Great Adventure of Material World

Lu Yang

“I don’t think the self exists. I think you have a superpower universe inside you and you can develop in that universe.” – Lu Yang

The video game and ‘game film’ that forms part of the work Great Adventure of Material World by Lu Yang follows the journey from a new afterlife into the material world. In several chapters, avatars interrogate the nature of these realms: does your skeleton have a gender? What is shame without a point-of-reference? How can our spirit be tortured in hell without a body to sense the pain?

Lu Yang’s characters crossover, battle and collaborate across many of his artworks, musing on philosophies informed by Yang’s Buddhist upbringing. To Yang, the world around you is a matter of perspective “you can find 1000 universes in your home, or one in your skin”- for Yang, our reality is not stable, but one of many to choose from.

The remaining part of Great Adventure of Material World consists of Yang’s monumental ‘Monster Head’ blow-up sculpture. This creature’s burning eyes watch as we investigate these questions of virtual versus physical reality. The Medusa-like entity first appeared in Yang’s childhood nightmares: afraid of the inky blackness of his apartment hallway at night, his mind encountered a vision of his own decapitated, floating head bursting forth from the darkness. Having escaped the dream-world, it haunts the hall housing the work.

Great Adventure of Material World by Lu Yang transports you along an elaborate odyssey into his complex, philosophical world. This new mythology confronts long-standing, human questions: what constitutes ‘self’ and ‘other’? Is there life beyond death? Enter a digital skin and immerse yourself in the worlds of Lu Yang.

Lu Yang | China
The work of multimedia artist Lu Yang has been featured in major museums and institutions internationally, including recent important solo exhibitions at the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark; Spiral, Tokyo, Japan; M WOODS, Beijing; UCCA, Beijing; and Fukuoka Asia Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan. Lu Yang was recently awarded the BMW Art Journey in 2019, and Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year 2022.

Recent works in large-scale thematic exhibitions include Asia Society Triennial 2021, New York; Shanghai Biennale 2018 and 2012; Athens Biennale 2018; Liverpool Biennial 2016; Montreal International Digital Art Biennial 2016; 56th Venice Biennale 2015 China Pavilion; and Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2014.

Connect with the artist on Instagram here