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Land of Illusion

Lily & Honglei
Independent artists working from China

Artist Statement

Land of Illusion is a networked performance project accomplished through cross-continental artists’ collaborations. It is intended to make social and cultural commentaries about virtual worlds, particularly through reinterpreting themes in Chinese folklore. The work reflects on the impact of globalization, both upon the environment and the individual, that engender and reveal layered personal and cultural identity markers. It explores foreignness and displacement, focusing on the spiritually homeless who struggle to preserve traditional values. Most importantly, Land of Illusion is a virtual world art project that proposes solutions for preserving and re-evaluating cultural heritage with digital arts.

Beijing artists Lily & Honglei have been developing Land of Illusion since 2006. The piece is constructed in Second Life with virtual traditional Chinese architecture where Lily & 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 & Honglei consider that these notions are extremely relevant to art-making.

Project Links

Land of Illusion image

Figure 1: Land of Illusion

Cloud Ladder

Figure 2: Land of Illusion

Dream Umbrella

Figure 3: Land of Illusion

Peach Blossom Three

Figure 4: Land of Illusion