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Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Biography

Sun Yuan and Peng Yu are two of China's most controversial artists, who are known for their extreme installations and conceptual artworks. For them, art is no more than an interesting career, "All things that are creative are art, and all people that are creating are artists", according to Peng Yu.

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Sun Yuan and Peng Yu have known each since studying together at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. They began working together in 2000, beginning with early works such as Human Oil (2000), they have been focused on creating powerful visual works. They often employ extreme materials such as human fat tissue, live animals and baby cadavers, and their artworks deal with issues of perception, death and human condition. They are focused on the interaction between the audience and the artworks with the hope of granting the audience extraordinary experiences from their direct interaction with the art.

In their installation project Freedom (2009), the artists separated the audience from the artwork by “safely” housing the artwork within a room in the gallery from which the audience can look in on the work through a window. Inside the room was a black rubber hose hanging in the middle of the room that was attached to a high-powered water pump that caused the hose to move in a constant state of striking gestures. Pressure from the mechanised pump appears to free the hose from gravity. There is not a consistent theme in their works. The pursuit of freedom provides them impetus for continuous creation.

Sun Yuan was born in 1972, Beijing and graduated from the Painting Department, Central Academy of Fine Arts in 1995. Peng Yu was born in 1974 and graduated from the same department in 1998. They live and work collaboratively in Beijing. They received the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in 2001.

They have been included in the following exhibitions: The 51st Venice Biennale (2005), Venice, Italy; The 5th Lyon Biennale (2000), Lyon, France; The 4th Liverpool Biennale (2006), Liverpool, England; Indulge in Hurt (2000) at Sculpture Research Fellow of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China and Fuck Off! at Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China. The artwork Old Persons Home is part of the Saatchi Collection.

Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Featured Artworks

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Spilling Out by Sun Yuan + Peng Yu contemporary artwork
Sun Yuan + Peng YuSpilling Out, 2009Sillica Gell, Simulation of Food
Arario Gallery Enquire about this work
Dear by Sun Yuan + Peng Yu contemporary artwork
Sun Yuan + Peng YuDear, 2019Air compressor, air storage tank, pipe, silicon sofa, acrylic wall with aluminum frame
Arario Gallery Enquire about this work
Can't Help Myself by Sun Yuan + Peng Yu contemporary artwork
Sun Yuan + Peng YuCan't Help Myself, 2016Industrial robot, stainless steel and rubber, cellulose ether in colored water, lighting grid with visual-recognition sensors, acrylic wall with aluminum frame
Arario Gallery Enquire about this work
Triceratops by Sun Yuan + Peng Yu contemporary artwork
Sun Yuan + Peng YuTriceratops, 2013Mixed media installation
400 x 190 x 120 cm
Tang Contemporary Art Enquire about this work
A Story by Sun Yuan + Peng Yu contemporary artwork
Sun Yuan + Peng YuA StoryVideo
Variable dimensions
Not for sale
Duddell's

Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Sun Yuan + Peng Yu, Free Biographies 列传 at Arario Gallery, Shanghai
Closed
25 October 2019–10 January 2020 Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Free Biographies 列传 Arario GalleryShanghai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Slippages at Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
Closed
12 November 2016–7 January 2017 Group Exhibition Slippages Pearl Lam GalleriesShanghai

Sun Yuan + Peng Yu Represented By

Arario Gallery contemporary art gallery in Seoul, South Korea Arario Gallery Cheonan, Seoul, Shanghai
Tang Contemporary Art contemporary art gallery in Beijing, China Tang Contemporary Art Hong Kong, Beijing, Bangkok

Sun Yuan + Peng Yu In Ocula Magazine

The Art You Missed During Art Basel in Hong Kong Ocula Report The Art You Missed During Art Basel in Hong Kong By Sam Gaskin, Hong Kong

One local gallery manager described it as constipation: Hong Kong holds in its art activities all year before forcing everything out in the week that Art Basel comes to town. The fair alone is like a system of intestines: unraveled, the paths visitors have to walk to see all the works would stretch for kilometers. There is also a huge amount of...

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Sun Yuan + Peng Yu In Related Press

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Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim Related Press Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim 11 October 2017, The New York Times

The signature work at Art and China After 1989, a highly anticipated show that takes over the Guggenheim on Oct. 6, is a simple table with a see-through dome shaped like the back of a tortoise. On the tabletop hundreds of insects and reptiles — gekkos, locusts, crickets, centipedes and cockroaches – mill about under the glow of an overhead...

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'Tales of Our Time': Chinese contemporary art at the Guggenheim New York Related Press 'Tales of Our Time': Chinese contemporary art at the Guggenheim New York 29 January 2017, Art Radar Journal

Tales of Our Time is the second of The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative, which seeks to commission new works relevant to Chinese contemporary art which will then enter the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. All the artists included in the exhibition were born between 1970-80, thus suggesting that the works on display in...

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At the Shanghai Biennale, a Desire to Disrupt the Status Quo Related Press At the Shanghai Biennale, a Desire to Disrupt the Status Quo 25 January 2017, Hyperallergic

A gigantic metallic structure resembling a crashed airplane beckons from the second level of the vast Shanghai Power Station of Art that is host to the 11th edition of the Shanghai Biennale. Designed by the Chinese collective MouSen+MSG, the structure is titled The Great Chain of Being – Planet Trilogy  (2016), and you can actually venture inside...

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'WHY NOT ASK AGAIN?': SHANGHAI BIENNALE ADDRESSES CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES, WITH SPECTACLE AND GRACE Related Press 'WHY NOT ASK AGAIN?': SHANGHAI BIENNALE ADDRESSES CONTEMPORARY SOCIAL ISSUES, WITH SPECTACLE AND GRACE 22 January 2017, ARTNews

A case can be made that the Shanghai Biennale, widely regarded as a perfunctory affair, too disorganized and lackluster to justify its existence, now has the potential to intelligently introduce international contemporary art into a scene until recently dominated by Chinese art. And this year, that goal seems within reach, under the curatorial...

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