LU YANG [CN]
Doku The Self, 2022
6th International Digital Art Biennial
Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal
01.12.2022 - 05.02.2023
Incorporating virtual reality, gaming subcultures, and popular music, LuYang creates wildly original and provocative experiences that celebrate the internet and its offer of control over one’s identity, partially liberated from the rigid confines of nationality, gender, and sexuality. Immersive multimedia projects bridge the digital realm and physical space in a way that meaningfully challenges perceptual limitations of online and offline distinctions. The artist vocally refuses to ascribe political meaning to their work, criticizing the fetishization and politicization of contemporary Chinese art with the same colorful defiance typical of the dynamic prints, paintings, sculptures, videos, and spaces they create. Characterized by the seemingly limitless potential within the artist’s frenetic, expansive imagination, Lu’s work is as saturated with manga and anime influences as it is with religion, neurology, and the human body—interested not in the ends or means, but the pursuit of unexplored territory.
Doku The Self, 2022 - HD Video 36'
Doku The Self is Lu Yang’s first narrative film along in the ongoing Doku series. As the digital avatar of the artist, Doku was born prior to the turbulent and isolated year of 2020 and continued to develop in the following period of uncertainty. By breaking through technological barriers and blending with their digital self with various forms of dancing, exotic costumes, Buddhist doctrines and bodily movement, Lu Yang, for the first time, has injected Doku with his own life experience, and built this video around specific memories and lived experience.
In the film Doku’s personal dream acts as a catalyst for the story and a prelude to a train of events. Lu Yang’s digital avatar experiences a crumbling world and impending doom along with the general inhabitants of the world. This extinction event in the dream shifts into a inevitable awakening — an aircraft flying through clouds and thunderstorms. “Dying in dreams and living in realities”, the artist dissociates himself entirely again while recalling his personal experience, and moves between subject and object with a restrained and calm perspective. From the perceiving of the “overview effect”, Lu Yang has experienced the non-duality of death and birth that will constantly convert and overlap but also coexist in an unbreakable cycle — they are the entity of Saha World.