Chris Colman: Is it fair to say that the  heart of the art and animation scene in China is in Beijing?

Lu Yang: Several years ago it was Beijing, but now in Shanghai there are a lot of new museums opening. There are a lot of things moving to Shanghai. Artists come from every city but after they graduate they will stay in Beijing or Shanghai. I’m Shanghainese so after I graduated (from CAA, Hangzhou) I came back here.


CC: You recently had a booth and exhibited at DAFF in Shanghai. What’s your impression of the developments in the art scene here? Is the scene healthy and encouraging for you as an artist?

LY: It depends what area you’re looking in and what information you’re receiving. I think people in Shanghai move in different circles – there is the contemporary art scene, the illustration scene, the fashion scene.

Take contemporary art exhibitions – in my opinion, a lot of people want to stand in front of my work. That’s good for me. But on the other hand, if I want to spread my work to a wider audience, it’s hard compared to the fashion scene.

CC: This month we screened the Uterus Man animation at the CAGN Indie Animationnight.  Tell me about the project’s origins.

LY: People are very serious about gender – they really care if you’re a man or a woman. Before they are born, people cannot choose their own gender. But after that they have to play the role of a man or a woman. If you are woman you will say that women are the best and if you are a man you will say men are very powerful. For every human, there is a spirit inside – but you cannot choose the body. You just use this body to realize what you want to do. I want to make a joke about gender.


CC: You worked with Mao Sugiyama [Japanese artist who had his genitals and nipples surgically removed] to be your human embodiment of Uterus Man. How did that collaboration come about?

LY: It was when I started working on the Uterus Man storyboard that I first heard about him. His name always changes. He is asexual. He removed all his genitals. There was a lot of news about him online and a lot of people think he is crazy. I connected with him on Twitter and talked a lot about sexual issues and we became online friends. During that time I was making Uterus Man and I told him about the project and asked if he was interested in cooperating with me. Once he knew what I was doing, he said yes. So I went to Tokyo for 2 months and we did the photography.


CC: What are your plans for Uterus Man?

LY: The 11-minute film is done, which was a huge amount of work. Now I’m working on the Uterus Man game. It’s a computer game on different platforms – smartphone and online.  The game is ongoing. Shintaro Kago is also a Manga artist so he is making the first episode of Uterus Man. If I get a chance, I’d like to continue the project.

3 years ago I cooperated with a museum in Japan – Fukuoka Asian Art Museum – and we worked together on the Underwater Zombie Frog Ballet where we used electricity to stimulate dead frogs. They were from an anatomy course, so they were already dead.

That was our first cooperation.   They asked me what I wanted to do this time. So I said I want to make a game. Before they wanted me to make a live performance piece or some new media work but I wasn’t so interested in mapping or something. People can become more involved with a game. Then they helped me find the team.


CC: What’s the nature and object of the game?

LY: We used Unity to make it so it can be exported to several platforms. It’s a 3D game, running and shooting. The mission is to show the different skills that he has. We had very limited time and budget to make it, so it is only a small game, but we tried our best to show his skills and also make it look great visually.  One of his skills is Y Chromosomes, so after you get XY power, if the enemy is a male, you can change him to a female. It’s very easy to kill him after he becomes a female. The enemy is a male Kaiju.

CC: Tell us about the products you have created in addition to your art?

LY: I only started making products for Cancer Baby because cancer is related to the human body. If you use the cancer ring or the cancer necklace, it’s very close to your body and it’s like bringing the cancer cells out of your body.  There is one Uterus Man t-shirt and I have cooperated with one brand called Content which used my illustration on their clothes.


CC: What’s been the reaction to Cancer Baby?

LY: All my work creates two extreme reactions. One is very good, and one is very, very bad. Some people will leave very bad comments online. It was the same for Uterus Man.

A lot of comments say ‘Is this for real?’ Some think it’s like hentai. Some people will think it’s very cool and weird, in a good way.

I wanted to try to make cancer more cute, kawaii or something. I want to break the serious view of death and disease. In human history, people have had very different ideas about death. Before people had a natural feeling about it, they thought they could die any day, but after hundreds of years they started to believe death was a long way away. Sometimes they even forget they will die at all. All my work says that death and disease are just a part of life.

