" Yarli Allison - Art



..... In Virtual Return You (can't) Dehaunt

..... 於虛擬的彼岸 迴魂(不)散

..... a three-channel docufiction with virtual reality experience
........4k Videos with Audio
........Full length: 24:18
........Created in London, Paris, and Hong Kong, 2018-2021


1 min Teaser:

關於作品 - ABOUT THE WORK ....... - ENG - ....... - 繁中 -

In Virtual Return We (can’t) Dehaunt is a multi-channel moving-image work by Yarli Allison. It traces the real life stories of four queer Hong Kong (trans)migrants by reconstructing their nostalgic homes in virtual reality (VR), that draws attention to diasporic narratives and cultural archives through the process of cognitively metaphorical ‘returns’.

The videos, presented on a set of three screens, consist of ethnographic research, VR modelling, soliloquy and poetic extracts from real dialogues. These are intertwined with docu-fiction writing and choreographic representations, while exploring the possibilities of sexual and political identities that have transcended geographical definitions in the digital age.

Yarli first poses the question ‘‘to which house do you most wish to return?’, recalling memories of the four overseas ethnic Hong Kongese who were all born in the 80s and identified as queer. The VR spaces are then contextualised after a series of interviews conducted by writer Yin Lo and anthropologist Dr. Haro Matas. Upon invitation, the interviewees revisit their memories of ‘home’ - now a synthetic but emotionally believable VR environment. Further comments are recorded, allowing the team to build a social construct among them, which becomes the core of the work. These misplaced nostalgic spaces - or ‘homes’ - are as if empty shells but significantly contribute to the formation of their identities, yet one can no longer confirm its spatial accuracy and are left with immaterial impressions.

Throughout the work, the concept of ‘returning’ obsessively exposes itself, attempting to transition from “longing” to “belonging”, whether it is achieved with the act of perpetuation with VR; or illustrating the migrant being forgotten; or as a self-reflexive phantom-like being who is heedlessly seeking to survive.

In Hong Kong’s mainstream cultural beliefs, phantom-beings are expected to return to their origin after death, otherwise a wandering result is expected. Before reincarnation, one has to drink a bowl of Mang Po Soup (孟婆湯) to forget past attachments. These semi-invisible lingering phantom-like beings appear in the middle-half of the work, metaphorically representing in-betweenness, embodying unconscious imprisonments and cultural alienation. Their existence questions the romanticised attachment to the non-existent spaces of the past.

In an attempt to distinguish between the four characters, viewers are met with faceless creatures with mixed soliloquies, evoking a sense of confusion and distance, implying the characters’ tangled identities could easily be dismissed, simplified, or depersonalised.

With Hong Kong’s complex political history, including several past “Mass Migration Wave” events, the unceasing debate on migration for a “better life” remains. The need for an “escape route” is further stirred by the recurring political turbulence. Although a temporal sense of ‘community’ among diasporic Hong Kongese is reinforced by digital connectivity, the practicality of migration is left perpetually unresolved.


All were born in the 80s. Queer. She/They.

KAY Born and raised in Hong Kong. Based in Northern England. University lecturer. LAURA LO YU Born and raised in Hong Kong. Based in London. Writer. Suit Sales Associate. Y Born in the US. Raised in Hong Kong and the UK. Currently on the move. Architect. Curator.

* On desktop: Fullscreen. click and drag the cursor around the screen to move your viewpoint around.
* On smartphone: Compatible with Vimeo App. View with any virtual reality goggles (e.g. Google cardboard) for best experience.
* For YouTube app users, 360 version available here.


....... YIN LO . was born and raised in Hong Kong, now lives and works in London. After finishing her masters degree in Gender Studies at University College London, she has been an active participant in the Hong Kong LGBTQ movement. Putting her studies into practice, she writes film reviews and recommendations from a gender studies perspective, with a non-judgmental and sex positive outlook. Her work is seen on various Hong Kong online platforms including Cinezen and G-Dot TV.

....... Her works address queer sexualities, identity, desire, migration as well as diasporas in the modern times. Her first book Yung Yung - a collection of short stories, was published in Feb 2019 and tells the story of a French Vietnamese-Chinese girl and her love affairs. The notion of the second-generation migrant plays a vital role in the narration and discussion of this story. Currently, she focuses on the idea of diasporic trauma, identity in-betweenness, belonging, the non-relationship and loneliness, and corporates these themes into her second novel.


