Lu Yang Selected For 2019 BMW Art Journey
By Ophelia Lai
On June 12, Shanghai-based multimedia artist Lu Yang was named winner of the eighth BMW Art Journey award at Art Basel. Over the next year, Lu will receive funding from the initiative’s founders, Art Basel and German car manufacturer BMW, to undertake a research trip, culminating in a new work.
Lu’s proposal, titled “Human Machine Reverse Motion Capture Project,” will investigate how humans can transcend the physical limitations of the body, with a particular focus on traditional and contemporary dance practices in Indonesia, India, and Japan. The artist will record the highly controlled movements of performers using motion-capture technology before recreating their gestures with robotics.
Born in 1984, Lu is best known for her darkly humorous animations and installations that explore existence, spirituality, and transhumanism using a visual language that draws on video-game aesthetics and a wide array of pop culture references. She has presented solo exhibitions at Société, Berlin (2016); Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Japan (2011); and the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2011). She was also included in the 12th Shanghai Biennale, “Proregress: Art in the Age of Historical Ambivalence” (2018).
Lu was chosen unanimously from a shortlist that also included interdisciplinary artist Clarissa Tossin and video artist Shen Xin. The nominees were selected for their presentations in the Discoveries sector at Art Basel Hong Kong this March. The jury panel comprised Claire Hsu, director of Hong Kong’s Asia Art Archive; Matthias Mühling, director of the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus und Kunstbau, Munich; Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, president of the Turin-based Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo; Philip Tinari, director of UCCA, Beijing; and artist and previous BMW Art Journey awardee Samson Young. The jury remarked in a joint statement: “We appreciated the idea that the vocabulary within the database used for robotic human expressions would be expanded to include the expressions found in multiple traditions—a much needed expansion of reference points in today’s world.”
Launched in 2015, the BMW Art Journey initiative recognizes one artist from each of the annual Miami and Hong Kong editions of Art Basel. Previous winners include Zac Langdon-Pole, Jamal Cyrus, and Astha Butail.
Ophelia Lai is ArtAsiaPacific’s reviews editor.
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