“Li Yuyang · Outside of Art” 2023 NYRCA Annual Solo Exhibition

Outside of Art

Li Yuyang 

On the original timeline, my character design and storyline should have been set in the capital city. However, when the pandemic started, I was swept up in the rollingwhite terror, risking being taken away forquarantineat any time and spending my days on the internet shouting at the inhumanwhitenessand filming the governments inaction. Because I repeatedly refused to go downstairs to queue for nucleic acid tests, I was accused ofprovoking troubleand wasforcibly isolated“…

But in reality, I was inadvertently separatedMy new directorial filmMigrationwas halted for release. After many unsuccessful negotiations, I took my family and began traveling out of frustration. At first, it was just to soothe my emotions through travel. After touring southern Europe, I landed in the Philippines, shortly before the outbreak of COVID19 in October 2019

I had experienced Beijings SARS outbreak in 2003, which soon passed. Therefore, I made the decisive decision not to return to Beijing. At that time, I had a nowlaughable belief that the tropical heat would easily kill the virus, making it impossible to spread in tropical areas. It was truly ridiculousbut everything began from there

Looking back on that period, the first six months were the most difficult to endure. Hopes were shattered time and time again, watching the Philippine government issue a new home policy every ten days, then another ten daysWatching the soaring infection numbers every day, with no signs of improvement. Suddenly, I felt that this epidemic was becoming more and more unusual. My inner self began to become restless. The only reassuring thing was that the epidemic prevention and control policies in the Philippines were particularly mild. Even when the strictest prevention and control measures were in place, only one person per household was allowed to go out to purchase essential goods.

It lasted for about a month, from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next day, when I could not go out. The place where I lived was adjacent to the coastal road along Manila Bay. I almost went out for a walk every day

It should have been before the Omicron variant, but I cut off all contacts outside of my family because I lived with my 70yearold parents, and I was most worried about them getting infected. I wore a mask when I went out, and I was always spraying alcohol. I would take a shower and change my clothes every time I went out. As it turned out, this set of preventive measures really worked, and all five members of my family passed through safely.

Before the emergence of the Omicron variant, I had cut off all social interactions outside of my family. Living with my 70yearold parents, I was most worried about them getting infected. I wore a mask when going out and constantly sprayed alcohol, and as soon as I left the house, I made sure to shower and change clothes. As it turned out, this combination of preventive measures really worked, and my family of five all safely made it through.

In terms of information, I had become accustomed to the YouTube, Twitter, FacebookGoogle ecosystem and had blocked Tencents news push notifications. It was during this time that I seemed to have seen thetruth“. I was repulsed by the slogans and grand narratives that people spouted without thinking. I had used a proxy VPN toclimb over the wallbefore, and I had been conflicted and tangled. But never before had I felt so strongly.

For the first time in my life, I had such a long and quiet period of contemplation. Perhaps the occurrence of this event was destined by some mysterious force to create a condition for some people to quiet down and think, and I happened to be among them

I am grateful for the ocean here, which fills 71% of the earths surface, just like the indispensable 70% of water in my body. Saying this might sound too artistic and insincere, but it is the closest description of my feeling towards the ocean after thinking it over. I was born in the inland area on the border between Shanxi and Hebei and went to school and work in Beijing. The first time I saw the ocean was in 2005, when I was already 25 years old, and what I saw was the sea of Bohai Bay, which was polluted and blackenedFor a long time, I had always thought that the beautiful and clean ocean was an illusionBut here, I witnessed the real and beautiful ocean.

My soul and body have found their home. In order to restore this feeling ofrebirth, I took my neighbor friends to the sea during the pandemic to filmRebirth” (video link: https://youtu.be/wKqpd24GDuo). At the same time, during that period, I had my own understanding of this space. This was also the first time I spoke it out: Look at our world, except its not heaven, everything can be. Watching the tangible and intangible killings and devourings among carbon-based organisms, it is a form of mutual repayment after owing each other energy.

