Show and Tell with Ying Liu: Tiny, Trivial Thoughts — and Tails

This event took place on Aug 26, 2018

$12 General Admission
$9 Student/Senior
$7 Member

Series - Visiting Artists

Visiting Artist

A visit from Ying Liu, in two parts!

Aug. 25 at noon: Ying’s workshop, Ying of the Hill: A Site-Specific Theatrical Workshop in and about Capitol Hill,
Aug. 26 at 5pm: Ying’s artist show & tell session, Show and Tell with Ying Liu: Tiny, Trivial Thoughts — and Tails


Ying Liu is an interdisciplinary time-based artist based in Brooklyn. For her first Seattle visit, Ying presents a workshop and a show & tell of her practice, with screenings of her films and excerpts of performances that fuse the mediums of theater, dance, video, and performance art. Her evening-length, hybridized works often mix consumer technology such as VR, GoPro and smart phones with DIY props and an exuberant sense of play. The diverse, multi-generational casts of her projects range from professional ballet dancers, sociologists, house music DJs, rappers, and filmmakers – sometimes all in the same performance. Highlighting the shifting, participatory nature of viewership, mediated in real time by our everyday use of technology, Liu’s practice reveals how experimentation is most fruitful when it escapes predetermination. Poking at the traditional boundaries between performer and spectator, she stirs together contradictory forces of memory, spatiality, and the inherent friction of sociality.

Join Liu’s six-hour theatrical workshop on Saturday, August 25th! Details here >

In this show & tell, Liu shares screenings of 7 of her films and performances:

  • HANG OUT: An NYC public park is the stage for a 3-episode play, where unsuspecting park goers become performers and audience members, in a medley of VR stations, fashion shows, friend circle drama inspired by the stock market, and line dancing.
  • BREEZE: On the night of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival in 2013, Liu and another artist attempted to stretch a piece of silver string across the surface of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in NYC’s Central Park. The idea was to create a gentle “breeze,” or to cut through the atmosphere of the water during a full moon.
  • NOW WE START FROM THE ARM: A performance experiment in human knotting based on four prominent motions from the history of dance: push, pull, drag, and lift.
  • DON’T BE SHY, MAN!: A hybrid show inspired by Stuart Sherman’s poetry, and oriented by a devotion to the infinite nature of artistic exploration and the modification of everyday objects to create alternative, non-utilitarian modes of being.
  • YOU AND ME ARE STITCHED: For this film, Liu developed a novel tattooing animation technique and used it to meld digital karaoke text with 16mm live action footage.
  • HAM OVER RICE: A mixed live action and animation film, deconstructing the Chinese myth of the god Houyi, an archer who saves the world but loses his immortality.
  • TAILS: Liu makes tails as metaphorical containers for her tiny, trivial thoughts and creativity.

About Ying Liu

I was born in Zhoushan Island China. Prior to moving to the States for grad school in film production at UT austin in 2007, I studied International Business Trading in China as an undergrad.

Going to Texas was my very first time abroad. When I landed I realized that I was setting foot on a continent where I knew absolutely nobody.

While at UT, by total accident I took performance art as my minor. That widened my horizon into art! I especially fell in love with Stuart Sherman’s work. So during summer vacations, I would visit Electronic Arts Intermix in New York and watch Sherman and other artists’ work in their viewing room.

When I graduated in 2011, I relocated to New York. I work in an array of media: film and video, performance, new media, sound art, design, installation, textiles, animation and choreography. Historic arts organization Emily Harvey Foundation has presented my work in numerous sold-out solo showings including screening (O Ppl Prefer) Techshting A(ny)way, Don’t Be Shy, Man! – a hybrid show inspired by Stuart Sherman’s poetry, and evening-length dance performance Now We Start from the Arm.

I am interested in jamming a large number of tiny thoughts into one work rather than beginning with a big idea. A method informed by my perception of the world. I trust that, with extensive layering, editing and sequencing, an order WILL emerge. And whatever that order might be, the work would come TOGETHER and further propel ITSELF into a system. By tattooing layers on top of each other, the found systems are able to find new meanings in their physical shape.

Research plays an essential role in my work. And my background as a filmmaker has informed the way I “edit” and compose my audiences and foster an open and inclusive community through diversifying my performers and collaborators. In summer 2017, I staged HANG OUT, a site-specific, three-episode play in Manhattan Chinatown’s Sara D. Roosevelt Park, which had extensive use of VR. Because VR is based on environments, part of my research dealt with architecture and architectural models.

MAKE A FOUNTAIN, a 302-page catalog accompanying and documenting these performances, was released in April 2018.

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1515 12th Ave,

Seattle, WA 98122

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