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Timezone 8
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu: Can't Have it All

Considered to be among the most influential conceptual artists in China today, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu are only midway through an artistic career that spans over 10 years and 30 major works, installed in leading contemporary art spaces around the world - a prodigious body of work that challenges and provokes us to re-examine many of the assumptions, beliefs and truths many of us take for granted.

The two artists never play it safe in terms of concepts and tactics. As Peng Yu explains, "A concept or tactic is never the origin of our work. They are merely secured principles for the people who feel insecure when dealing with this chaotic world." By teasing us to react with surprise, anxiety, bemusement, even contempt—while hiding any concrete explanations—the artists generate ambiguous new interrelationships that expand beyond the spaces within which their projects are contained. Regarding their 'biological landscapes,' which left people altogether intrigued, struggling and compelled, the artists finally concur, "no matter whether we are using animals or machines, or any materials, we are talking about an order that is also an ecology. It may be different from the existing order, in which case it may react strongly or collide with it. Yet, they are life forms, growing and changing constantly and ceaselessly." Whatever commitment the artists have chosen to grapple with on the line between the ordinary and the transcendent, they definitely have led us to a radical edge where nihilism and realism meet.

For the artists, the pillars of our basic existence, namely freedom, culture, power, control, success, life and death should be subject to constant re-examination and their meanings re-defined at the level of the individual.

Criticality is at the heart of their practice as they continue to shock, provoke and surprise in ways that make us reflect upon who we are and what we believe.

Dimensions: 28.5 x 23cm
Vertical Binding
248 pages
Illustrated Throughout Color


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