Collaborators since the late 1990s, Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu create provocative works that take as their subject some of the most compelling and complex issues of our day, from stem cell research and plastic surgery to terrorism and other forms of violence like rioting and dog fighting. Sometimes creating a direct confrontation with their viewers, their works often tap into common fears and anxieties and challenge particular worldviews. They tease out these issues by placing their viewers in the midst of strange situations: a self-propelled garbage dumpster that crashes into gallery walls, lifelike sculptures of elderly world leaders in wheelchairs bumping into one another, and a tall column comprised of human fat removed during plastic surgeries, to describe a few. The single work on view in their Hammer Project—I Am Here (2006)—grapples with the political complexities that inform Hammer Projects: Sun Yuan and Peng Yu East-West relations and the lingering conflicts that have deeply affected our relationship to the Middle East. By bringing these issues to the forefront, the artists shed light on prejudices and worries that might otherwise stay dormant. will be the first presentation of the duo’s work in the United States.
This exhibition is organized by guest curator James Elaine.
Artists Sun Yuan (b. 1972 in Beijing) and Peng Yu (b. 1974 in Heilongjian, China) both studied oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. As a collaborative duo, they have had solo exhibition at the Vargas Museum, Quezon City, Philippines; Arario Gallery, Seoul; Galleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italy; Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing; Osage, Hong Kong; and F2 Gallery, Beijing. They have shown in numerous group exhibitions including the Aichi Trieannale 2010, Nagoya, Japan; the 17th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney; the 2nd and 3rd Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art, Moscow; the Liverpool Biennial 2006, Liverpool, United Kingdom; the 51st Venice Biennale, Venice; the Yokohama Triennial (2001), Yokohama, Japan; and the 5th Lyon Biennial of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France. They currently live in Beijing and this will be their first exhibition in the United States.