I’ve had some reaction from old people.  I did some work related to Parkinson’s disease (Krafttremor) before.  I made a speech in Japan at that time. Some old people were there, and afterwards they came to me and said that the work was really related to their life, because they had friends that had died from this disease. They were faced with this problem. Young people just think, ‘oh this is cool, it’s an electronic music video’.  I think the audience interprets it in different ways. All ways are fine. I can’t control people’s thoughts.

CC: Talk us through your work process. What’s your preferred medium? Do you have a team?

LY: I like to use all media. I don’t focus on just one. I just have my idea and use the different kinds of media to make it. I find people to help me build the model and create the fabrics – it’s too difficult for me to do all of that. I do the rendering and the texturing and all the visual things by myself.   I have an animator to do the movement – but I control the camera. I’m the director.


CC: From where do you draw your inspiration?

LY: Everywhere. It depends which project. For Uterus Man I used the Japanese form to express my idea but maybe next time I’ll use a different form. It’s just one of my interests.

All my ideas come from different areas of culture, not only in contemporary art. I like Japanese animation and pop culture and psychology and medical things. I don’t really know what other artists are doing. I just focus on my own work in my own world.

Chris Cunningham is interesting.  Music is very important.  When I was a child I really liked music videos – the combination of music and visual. Recently I’ve been listening to really stupid, emotional music. It helps me relax. But it’s nothing too deep. I also like Idol Culture.  I’m a stupid fan and follow several idols, like handsome Japanese boys.  J-Rock.  Singers with huge amounts of fans.


CC: Does your nationality play any role in your art? Do you think of yourself as a specifically Chinese artist?

LY: I have my own spirit inside. When I was a child I received all this information from every other country’s culture. I just want to be a human being and create something. In this society you must have a title. I don’t want titles. I don’t even care if you call me an artist.


CC:  Do you feel you feel related to the other animation artists on the CAGN screening bill, or a part of some sort of movement?

LY: Of the other artists on the bill I just know Lei Lei from the net. I don’t know the others. It’s fine that you put my name in that list though. There are so many media events and exhibitions and each time there’s this list and that list. For me it’s good just to show my work to more people.


CC: Is there a purpose to your work? What are your goals as an artist?

LY: The aim is only to finish the thing in front of me. Before I even start work on a project I know how the audience will react – the audience is not so important for me. I hope my work can attract certain people. I just want to put my work very objectively.


CC: Are you thinking about your next project?

LY: Maybe the next project will be related to religion and medicine. 3 or 4 years ago I made a project related to religion and science.  I was reading a book about this Tibetan deity, he looked very angry and people were very afraid. I also did some research about how emotion comes out in your brain. So that was a totally different way to express how people feel emotion. I wanted to combine those two areas together.


CC: Will you be working in China?

LY: I’ll be travelling and working a lot in Japan and then in September I’ll be going to New York for 4 months. It’s for an artist-in-residence program. I got the offer several years ago but I could never make it, so finally I can take the chance.

第一次知道陆扬是从《水下僵尸青蛙芭蕾》的通电试验报道开始,实验通过控制器和一些恰到好处的电刺激让一群在水下排列整齐的青蛙尸体和乐起舞。到去年,陆 扬《子宫战士》展的盆骨战车、卫生巾滑板和深喉激光炮等充斥在我眼前。再到今年,生活在上海的我时常听到陆扬的名字并看到她的作品充斥着整个城市,尤其是 她最新的作品《癌宝宝Cancer Baby》。. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

陆 扬是一位不会远离争议的艺术家,在大部分作品里面都充斥着颠覆了传统的观赏模式元素,在她身上你可以很好的看到中国年轻艺术家的创造力和想象力展现力。宗 教和科学是陆扬目前的两个创作关键点。她的作品具有强烈的视觉冲击力,大胆挑战道德底线的作风,常常让观者感到匪夷所思和无比惊悚。、她的所有项目作品都 建立在一定的科学研究和现有理论基础上,具有科学实验一样精准严密的实施过程。宗教和科学的融合使她的作品带有一种怪诞乖张的气息。

采访:Chris, 翻译:Hailan   在7月CAGN中国动画夜活动后,我们有幸在外滩附近陆扬朋友的工作室里采访到了她:


Chris: 你经常去很多地方吗?

陆扬: 大多数的情况下是因为我从事的项目,但是很多我很想也必须去做的事情。


C: 很多人说中国的艺术和心脏是在帝都北京,你同意这个说法吗?

