Come have all your illusions of the ‘self’ shatttered in visual artist Lu Yang’s latest video work, Doku The Self. 

Debuting at the Venice Biennale 2022, Doku The Self is a narrative artwork based on autobiographical experience. After experiencing an extremely turbulent plane journey, Yang has created virtual scenes featuring an aircraft flying through thunderstorms. The artist visualises Doku transforming into various alter egos based on the six realms of samsara, which in Buddhism and Hinduism refers to the continuous cycle of death and rebirth. Using motion capture to animate each character with relatable emotion and traditional dance moves, Yang’s super hero-like characters embody a range of existential human feelings – from terrified, to vengeful, to vulnerable and ultimately letting it all go. 

Doku, Yang’s digital avatar who stars in the film, is short for the Japanese ‘Dokusho Dokushi’, a Buddhist saying that translates to ‘we will die alone, and we are born alone’. The theme of continuous birth and death plays out over 36 minutes of intricately designed digital realms representing 6 of Yang’s reincarnated selves. 

This special screening will take place over five consecutive nights on Nxt Museum’s large scale 370sqm projection surface. To best view each digitally embellished world, visitors to these evenings will enjoy a unique cinematic showing of one of the foremost digital creators of our time. Lu Yang has been awarded the ‘BMW Art Journey’ (2019), ‘Deutsche Bank’s Artist of the Year’ (2022) and his solo exhibition shown at the Zabludowicz Collection (U.K.) is included in Time Out’s ‘Best Exhibitions of 2022’. 

Paired with a visit to our current exhibition, ‘UFO – Unidentified Fluid Other’, witness the evolution of Yang’s work by first seeing his earlier piece ‘Great Adventures of Material World’. Meet an earlier version of Doku and the origins of Yang’s video game storytelling informed by the spiritual iconography of his youth. 

We invite you to experience this must-see contemporary classic with musical score by liiii, woody and feng and narration by Takano Shinya. Come refract your perceptions of ‘the self’ in a 3D rendered emotive journey narrating non-binary futures.