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Artists: Lily & Honglei Art Studio
Year of production: 2015
Duration: 8’00”, infinite loop
Medium: Chinese ink painting on rice paper, video
projection on surface of a wall or water


In the video Moon, the lunar phases are looked upon through a poetic lens. In Far Eastern culture, such phases symbolize the elusiveness of fate as well as both the separation and reunion of loved ones.

By setting original ink painting works in motion, Moon presents a natural phenomenon in a manner that unveils an introspective human world – an approach is profoundly inspired by traditional eastern poetry and art. A reflection upon humanity, conflict, loss, and hope is drawn through space and time as a dreamscape of inner emotions merged with the natural world.

The film is comprised of a series of Chinese ink paintings on rice paper and could be projected on a variety of different surfaces such as a solid wall or a still pond of water. Both indoors and outdoors environments are fit within the scale of this project. A video excerpt is viewable here:


One of the inspirations for the video installation Moon is "A Flowery Moonlit Night on a Spring River," an influential Tang poem that has inspired numerous later artworks. An English translation of the poem reads:

‘In spring the river rises as high as the sea,
And with the river’s rise the moon up-rises bright.
She follows the rolling waves for ten thousand li,
And where the river flows, there overflows her light.



‘The river winds around the fragrant islet where
The blooming flowers in her light all look like snow.
You cannot tell her beams from hoar frost in the air,
Nor from white sand upon Farewell Beach below.



‘No dust has stained the water blending with the skies;
A lonely wheel-like moon shines brilliant far and wide.
Who by the riverside first saw the moon arise?
When did the moon first see a man by riverside?


‘Ah, generations have come and past away;
From year to year the moon looks alike, old and new.
We do not know tonight for whom she sheds her ray,
But hear the river say to its water adieu



‘Away, away is sailing a single cloud white;
On Farewell Beach pine away maples green.
Where is the wanderer sailing his boat tonight?
Who, pining away, on the moonlit rails would learn?



‘Alas! The moon is lingering over the tower;
It should have seen the dressing table of the fair.
She rolls the curtain up and light comes in her bower;
She washes but can’t wash away the moonbeams there.



‘She sees the moon, but her beloved is out of sight;
She’d follow it to shine on her beloved one’s face.
But message-bearing swans can’t fly out of moonlight,
Nor can letter-sending fish leap out of their place.


‘Last night he dreamed that falling flowers would not stay.
Alas! He can’t go home, although half spring has gone.
The running water bearing spring will pass away;
The moon declining over the pool will sink anon



‘The moon declining sinks into a heavy mist;
It’s a long way between southern rivers and eastern seas.
How many can go home by moonlight who are missed?
The sinking moon sheds yearning o’er riverside trees.’*


LIly & Honglei art studio, chinese ink painting, chinese new media art

Ink paintings & still images from Moon. Image courtesy of Lily & Honglei Art Studio.

*(Translation source: http://www.joyen.net/article/listen/2/201103/3975.html)


Past Exhibitions/Screenings

- Korean Art Forum, Jorgensen Gallery at University of Connecticut, curated by Heng-Gil Han http://kafny.org/korea2/

A complete list of ink paintings of The Moon (click thumbnails below for bigger images)




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