Based in New York and Beijng, Lily & Honglei functions as an artist collective with three active members, Xiying Yang, Honglei Li and He Li. Utilizing traditional painting, video, and new media such as virtual reality and augmented reality, Lily & Honglei creates ‘visual fables’ intertwining current social issues with cultural heritages. Lily & Honglei’s artworks have been presented at numerous international and national venues, including Museum of Art and Design in New York, Queens Museum of Art in New York, Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, Musée Guimet in Paris, He Xiangning Art Museum in China, Museum of Ara Pacis in Rome, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, The Painting Center of New York, Eyebeam Art Technology Center New York, TEKS–Trondheim Electronic Arts Centre in Norway, Electronic Visualization & Arts at British Computer Society in London, ISEA–Intel Society of Electronic Arts in Istanbul, New York Artist Residency Studios Foundation Gallery, Shanghai University Gallery in China, Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University Gallery of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Axiom Gallery for New and Experimental Art in Boston, NurtureArt Gallery in New York, SIGGRAPH Art Gallery 2008 in CA, SIGGRAPH Asia 2013 in Hong Kong, Dumbo Art Festival in New York, MICROWAVE International New Media Arts Festival 2009 in Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center, FILE-Electronic Language International Festival in Brazil, Zero1 Biennial of New Media Art in San Jose CA, among many others. For more information about Lily & Honglei's work, please visit artist website.