ASK FOR THE MOON
In 2010, Yi Lian started to record his dreams. He repeated the course of these diaristic accounts for thousands of days and nights. From the moment he transferred his visions into written word, the dreams established independent structures and new meanings.
The 10-year period of time encompassing this project is long enough to constitute the principal aspects of Yi Lian's methodology. His videos combine elements of both confusion and optimism; they are quiet and mysterious, but also full of imagination and hope. Akin to bizarre theatrical displays, many forms appear and disappear in the dreamscape. Random trees, animals, people, bodies, etc. follow their own set tracks but happen to all intersect in his version of space and time.
Yi often constructs his work from a third-person perspective, attempting to relate to the viewer - the Other - through the feelings and predicaments in living beings beside his own. Although watching a video is different from physically dreaming yourself, the artist believes that all mediums of expression can be thought of as externalized parts of dreams because of their similar characteristic of entangled interpretation and experience.
Text by Cai Liyuan
He was born in Yichun, Jiangxi Province in 1987, completed his master degree from School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art in 2012 and now lives and works in Hangzhou. Yi Lian’s works include images, art installations, photography, painting and so on. His works are often based on individual life experiences rather than purely abstract concepts or forms. His early works focus on the narrative of images, the construction of surreal scenes and the capture of absurdity in personal experience. In recent years, the key words of his works turn to ‘the other’, ‘communication’ and so on. Becoming aware of the complexity, impossibility and multiple layers of ‘communication’ with the other, the artist tries to obtain a path through art to connect with, understand and experience the other (person/object/life), and also to touch and know oneself once again. “Art is glamorous because of its ability to share information with the other and relate to more.” Recent solo exhibitions are “Yi Lian- Cinema Paradiso”, Bonacon Gallery, Guangzhou(2018); “Folding: Yi Lian Solo Exhibition”, TC101 Space, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen; Shanghai Biennial, the 9th “ Reactivation” (2012) and the 12th “Proregress” (2018), PSA, Shanghai. He won the 2019 Jimei x Arles Discovery Award. His works are collected by the Australian White Rabbit Art Museum and the Blue Mountain Contemporary Art Foundation.