The living are indifferent to the dead
Print on paper (99 limited editions with signature)
60 x 87 cm
Frame is not included in the price
From the very beginning, the “TAMEN” art group ( LAI Shengyu and YANG Xiaogang) chose to work in this contradictory and collision mode, refusing to see the world from one person’s perspective or to create art in a fixed focus mode. The canvas is a place where two people talk and painting is their way of communication. They create things in the big world with their playful and witty artistic language. The two perspectives make their creative images more unpredictable. Conflict and contradiction themselves run through the whole process of their work, so that social and realistic topics are strongly expressed in their works by dramatic visual images. It is the direct dialogue between the images themselves that is their working method and focus, a method they have maintained together for 20 years since graduating from the Central Academy of Fine Arts. They chose ‘TAMEN’ (in Chinese: They) as the group’s name in an attempt to seek a system of free transformation between subject and object, thus blurring the boundaries between the viewee and the viewer. The exhibition, This World, That World, selects 42 oil paintings and prints from four stages of their 20 years of creation. It is an opportunity to present, study and observe their work, and to experience their youth and growth, their collisions and encounters, the rapid development of society and the interaction of Eastern and Western cultures.
Their painting style is influenced by the Surrealist master René Magritte and the Neo-Realist master Edward Hopper, but they never stop at presenting a single image or a single emotion. If you put their work from each period together, they look more like a montage film from canvas. What’s shown in their paintings, be it real or unreal, is reimagined with a sense of scenography and storytelling. The Eastern cultural attributes of their work are clearly visible, with a keen sense of time and space in the Chinese language of ‘world’. But they have also stepped outside the limits of Eastern culture and philosophy, remaining sober and honest in the face of the contradictions and conflicts of reality, and always being rational in addition to their sensibility. At the same time, the theatricality and even the absurdity of the images that emerge from this continuous and unrestricted dialogical creation is their way of confronting conflict and an attempt towards democracy on canvas. The time and space that they slowly unfold on the canvas is a unique method of artistic experimentation. It is precisely what touches people emotionally: the world on the canvas is perhaps the place which connects everyone’s world, the real and virtual world, this world and that world.