Written byNYU Shanghai

Chinese artist Lu Yang will be premiering her newest video installation, LuYang Delusional Crime and Punishment, at the NYU Shanghai Gallery on October 17.

One of the most renowned new media artists of her generation, Lu Yang’s previous work includes LuYang Delusional Mandala, an experimental computer generated short film which traverses the fields of biology, neuroscience, religion and pop culture to explore the curious links between the brain, sensory perceptions and consciousness. Her latest creation, which draws on exchanges with neuroscience researchers, continues that theme.

“My work focuses on science and technology, and I try to explore and understand the world through these two fields. The brain fascinates me; it’s such a magical thing,” Lu Yang said.

This summer the artist joined a discussion on art and science with a group of world-class neuroscientists at the Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Summer School hosted by NYU Shanghai. She later visited the labs of some local neuroscientists to see first hand the equipment and technology used in their research.

LuYang Delusional Crime and Punishment dissects the meaning of existence through metaphors of theological determinism. A digital, genderless avatar of Lu is born into existence from a 3D printer and banished to suffer through variations of hell, all backed by a specially created dark electronic soundtrack by musician GameFace.

When asked what she wished to convey through her new work, Lu Yang admitted it to be a difficult question for every artist. “Each person will feel differently towards a work. You have to see it and feel it for yourself,” she said.  “If it were something that could be expressed precisely through words or text, then I wouldn’t have a video to create.”

During the exhibition, Lu said she hoped to have discussions about her work with the public and members of the NYU Shanghai community from different fields.

“I’m especially curious about what the neuroscientists will think of my work,” Lu Yang said. “Whenever I have the opportunity to meet a neuroscientist, I always ask the same question, ‘Do you believe that consciousness comes from the brain?’ and their answers are different

It was this opportunity for cross-disciplinary discussions that attracted her to hold the premiere of her latest work at NYU Shanghai.

“The NYU Shanghai Art Gallery is different from other galleries. It’s part of a research university with strengths in fields like neuroscience, which I am most interested in,” Lu said.

Qian Lin, the NYU Shanghai Gallery curator, said LuYang Delusional Crime and Punishment was symbolic of the artistic collaboration the gallery sought to nurture.

“The NYU Shanghai Gallery is part of a vibrant research university and is a creative place,” she said. “Rather than a passive art space, showing work exhibited elsewhere relocated to our space, it aims to make a difference as an incubator, enabling new art to be created, whether by emerging or established artists.”

LuYang Delusional Crime and Punishment will be on show to the public in the NYU Shanghai Gallery from October 17 until November 17, 2016. Some may find the imagery in this video installation disturbing. Parental guidance is suggested in the case of children under the age of 13.