Lu Yang was announced as the eighth BMW Art Journey winner during Art Basel in Basel 2019. Her research will explore the deployment of the human body in historical and present-day cultures, looking at traditional and contemporary dances.

Lu Yang: "Material World Knight", installation view, 2018. Video installation, dimensions variable. Photo: Courtesy: The artist, Société Berlin and Shanghai Biennale. (03/2019)

Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey “Human Machine Reverse Motion Capture Project” is concerned with how the human body can be trained to overcome its physical limitations. Her research will explore the deployment of the human body in historical and present-day cultures, looking at traditional and contemporary dances practiced in Indonesia, India, and Japan.

Steeped in the latest digital technologies, Lu Yang will employ sophisticated motion capture devices to record the dancers’ gestures, including facial, finger- and eye-capture techniques that can collect and analyze the subtlest body movements, and will mimic these using robotic technologies.

Lu Yang at the Gallery Société booth at Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019. (c) Art Basel. (03/2019)

Steeped in the latest digital technologies, Lu Yang will employ sophisticated motion capture devices to record the dancers’ gestures, including facial, finger- and eye-capture techniques that can collect and analyze the subtlest body movements, and will mimic these using robotic technologies.

Lu Yang: "Hell", installation view at Société Berlin 2017. Photo: Courtesy: The artist and Société Berlin. (06/2019)

In Legong, a traditional Balinese dance, for example, movement is controlled to such a degree that dancers are able to manipulate their finger joints individually. The facial and eye movements of India’s Kathakali dancers resemble the workings of sensors and motors in advanced humanoid robots. A similar robotic precision is expressed in the Japanese pop dances.

Lu Yang: "Encephalon Heaven", installation view at M WOODS 2017. Photo: Courtesy: The artist, Société Berlin and M WOODS Museum. (06/2019)

Thus, Lu Yang’s BMW Art Journey links traditional and modern cultural forms to radically transformative contemporary technologies. In a larger sense, it will look into how we negotiate our evolving relationship with machines that may ultimately surpass our human limitations.

Hong Kong 2019 Shortlisted Artists in addition to Lu Yang

Clarissa Tossin Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

Clarissa Tossin

The jury has stated, in her proposal the artists “asks us to reflect on the future of our planet and humanity by drawing on traditional weaving processes from the Amazon region and mass-produced materials. Both true alluring and beautiful, her works also conjures a future unknown – both apocalyptic and utopian – and asks us to imagine what imprint our current mass consumption will have on future generations.”

Shen Xin Madeln Gallery, Shanghai

Shen Xin

The artist who lives and works in London, United Kingdom, and Amsterdam, Netherlands, “has distinguished herself with expansive, curious, poetic works that generally take the form of complex, multi-channel video narratives.’ The jury has noted, “she explores contemporary subjectivities by delving into histories, philosophies, and psychologies as embedded in different cultures, genders, and other identities.”