Liu Wa & Yang Bao: Late Night Savage
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LATE NIGHT SAVAGE, by Liu Wa & Yang Bao, focuses on the day and night of three plants at nuclear sites in the United States, the former Soviet Union and China during the Cold War. The two artists embarked on an 11,000-mile journey to conduct field research in Washington State, U.S. and Gansu, China, and lived among the plants. This multi-sensory and ever-evolving soundscape is a gateway, seeking to heighten the audience’s sensuous receptivity to the more-than-human world.

As a symbol for the American West, tumbleweeds, propelled by the force of the wind, travel around to spread radioactive seeds at the nuclear reactor in Washington State. Sunflowers are now planted at Chernobyl, as a cheap corrective method to clean up the contamination. Camel grass at the nuclear city in Gansu, China, embodies the patriotic zeitgeist for dedicating one’s life to the motherland. However, both camel grass and tumbleweeds are invasive species from Russia that disregard land borders, freely traversing the landscapes. Genetic mutation caused by ionizing radiation speeds up the plants’ aging process, leading to an increase in its entropy. While living means fighting a losing battle against nature, the short-lived plants still display incredible resilience and savageness. 

The intent of this work is not to anthropomorphize the plants, but to “vegetalize” our human perceptions and question the man-made boundaries amongst ourselves. The artists observe and reimagine the life of plants through video installation, paintings and music. In the daytime, the plants dedicate themselves to fulfilling the obligations assigned by humans, but in the nighttime, they morph into phantoms and savages, dancing till the end of the world.

The silent carnival of these nameless actors has never been alien to us. We are all savages.

 

*Search “Yang Bao” or “Late Night Savage” on all streaming platforms worldwide to listen to the album

 

About the Artists

 

Liu Wa (b.1994), a Chinese artist based in Beijing and New York. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Art from Yale University, and is currently pursuing a M.S. in Art, Culture and Technology at MIT. Liu Wa’s work encompasses installation, moving image and painting and she deploys neuro_technology to construct immersive and interactive environments. Trained in anthropology, she explores the subjectivity and plasticity of human emotions and perceptions. Built upon post-humanism, her multidisciplinary practices reimagine human agency at a time when feelings and desires could be quantified, predicted and affected by neuroscience. Her works adopt fluid and decentralized perspectives to interrogate the power dynamics between humanity and technology.

Her recent solo exhibitions include: “Late Night Savage” (Cc Foundation, 2021), “SOUNDMASS” (Tank Shanghai, 2021), “Hear A Century Ahead” (No.1 Waitanyuan, Shanghai, 2021), “Moon Milk” (MadeIn Gallery, 2020), “Glimpse: a passing look” (Sabsay Gallery, Denmark, 2018). Selected group exhibitions include: “Busan Biennale” (Museum of Contemporary Art Busan, 2020), “Immaterial/Re-material: A Brief History of Computing Art” (UCCA Beijing, 2020), “Duration: Chinese Art in Transformation” (Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, 2021), “The 6th Guangzhou Triennial” (Guangdong Museum of Art, 2018). She won the “International Emmy Awards Young Creatives Award” in 2020, and was selected for “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia list” and “Porsche Young Chinese Artist of the Year” in 2019.

 

Yang Bao is a cross-disciplinary artist and pianist based in New York, classically trained in piano performance at The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory of Music. Yang Bao’s multi-media works create an experiential “synthesis of the arts” that is precise in texture while hypnotizing in motion. Inspired by classical music and post-human minimalism, his sensory-based “physical music” condenses complex emotions into poetic fables. His keen interest in quantum mechanics inspires him to engage with every single molecule in the universe through an intimate and reciprocal relationship.

In his solo performance and sound installation “SOUNDMASS” at Tank Shanghai in China in 2021, Bao created a site-specific and ever-evolving “soundmass” with continuous changes in color and texture — a sonic monument that constantly devours and regenerates itself. His project “LATE NIGHT SAVAGE” with Liu Wa exhibited at Cc Foundation in Shanghai in 2021, Bao created an infinite soundscape in which four pieces of music are experienced in both chaos and synchrony. Sound is no longer trapped in linear time, but exists only in every unpredictable slice of time. Bao’s solo shows and projects include: “Late Night Savage” (Cc Foundation, Shanghai, 2021), “SOUNDMASS” (Tank Shanghai, 2021), “Hear A Century Ahead” (No.1 Waitanyuan, Shanghai, 2021). His performance piece premiered at Lincoln Center (New York, 2018) and Boston Center for the Arts (Boston, 2019).

*Photo by Sky

 

Macalline Art Center is a practice-oriented site focused on contemporary visual inventions. The Center engages with artists and art groups by building physical and online communities through events and research. The Center is guided by the working processes of artists, constantly re-defining and testing itself and renewing perceptual and cognitive systems in contemporary situations and contexts.