Filtering by Tag: video art

An Imaginary Exhibition: Rise and Fall

Added on by Tiger Cai.

This is a virtual demonstration of an imaginary exhibition that only happens in my mind.

Please see the video below.

Press release (if an imaginary exhibition needs one)

Tiger Chengliang Cai is glad to feature An Imaginary Exhibition: Rise and Fall here on his website. The video installation consists of 2 infinite loop animations, 'Yuri's Endless Journey', 'The Fall of Icarus',  and 1 player piano (a piano can play by itself).  Please see the following descriptions of 2 loop animations.

Yuri’s Endless Journey:

A loop animation

Yuri is the first name of Yuri Gagarin, the first human being in space. In 1961, Gagarin took the USSR spacecraft, Vostok 1, and entered the earth orbit. He stayed on the orbit for 1 hour and 48 minutes, and returned to earth safely. However in 1968, Gagarin died tragically young in an aircraft crash during his training mission. Later, USSR authority built up a gigantic statue in Moscow, which shows Gagarin flying upward to the sky.

In the animation, the statue of Gagarin flies through stars, nebulas and galaxies, toward a beam of mysterious light. His journey seems to be never end. I believe this is a metaphor of the ambition, desire and faith of human civilization. Despite all our nobility and greatness, humans are lonely. We have to complete this journey alone. No matter how hard we tried, we probably will be never able to touch the ultimate truth of the universe, either. Like this close loop of animation, we must go up, which means higher, faster and stronger, till the end of time; and there is no other choice for us. 

The Fall of Icarus:

A loop animation

In Greek methodology, Icarus is the son of the great craftsman Daedalus. Icarus attempted to use his father’s artificial wings to escape from Island Crete. As he flied too high and too close the sun, the wings broke down, and he fell into the sea. Many artists had created artworks on this theme through history. The most famous version is from Pieter Bruegel the Elder, in which he depicted the story in a humorous but sad way.

In my animation, Icarus is a USSR astronaut, whose backpack is burning and falling continuously toward the earth. He falls through clouds and winds, but somehow never finally reaching the ground. If what we see in the another animation is only the statue of Gagarin, could this falling astronaut be Yuri himself? There are no answers. The rise and the fall is a critical discourse in philosophy. But what if falling is not an easy movement of self-destruction; what if falling is actually an endless process of self-deconstruction, just like how the world works today?

(Music credit: Études for Piano, Book 2, No. 9, by György Ligeti.)

Still image from Yuri's Endless Journey

Still image from The Fall of Icarus

See the original single channel videos with following links:

Yuri's Endless Journey

The Fall of Icarus

Please contact me if you're able to help me bringing this exhibition to the real world.


Coming Screening: EZUFF Projection Project 7 -- Urban Weasterns

Added on by Tiger Cai.

Elvis Zapp Urban Film Festival – Projection Project 7

Urban Weasterns

Curated by

Tiger Cai


Showing 10 experimental videos

Friday, June 5, 2015, 8:30pm

SPECTRUM Space 121 Ludlow St, 2nd Floor

Tickets: $10

RSVP to Andrew MacNair at


Featured Artists:


Tiger Chengliang Cai

Yasmine Laraqui

Sinan Tuncay

Shaw Xu Zhifeng

Lei Lei & Thomas Sauvin

And live music performed by Dorian Wallace

sisyphus tank doc.jpg


EZUFF is pleased to present its 7th Projection Project at Spectrum Space Friday, June 5, 2015, 8:30pm. Titled “Urban Weasterns”, the screening is curated by Tiger Chengliang Cai. “Weastern” comes from the combination of Eastern and Western, suggesting the circumstances of our era; it also functions as a metaphor for the complicated nature of the blurring that has occurred between the boundary between East and West. The screening features 5 video artists (or artist groups): Yasmine Laraqui, Sinan Tuncay, Shaw Zhifeng Xu, Lei Lei & Thomas Sauvin and Tiger Chengliang Cai. All of the featured artists are originally from so-called Near East and Far East countries, as defined by an occidental-centric paradigm. By curating the event, Tiger uses his own videos and animations as threads to weave the video works of his fellow artists into an integrated discourse on urban issues both for East and West – for the Weast.