In Chinese mythology, “Shang Dao Shan” in the underworld is where cattle and sheep are chopped into small pieces and thin slices, “Xia Huo Hai” is the barbecue of chicken, duck, beef and mutton, and “Guo You Guo” is where everything can be turned into tempura. These are all true depictions of hell, visible and tangible, and all of this happens in our

world, where some of us play the role of executioners. We have woven together the underworld and our world, and our experiences of birth, aging, illness, and death undoubtedly hover between the two. The only thing we can do is to stay as far away from hell as possible. As for heaven, it may be beyond reach for some things and just a thought away for others.

From birth, it seems that I have been trying very hard to blend into various groups and participate in game modes dictated by others. I repeatedly recite the standard answers set by others and often torment my soul and body because I am not familiar with other people’s game modes…I should follow my own game mode. I pitch my tent above the highest tide line at the beach, and as long as there is fresh water, I can live here indefinitely. I just need to hold my breath and dive into the ocean, and at a depth of only 10 meters, it feels like returning to the womb, or in simpler terms, entering my mother’s belly.

Two minutes, although only two minutes, can make you feel like time is dragging on. It’s long enough for you to think about so many things, because time is truly relative, and even if time stops, thinking can still continue.

The pandemic will eventually pass after three years, and now it’s 2023, a new beginning. My family and I now live in Japan, where we still can’t see heaven. But we are farther away from hell.

Li Yuyang

I am Li Yuyang, a filmmaker and multimedia artist. I lived in China from 1981 to 2018, the Philippines from 2019 to 2023, and from 2023 onwards, I reside in Japan.



        原本的時間線上,我的人物設定和故事線應該在帝都,疫情開始後,我被席捲在滾滾的白色恐怖中,冒著隨時被拉去隔離的風險,成天在網絡上喊話無人性的大白” ,拍視頻紀錄政府的不作為。因屢次拒絕下樓排隊核酸,被尋釁滋事” 、被強制隔離” ……






        資訊方面,完全習慣了YouTube  Twitter F acebook  ……  google生態。屏蔽了騰訊推送的新聞。也就是在那個時候,我似乎看到了真相” ,那些慣以張嘴就來的口號和宏大敘事的形式讓我反感。我之前也使用代理VPN“翻牆” ,也矛盾,也糾結。但是從來沒有過這麼強烈。



我的靈魂和身體都找到了歸宿。為了還原這種重生的感受,我疫情期間拉著鄰居小伙伴,去海裡拍了《重生》(視頻http s://youtu.be/wKqpd24GDuo)同時在那個階段,我有了自己對這個空間的感悟。這也是我第一次講出來:看看我們的世界,除了不是天堂,什麼都可以是。看著碳基生物之間的有形無形的殺戮和吞噬,那是相互之間欠下能量之後的一種彼此償還的形式。

中國神話體里地獄裡的上刀山不就是把牛羊切成小塊兒和薄片兒,下火海是雞鴨牛羊的燒烤,過油鍋即是萬物皆可天婦羅” 。以上種種的形式都是地獄的真實寫照,看得見,摸得著,這一切就發生在我們的人間,而我們中的一部分就充當著劊子手。我們親手把地獄和人間編織在一起,我們經受的生老病死無疑徘徊在地獄和人間。我們唯一能做的只有盡量離地獄遠一些。而天堂對萬物而言,有些遙不可及,有些一念之間。





        我是李浴洋,電影導演,多媒體藝術家。 1981年~2018年生活在中國,2019年~2023年生活在菲律賓,2023起居住在日本。

New York Research Institute of Contemporary Art is a non-profit art organization based in New York. Through international programs, the institution promotes opportunities for creating, exhibiting, researching, and critiquing art, in the mission of advancing the dialogues of contemporary art in the United States and Greater China. With a focus on art curating, the organization seeks to exhilarate young artists to enrich their creative practices with a global perspective by providing a platform for ideas and dialogues around art creation. The projects include the most pioneering art exploration and experimentation in the forms of multidisciplinary research and presentation, as well as artist residencies and educational activities in the United States and the Greater China regions. Surveying art forms and social issues of current concerns, the projects responding to a breadth of artistic creativities, while bringing art closer to the public.