Lu Yang’s Delusional Mandala

“Lu Yang: Delusional Mandala”

Beijing Commune (798 Art District, Beijing), Sep 24–Nov 3, 2015

Lu Yang’s new installation inside Beijing Commune appears designed to resemble the scene of a museum dedicated to Tibetan Buddhism. On closer inspection, the “standardized” display (as far as local viewers are concerned, that is) still elicits a trace of fatigue in the viewer.

The recent video work (“Lu Yang Delusional Mandala”) is clearly the focus. The new works overall continue the modes of questioning seen in Lu’s work to date including “KRAFTTREMOR”, “Wrathful King Core”, and “Lu Yang Delusional Mandala”—with minor details in question, not to mention a few confusing segments. In addition to raising doubts about the sublime nature of religion, Lu Yang has inserted notes into the videos in a documentary fashion, mentioning that all neurological experimentation used in the videos is based on herself—the result of stimuli applied to the depths of the brain along with transcranial magnetic stimulation, which were used to reveal deep mesolimbic (pathway) systems. She takes great pains to emphasize her long-term interest in neurology, as well as the in-depth research she has conducted on this subject.

Undoubtedly, the fields Lu has chosen to combine will yield rich results when they interact. However, within an idiom connected to computer software—sampling, checking, and data verification—are the paralyzing aesthetics of image editing. It is unclear whether the hip-hop dancing popping up intermittently in the video is meant to break up the organizational structure of the work, or to engage with non-visual elements as rhythmic symbols. Are the figures the MTV equivalent of “Moving Gods”? Was it even necessary for the artist herself to appear as a digital and analog image in the video? One can only await verification of these conjectures in Lu Yang’s future work.

Exhibition view

Lu Yang, “Delusional Mandala”, video still
Lu Yang, “Moving Gods—Wood Sculpture”

Lu Yang, “Moving Gods”
Lu Yang

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