Art Plus Shanghai

Tamen

Tamen (他们) is an artist collective composed of two young artists, Lai Shengyu (赖圣予) and Yang Xiaogang (杨晓钢), who were born in Hunan Province in 1978 and 1979, respectively. The group is alternatively referred to as “Ta Men” and “They”, which is the English translation of their name. As a collective, they reject notions of self and individuality in art by co-painting each work and collaborating in a manner that draws attention away from the individual. Lai and Yang received post-graduate degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the Department of Printmaking, and are currently based in Beijing working at Beihang University (BUAA) in the Department of New Media Art.

Tamen’s work focuses on the psychological effects of China’s new affluence and its contemporary state of being. Through works of oil on canvas or digital photography, scenes of big-city China or serene nature are flush with symbols to visually emphasize the tension and collisions that Tamen sees as the constant revolution in China’s society. Adopting both montage and Pop Art forms, Tamen plays with the spatial relationships between landscapes, architecture, objects and figures to highlight the curious simultaneity of China’s past and present. Reality is juxtaposed with illusion and tranquility with anxiety. By holding a mirror to the objects and symbols to which contemporary society has attached itself to, Tamen uses its novel visual language of surrealism and critical realism to offer a philosophical analysis of man’s inner feelings in this new world – those of bitterness, solitude, and distance. They have gained acclaim in China and abroad for their Same Room series of paintings, and have since shifted towards exterior scenes in natural landscapes, displaying Western-style painting techniques with a traditional Chinese ink aesthetic and thought-provoking conceptualizations.

The collective has been featured in publications such as Young Chinese Artists: The Next Generation, and their work can be found in the collections of the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum (Beijing), Guangdong Museum of Art (Guangzhou), White Rabbit Collection (Sydney), and Essl Museum (Vienna). Major solo exhibitions include Forget Themselves (2013, Hunan Museum of Art, Changsha), Past and Present (2011, Beyond Art Space, Beijing), and The Lost Heaven (2009, Hunan Museum of Art, Changsha), and notable group exhibitions include and Pure Views: New Painting from China (2011, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco). Tamen’s 2014 Outside Within solo exhibition at Art+ Shanghai Gallery marked the collective’s first solo exhibition in Shanghai.

“他们”,由来自湖南、毕业于中央美术学院的版画专业1978年出生的赖圣予和1979年出生的杨晓钢组成的艺术家组合,现在北京的航空航天学院的新媒体艺术系工作。近期的主要展览包括,2011年在北京别处空间举办的THEY个展“前世今生”,2009年在湖南美术馆举办的“失乐园”展览,2008年在阿姆斯特尔芬油画国际艺术展的“他们”,2006年在中国当代艺术展览中韩国表画廊代表的“他们”,2009年美国华盛顿子午国际中心的“现在大都市”。

“他们”小组的作品因为具备了为当代中国社会发声的能力,在国内外广受好评。这些作品有的将焦虑的心境与静止的场景并置在充满活力的都市景观中(早期作品),亦或是展现了丰富的自然风光,体现出人与自然的和谐共存(近期作品)。他们小组的作品目前主要专注于布面油画。专注于社会状态的批评,他们的场景通常结合了两个极端——粗鄙的和美好的,在中国社会的大前提下探索传统与当代两个方面。迷惑、争议或是启发,他们的作品散发出引人探究的叙事性,倾诉着一言难尽的故事。

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Works

Snowy Bamboo
Snowy Bamboo 雪竹
Oil on canvas 布面油画
35 x 45 cm
2014
Waiting for the ...
Waiting for the Wind 等风来
Oil on canvas 布面油画
35 x 45 cm
2014
Moonlit Night
Moonlit Night 明月夜
Oil on canvas 布面油画
80 x 140 cm
2014
Elephant Riding
Elephant Riding 骑象
Oil on canvas
100 x 190 cm
2014

Frozen Water
Frozen Water 冰水
Oil on canvas
100 x 300 cm
2014

 

New Chinese Wome...
New Chinese Women No. 1 金陵十二钗之一
Oil on canvas
120 cm (diameter)
2009

 

 

The Sea
The Sea 海
Oil on canvas
130 x 180 cm
2012

 

 

 

 

The Girl and the...
The Girl and the Island 女孩与岛
Oil on canvas
140 x 270 cm
2012

 

 

 

Dream
Dream
C-Print
60 x 40 cm
Edition: 8
2011
Reminiscing in J...
Reminiscing in Jiang River 相忘于江湖
C-Print
60 x 40cm
Edition: 8
2011
Mona Lisa Smile
Mona Lisa Smile 蒙娜丽莎的微笑
Oil on canvas 布面油画
90 x 140 cm
2008

 

 

 

Imitation Hamilt...
Imitation Hamilton “Just What Is It That Makes Today’s Homes So Different So Appealing” 他们仿汉米尔顿《是什么让我们今天的生活如此迷人、如此美丽》
Oil on canvas
90 x 140 cm
2008
Dinner Party
Dinner Party
C-Print
80 x 120 cm
2007

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