陆扬: 如果是几年前我会说是北京,但是随着近几年很多艺术馆和博物馆先后开幕,上海的艺术气息也日益浓厚。很多艺术家毕业之后纷纷来到北京或上海。我是上海人,所以我从中国美术学院毕业后便选择回到了上海。


陆 扬: 人们对待性别的态度总是非常严谨 – 总是非常的在乎你是男是女。实际上你在出生之前根本无法选择自己的性别,但之后你必须要根据自己的性别而扮演相应的角色。如果你是女性你会说女性很柔弱美 丽,如果你是男性你会说男性很强大健壮。每个人都有一种内在的精神 – 但是你无法选择你的身体。你只是使用这个身体来实现你想做的事情。而我,我想用性别这个角度来开一个玩笑。  


C: 你以日本艺术家Mao Sugiyama 为参考,并作为子宫战士的化身,他切除了他的生殖器官、溶解了乳头并把自己变成了一个没有性别的身体。你是怎么认识他的?你对他有些什么样的评价?

陆 扬: 我在做《子宫战士》故事版的时候第一次有了解到他。他的名字也一直在变。他的确移除了所有的生殖器,是个无性人。当时有关于他的很多新闻报道,很多 人都认为他是疯子。我从Twitter上面联系了她并说了很多关于性别的话题,也变成了网友。在我制作《子宫战士》的时候我告诉他我正在做这个项目并问他 他是否有兴趣与我合作。他很快就答应了。所以我去了日本2个月并拍摄了很多照片。


C: 你对《子宫战士》的计划有什么计划?

陆 扬: 庞大工作量的11分钟的短片已经完成了。现在我这在参与制作《子宫战士》的游戏。这将是一个用于不同平台的游戏 – 手游和在线游戏。 日本漫画家驾笼真太郎(Shintaro Kago)也参与者《子宫战士》动画第一集的制作。如果我还有机会,我希望《子宫战士》可以继续下去。 3年前我与日本福冈亚洲美术馆合作了一个“复活!水下僵尸青蛙芭蕾”的项目,当时我们用电刺激青蛙的尸体。因为这些青蛙都由解剖学科系方面提供,所以我们 使用的都是已死的青蛙。 这是我们的第一次的合作。之后他们为我想做什么,我说我想做游戏。他们

还有希望我做一个现场表演或者一些新媒体方面的作品,但是我的兴趣不大。游戏的话, 玩家可以更好的参与和互动。他们也帮助我组建了游戏制作的团队。


C: 这个游戏的本质和目标是什么?

陆 扬: 我们使用Unity来制作该游戏所以可实现多平台的输出。这是个关于竞速和设计的3D游戏,玩家的任务就是展示主角不同的技能。我们的制作预算非常 有限,所以只能制作一个小游戏,但我们在尽最大的努力展现出他的技能并让游戏看起来很视觉化。其中一个技能就是Y染色体,所以如果你的敌方是男性,你就可 改变他的性别为女性。在他变成女性之后,杀死他就很容易了。我们现在设计的地方角色是一个男性的怪兽。  


C: 我了解到你的艺术作品有产生一些周边产品,你在这些周边里面担任什么样的职位?

陆扬: 我仅仅开始制作《癌宝宝》的周边制作,因为癌症与人体密切相关。如果你使用“癌戒指”或者“癌项链”就像可以杀死你身体里的癌细胞一样 最近也有与一个品牌合作《子宫战士》T恤,他们把子宫战士的图像使用到服装上。


C: 大众对于《癌宝宝》有什么样的反应和评价? 

陆 扬: 其实几乎所有我的作品评价都有两面性。有些评价很好,另一些非常

负面。更有一些人会在网上留下很糟糕的评论。这其中包括《子宫战士》。 很多评论会说“这是真的吗?”,有些会说“这太变态了”。也会有人认为这很酷,奇怪的恰到好处。 我想让癌症变得更卡哇伊更可爱,我想打破传统人们对待疾病和死亡的严肃和恐惧,很多人认为疾病和死亡离他们很远,有些人忘记了死亡总会到到来。而我的作品 所想表述的就是这些其实也指示生活的一部分。 在人类历史上,人们对死亡有很不同的看法。很久人们对死亡都有一种很自然的意识,认为人终有一死, 但在几百年之后,人们就开始觉得死亡是非常非常遥远的事情。   我从一些长辈那里了解到些情况。之前我做了些有关帕金森氏病的工作,当时在日本做过演讲,在场的有一些老人。演讲结束后,他们找到我说我的这个作品和他们 的生活息息相关,因为他们有朋友死于这种病症,同时他们也会面临着患这个病症的风险。而年轻人只会认为“这很酷,这个是电子音乐视频。” 我认为观众理解各有不同,但是都ok啊。我不能控制人们的思想。


C: 跟我们说说你的工作状态和过程吧?你有团队吗?

