Lu Yang: Encephalon Heaven
an ambitious solo exhibition comprising three new commissions and a constellation of previous works that include sculpture, film, installation, performance and video games. A leading figure among a young generation of new media artists, Lu Yang’s creative practice often satirizes efforts to demystify human experience through scientific theory, dismantling them with humor and fluency in the language of popular culture. Citing knowledge gleaned from the realms of neurology and biology, her works also reflect an ongoing interest in spirituality as a state of being pursued through different forms of religion and creative expression.
Capturing a breadth of influences from hip hop to techno, punk and gothic street style, gaming, anime, and the practice of Otaku, Lu Yang’s mesmerizing, multisensory environments reflect the dynamic amorphism of today’s globalized cultural climate and the semi-porous understandings we use to define the current historical moment of China and beyond. Conceived in entirety by the artist, the exhibition is something of a Gesamtkunstwerk combing the neon glitz of an arcade and the ritual of a heretical temple.
Regularly featuring in her own films and animations, the artist’s own identity is deconstructed and she is re-incarnated in various works as a giant sculptural kite, a lifelike but genderless, non-binary simulation, and a guardian of the gates to “Lu Yang Hell”.
As an artist whose playful irreverence and wicked humor constantly question norms of acceptability, Lu’s last gesture raises deep polemical issues about the cathartic role art and art institutions play within society.