Most of Tiger’s artworks involve topics such as political memories of cities, the dilemma of personal identity being neither Eastern nor Western and the conflict between dreams and reality. As a part of the screening, his Six Dreams About a City will be shown. It combines animation, live-action and documentary footage both from the present and archival footage. The film demonstrates the destruction of a dreamed utopian city. In addition to the film, Tiger’s animation pieces will be screened during the intermission between each video, with live music performed by Dorian Wallace, a composer who has worked with Tiger on many projects.


A female artist originally from Morocco, Yasmine Laraqui continuously provokes mainstream thoughts on female identities in the Arabic world through her work. Laraqui’s video resonates with the themes of Tiger’s work in many ways. The work she presents at the screening, Sparkling Molotov, is a short video on revolution. By juxtaposing spectacular images both from footage of protests all over the Mid East and images of overwhelming western-style social media lives and parties, she offers a critique of the fanaticism of revolution fantasies as well as utopian dreams through her female perspective.


Sinan Tuncay is an artist from Turkey. He will present 2 videos at the screening. The first, “Vay”, is a music video for singer Sezen Aksu. Commissioned by the internationally recognized Turkish diva, the video stands on its own as a very strong work of art. It explores the relationship between architectural space and personal memories. In the other work, Mommy’s Not Home, a complicated public aesthetics that neither belongs to East nor West drawn out through the mockery of ideal female characters and lifestyles in Turkey in the 90s.


Xu Zhifeng, also known as Shaw, is an architect and artist from Shanghai, China. Urban Pilgrimage is his first video art work, shot 9 years ago. The video is a documentary of his installation: he turned a working-class apartment building into a gigantic, albeit temporary, installation on the last night before the building was demolished in order to construct a new venue to host the 2010 Shanghai World Fair. Now, 5 years after the urban event that changed the city forever – regardless of whether for the better or the worse, Shaw’s video record has become a part of a precious archive of pre-World-Fair Shanghai.


If we consider Shaw’s work as a transition from an art piece into historical materials, then the animation made by Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin can be regarded as the resurrection of common memories of a city from the remains of historical records. Lei Lei and Thomas Sauvin recovered almost a half-million discarded negatives from family albums that they found in recycling centers near Beijing. They selected 3,000 photos from all of the found materials and made them into a work of animation. The images span a multitude of families across years, containing many personal and family memories in each of them. Through the work of Lei and Thomas, those memories have been revived and transfigured into physical evidence of common memories of urban spaces.


Weasterns are neither Eastern or Western. They live someplace in-between, somewhere far from home, but not yet close enough to reach the other side. In this era, most of us are Weasterners. Regardless of which city we live in, we all live in the ruins of the same utopia. If there is any narrative in this screening, then the narrative is about all of us, all Weasterners who are born, live and die under the reflection of the utopia.


Screening list:

10 videos (in screening order):


Tiger Chengliang Cai:

Argo Voyager

Six Dreams About a City

Sinan Tuncay:

Mommy’s Not Home

Vay (music video, feat. Sezen Aksu)

Tiger Chengliang Cai:

Winnowing Oar/Sisyphus the Tank Pusher (with live music by Dorian Wallace)

 Yasmine Laraqui:

Sparkling Molotov

Tiger Chengliang Cai:

Twin Panoramas

 Shaw Xu Zhifeng:

Urban Pilgrimage

Lei Lei & Thomas Sauvin:


 Tiger Chengliang Cai:

Smash the Tower (Tower of Sand)



The Elvis Zapp Urban Film Festival Projection Project is an ongoing, independent, alternative, non-commerical, international film project examining the factual and fictive juxtapositions of architecture to ideas about cinema, music, and city. It was started two years ago by Andrew MacNair, an architect, as a four dimensional, visual and aural black box laboratory where a bricolage of past, present and future time and space is being studied within the expanding field of Not Not Architecture in the Zeitgeist of the Cinematic City through a series of 3-4 packed, intense short video projection projects a year.