> DOWNLOAD Exhibition Leaflet

* Exhibition period: 27/10 - 08/11/2020 * Opening hours : Open Daily during exhibition period / 12:00-19:00 * Location: VIDEOTAGE, Unit 13, Cattle Depot Artist Village, 63 Ma Tau Kok Rd, To Kwa Wan, HK Videotage Venue Phone no.(Non-booking inquiries only):+852 2573 1814 * Visitor Booking: Due to pandemic reasons, please book an online appointment (One working day prior visit)
* Each session is limited to 1 hour. Max. 4 visitors per session. Exhibition guide available, please request when booking with the online form.


Work by Yarli Allison

/ Director : Yarli Allison / Co-Writers : Yarli Allison, Yin Lo / Interviewees: Kay, Laura, Lo Yu, Y / Interview Team: Yarli Allison, Yin Lo, Dr. Mariví Haro Matas / Advisor of Anthropology (East-Asian Diasporas) : Dr. Mariví Haro Matas / Virtual Reality Modelling: Yarli Allison / Video and Audio Editing : Yarli Allison / Video and Audio Assistant : Yin Lo / Camera Team : Yarli Allison, Joy Chao, Nizah Elias, Yin Lo, Piotr Sell / Music and Sound Art : Quantum Foam / Sound Effect : Yarli Allison / Voice Performers: Yarli Allison, Bonnie Chan, Dorothy Cheung, Mei Ting Li, Shu Ying Wai / Performers : Joy Chao, Mavi Haro (Butoh dancer), S. Lara, Suka / Costume and Makeup : Yarli Allison, Yin Lo / Translation : Yarli Allison, Yin Lo / Subtitle : Yarli Allison, Yin Lo, Elliot Rogers / Technical Advisors : Gerald Alexander, Ude AutumnLeaf / Exhibition Coordinator : Oliver Wing-Pui Lam / Exhibition Technical Advisors : Gary Chan, Ching-Yi Chiu /

PRINT AND MEDIA: / Design : Yarli Allison / Copy Editor : Yarli Allison, Yin Lo / Translation: Yarli Allison, Yin Lo / Proofread : Winky Cheung, Elliot Rogers /

Supported By:
Venue: Videotage 錄映太奇 / Canada Council for the Arts / Hong Kong Arts Development Council 香港藝術發展局


2020 OCT 27 - NOV 05 [Solo] In Virtual Return We (can’t) Dehaunt 於虛擬的彼岸 迴魂(不)散, VIDEOTAGE Gallery, Hong Kong TALK (1) (LIVE-STREAM) / TALK (2) (REMAKE, COMPLETED)
2020 OCT 29- NOV 29 [Virtual Exhibition + Panel] Above*About~Across: Diasporic Hyperrealities, Asia-Art-Activism, London, UK
2020 NOV 26 [Talk][Live-stream] ‘Non-Binary-Code’, ART Power HK, Hong Kong
2021 FEB 28 [Talk][Live-stream] Sam's Eden, Curated by Thomas Wells, Catalyst Arts, Belfast
2021 MAR [3D Exhibition] Preserving Machine Room(15) New Art City, FORMAT21 Festival
2021 APR [3D Exhibition] The Preserving Machine, Digital Artist Residency x Implied Gallery, UK 2021 APR-JUN 30 [Online Screening] PARS PRO TOTO, Peer to Space, Berlin
2021 MAY-JUN 12 [Online Screening] Queering Now 2021: Dreamality, Chinese Arts Now, UK
2021 MAY 11 [Talk] Navigating Change, Bagri Foundation, London
2021 JUN [Panel/Podcast] QueerAsias: Virtual Cartographies of Desires, London, Asia, Art, Worlds, Paul Mellon Centre, Yale University
2021 OCT - 2022 FEB [Exhibition] Future Ages Will Wonder Film, Arts and Creative Technology (FACT) Liverpool, UK

Full Length Preview (PASSWORD NEEDED):

Yarli Allison - Work YARLI ALLISON (b.88) is a Hong Kong-Canadian born, London-based artist with a multidisciplinary approach that traverses drawing, sculpture, performance, digital, film and installation.