Huang Yi & KUKA

Similar to children in the west who imagined having androids, or earlier of R2-D2s or C-3POs, Huang Yi had envisioned a best friend of the blue Japanese manga robot cat, Doraemon. Huang Yi & KUKA fulfilled the first of a long-pursued curiosity for the partnership of human and robots.

Huang Yi, a dancer/choreographer, had created dance works merging technology and machinery with rich imageries, including a self-invented motion-sensitive auto-play computerized violin in Symphony Project I-Violin (2010). This was created to explore the possibility of duet with dance and technology. In Huang Yi & KUKA, the idea settled on finding the most compatible robotic dance partner.

A two-time winner of Taipei Digital Art Performance Award, Huang Yi is known for his performance experiments as well as his velocity and precision in dance. His pure movement choreographies had New York Times lauding as “a spinning machine of a dance with near- continual motion.” Huang creates works as if data was flowing through his limbs and mind, and he is the programmer of the body. While the world looked at robots as tools, Huang Yi looked at himself and realized he is a tool for dance. He reflected on how to realize humanity through new concepts and new technologies. After relentless pursuit of Taiwan KUKA Company for literally lending an arm to his creative vision, Huang finally embarked on a dance journey with the KUKA, the robotic arm.

“Dancing face to face with a KUKA robot is like looking at my face in a mirror. I make KUKA mimic my movements, and I learn from him, I make myself dance like a machine.”

Huang Yi’s reimagining dance partnerships with technology had pivoted the audience’s perception of industrial/performing arts, and gone with both the dancer and KUKA as they journey in this poetic dance duet.

Aritst & Mentor
Huang Yi
Huang Yi is one of the most inventive and acclaimed young choreographers from Taiwan.
2007 work SPIN, sponsored by the LO Man-fei Dance Scholarship, was recommended by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts to present at Enghien-Les-Bains Centre des Arts in France. In the same year, he collaborated with the Horse Dance Theater to produce Velocity, which was recognized by the Taishin Arts Award. His 2010 work Whisper won the Second Prize of the third Cross Connection Ballet International Choreography Competition in Copenhagen. His Symphony Project-I. Violin in 2010 won the First Prize of the 1st Digital Art Performance Award of the Digital Art Festival, Taipei. His SPIN 2010 was shortlisted in the annual top ten performing art works by the Taishin Arts Award. His HUANG YI & KUKA won the First Prize of the 3rd Digital Art Performance Award of the Digital Art Festival again in 2012.
Huang Yi’s award winning work Huang Yi & KUKA was invited by Ars Electronica Festival – the internationally renowned unique platform for digital art and media culture, to open 2013 Festival and to present at the Ars Electronica Gala, considered an evening with the crème de la crème of the digital arts, on the same stage with the prize winners of the 2013 Prix Ars Electronica.
Kevin Cunningham
Project supervisor
Kevin Cunningham is an award-winning New York based artist and entrepreneur. He is the founder and Executive Artistic Director of 3-Legged Dog Media and Theater Group and 3LD Art & Technology Center, 3-Legged Dog’s multi-venue high tech development studio in Lower Manhattan. He is known for artistic and technological innovation as well as business innovation in the not for profit arts.

His artistic focus over the last 30 years has been on the creation of large-scale interdisciplinary artwork of all kinds and on the creation of artists’ tools that enable intuitive manipulation of time-based and sensory elements. Awards and honors include two Rockefeller Foundation Residencies in Bellagio Italy, Edward F. Albee Foundation Residency, selection for the Venice Biennale 2004 and 2008 for interactive media design, 2007 American Theater Wing Hewes Design Award and a Hewes Nomination in 2008. Two of his works have been selected for the prestigious Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design 2011 and Official Selection for the 2013 Sundance, American Film Institute, New York and Hamptons Film Festivals as well as CPH:DOX.

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