陆扬:  我喜欢使用各种媒介平台,并不止专注于一个。我有了想法就会试着使用各种媒介去实现它。我会找一些人帮我建模和纹理 — 一个人完成的话就会非常困难。我做渲染和绘制以及所有可视的东西。我有动画师,但是我控制着摄像机,我是导演。


C: 你的灵感来源是什么?

陆 扬: 各个地方。具体要看项目。比如《子宫战士》我用比较日系的形式来表达我的想法,但下次我可能就会用不同的方式表达。只是我的兴趣点所在罢了。 我的想法来自不同的文化领域,不只是当代艺术。我喜欢日本动漫、流行文化、心理学以及医学方面的东西。我我其实并不是非常了解别的艺术家正在从事什么,我 专注于自己的世界和自己的工作。 还比如我很喜欢克里斯•坎宁安(Chris Cunningham)。音乐很重要,当我还是

孩子的时候我真的喜欢音乐影片,它是音乐和视觉的结合。最近我一直在听听起来很愚蠢、表现强烈感情的音乐。 它能让我放松,但没有什么深刻意义。我也喜欢偶像文化,我是个脑残粉丝,追着很多偶像,比如帅气的日本男星、日系摇滚歌手以及有很多粉丝的歌手。至于名 字,我倒忘记了。


C: 你的国籍在你的艺术生涯起到什么样的作用?你会认为你是一个中国艺术家吗?

陆扬: 我有自己的精神思想。我还是孩子的时候我就接收到很多其他国家的文化。我仅仅想做一个有创造力的人,感觉好像在这个社会你一定要有一个称呼,但其实我不想要。我甚至不关心你会不会称我为艺术家。


C: 在73CAGN中国独立动画夜活动中我们放映了你的《癌宝宝》《子宫战士》,也有放映一些其他中国动画艺术家的作品。你和他们熟吗?是平时会有很多专业的交流?

陆扬: 我看到了海报,上面的艺术家里面,我只是有从网络认识到雷磊,其他的我就不认识了。很多媒体活动或者展览都会有这样一个艺术家名单,而对于我来说,能让更多人看到我的作品这也是让我很开心的事情。


C: 你的作品具有目的性嘛?作为一名艺术家你是否有怎样的野心? 

陆扬: 我的目标就是尽力做好眼前的事。在开始一个项目之前,我其实就或多或少知道观众会有什么样的反应,但观众对我来说不是最重要的,我希望自己的作品可以吸引到一些特定人群,我只是想很客观地用作品表达自己的观点。

C: 你最近在上海的DAFF 上有展位。你对现在的艺术发展有什么看法?这种发展是否对你有促进和鼓舞的作用?

陆 扬: 这取决于你正在探索的领域和你接受到的信息。我认为在上海的艺术家被划分为不同的圈子,有当代艺术派、幻想派和时尚派。 以当代艺术展为例,在我看来,有很多人想停留在我的作品前。这对我来说很很好的。但是另一方面,如果我想给更多观众展示我的作品,相较时尚派,我做起来比 较困难。


C: 你喜欢被媒体关注吗?

陆扬: 如果你是艺术家,你必须接受媒体,这也是你工作的一部分。但喜不喜欢要看是什么媒体。有一些媒体会在采访你之前做很多功课,准备好有趣的问题。有些根本不关心你,只是他们的领导指示做个采访,问题都很类似。


C: 你已经想好下一个作品了吗?

陆扬: 或许下一个作品是关于宗教和医学的。三四年前我已经做过关于宗教和科学的项目了。我读过关于西藏神明的书,神明看起来很严肃很令人敬畏和害怕。我也做过关于情绪是怎么发生的调查研究。这是个表达人们感受情绪完全不同的方式。我要把这两个领域结合起来。

C: 今后你会在中国工作吗? 

陆扬: 我会在日本边旅游边工作,九月份我会去纽约工作四个月,参与一个驻地艺术家的项目,其实我几年前就已经被邀请,一直没有去做,现在差不多是时候了。