LuYang Arcade Liverpool at FACTMaja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
FACT Liverpool continues its exploration of the field of art and technology with a brand new show: LuYang Arcade Liverpool offers an immersive space filled with interactive experiences.
Lu Yang is a Shanghai-born, Tokyo-based multimedia artist working with animation, video games and live-action-cosplay. Their work often explains the human body, neurology, popular culture, gaming subcultures, and an issue for which there has been a growing interest in recent years, the relationship between spirituality and technology. Lu Yang also often focuses on gender fluidity and representation.
LuYang Arcade Liverpool is centred on the Material World Knight (2018-2020) project consisting of three works. The titular Material World Knight is a three-channel video presenting the story of a superhero on a mission to challenge oppressive binary concepts and achieve transcendence; as well as The Great Adventure of Material World – Game Film (2020); and the playable video game The Great Adventure of Material World (2020). The later parts of the project focus on Buddhist teachings, deities, death and rebirth and broader philosophical musings.
The artist’s aesthetic is clearly inspired by anime and manga, which, coupled with explorations of religious teachings and the physicality of the human body highlighted by the use of motion capture technology, makes for a complex and memorable artistic output.
As well as the centrepiece of Material World Knight, viewers can also encounter Lu Yang’s other works such as UterusMan (2014), Cancer Baby (2014), Electromagnetic Brainology Brain Control Messenger (2018), LuYang Dance Dance Revolution (2018), LuYang Delusional Hell (2021) and LuYang Delusional World x Delusional Hell (2021). Intended for interactivity, many of the works are playable on the consoles positioned around the gallery, imitating a retro games arcade. You’ll find motorcycle simulators, Space Invade joy-con towers and dance mat stations. As well as commenting on the online realm and digital cultures, the artist invites us to become active participants in the conversation, but also in the sheer fun of playing the games.
LuYang Arcade Liverpool explores the ways in which the physical, digital and spiritual can coexist and provides a space to both ponder philosophical questions and nurture your inner gamer child.