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OTAY:ONII - Interview

I drew two paintings, all of which were in an attempt to portray the scissors cutting through a flesh...

Interviews
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OTAY:ONII - Interview
ETHEREAL.PRESS

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Date
November 7, 2022
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10 mins
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ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us about Lane Shi | Otay:onii.

OTAY:ONII

1st day arriving in the US, I took a chance to choose an English name for myself, on highway I saw "left Lane, right Lane", so I picked "Lane", perfect for my obsession with highway anyways. The story with "Otay:onii" happened in Niagara Falls, a native American named Koda asked if he could give me a name, out of curiosity and trust, I accepted it. He then told me "Otay:onii", because he sensed a wolf. Later I found that it might a native language from seneca area, the original word is otha:yonih.

Later this became my musical moniker, while "Lane Shi" is more tiled to my installation and multidisciplinary works.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us a bit about your project 冥冥 (Míng Míng)

OTAY:ONII

There are invisible red strings tied from one pinky finger to another amongst humans, some are tighter and colder than others, and serendipity between people are secrets in the strings. When I did the album, life was still very diminished in the chaos of visa applications and art communities. Got denied twice for my greencard, while getting teased at Belgium consulate subjecting myself to being a Chinese National (Chinese nationals need a visa to go to EU), the list could go on but will leave it at that.  I constantly felt that people were cutting their strings off each other, leaving whoever to drown in swamps. And Covid hits, I would meet those meaninglessly doubtful and hatred eyes just walking on the street of NYC. It is an album spitting the most disappointment of humanity not from a place of comfort, but a place of being a subhuman. My visa lawyer hit a deer on the way to submit my 3rd attempt of greencard visa, which officially is called "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability 1A"(though many of you could get a crack out of this), then I went back to China, released the album, and tried to start a new life there.

"冥“ is a Chinese word that could be disected into a house on the top(宀, a sun in the middle(日), and the number six on the bottom(六). Take an imagination into the picture: Six realms wheel of states (ṣaḍ-gati, Buddhism) which are Deva, Asura, Humanity, Subhuman(beasts), Hunger, Hell are all in house with sun steaming inside. Míng Míng 冥冥, which doubles the word and turns the meaning into a state where the inexplicable entanglement of past and future happens, a state where the gap which we describe as present opens the portal of memory in transformation, mutation and sublimation.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Does the 冥冥 (Míng Míng) follow a narrative?

OTAY:ONII

It is a conversation between the cutter with the scissor and the grumbling drowner.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you elaborate on the album cover?

Why did you choose to present the project this way?

OTAY:ONII

I drew two paintings, all of which were in an attempt to portray the scissors cutting through a flesh, more precisely, heart. And called me weak but when I heard words of discrimination, prejudice or pride among people, this is what I heard, and more precisely, heard at heart. However, it is more like a finger touching the places with blood coagulated for a long period of time, whenever I listen back to the album, it is like scalping the wound up. The album reminds me of the pain, however not to traumatize me, but to remind me how to give hug to a wounded one.

Allow me to quote this part of a sentence from Romain Rolland: "to see theworldas it is, and to love it.”

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What motivates you to produce more experimental productions?

OTAY:ONII

There are mostly 3 dimensions of musical endevours that I usually shepherd on with experimental creations:

one to talk (when events or courses happen, improvised performance, or no matter of a book, a film or an experience pleasant or pittyful)

two to heal (take a moment from engaging in any kinds of feeling, or interacting, and releasing the last breathe of our encounters)

three to celebrate (when reflections happen, or performing released materials, sort of celebrating of this living through)

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Can you elaborate a bit on the quote on the manifesto section of your site which states,

"My task is to solve a puzzle with another puzzle that can't be seen, be touched, but to feel."

OTAY:ONII

The most difficult puzzle usually ends up with the simplest answer.

The gap in between, is the lack of ability to accept it being simple. And that gap is the puzzle one really needs to solve.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

Tell us a bit about your mixed media project, '{ Unwrap! } 包裹之外 2021.'

OTAY:ONII

Unwrap! is a performance that explores the process of this approaching to the unwrapped conscious states, configured by sound and instrumental improvisations.

I produced 5 bio instruments (playable instruments that are part of our bodies) to assign to 5 beasts, they are Nose Blower, Trapo, Necroro, Featherhead, and Fartty (more details:https://www.laneshiotayonii.com/unwrap).

Each instrument caters different psychological effects and characteristics of each beast. For example,  Nose Blower is powerless, timid, and whenever it lies or feels embarrassed, it blows its nose (nose is an instrument). In this piece, I collaborated with an architect to create a moving stage inspired by the mandala, in which installations will create shadows and allow the beast to "open the door" when two shadows overlaped with each other. In the meanwhile, 4 other performers who worked with for the choreography of this piece.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What is one of your favourite elements/teachings from Chinese philosophy?

OTAY:ONII

It is not either/or, it is both/and.

ETHEREAL.PRESS

What's next for Lane Shi | Otay:onii?

OTAY:ONII

My newest record Dream Hacker will be out early next year through Bié records, and I will be exploring Mexico while re-visiting the book Pale Ink by Henriette Mertz.

2022 and 2023 would be touring time, I will be playing Roadburn 2023 in Tilburg (a necessary gratitude to Becky and Walter from roadburn for helping with visa fee), and following by a EU tour, catch me if you can.

ARTIST LINKS: BANDCAMP - WEBSITE - INSTAGRAM

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