Zhang Huan – My New York, 2002, Whitney Biennial, New York
Zhang Huan (张洹) is one of China’s best known conceptual and performance artists. In his sculptures and paintings he references the history of his home country. As such, his pieces contain components of political, religious and intellectual messages as well as anonymous portraits and landscapes scenes. Most of his works have mainly been used to promote Chinese culture and to spread a message with the intention of sanitizing the city. In particular, the issue of toilets is very dear to him and it has helped him create one of his most famous performance pieces.
Marina Abramovic – The Lovers: The Great Wall Walk (still), 1988/2008, performed for 90 days along The Great Wall of China. 16mm film transferred to two-channel video
Artists Marina Abramovic and Ulay are known in many parts of the world as the lovers whose relationship ended at the Great Wall of China. Initially, when the couple planned the trip, they intended to get married at the center of the wall. However, it was years later when the couple finally acquired all the authorization required from the Chinese government and were able to raise funds for the projected. Sadly, by then, the couple’s 12-year relationship has crumbled and what started out as a marriage celebration turned into last goodbyes for the couple. The couple had planned to be the first people to walk the entirety of the Great Wall, however, they were beaten to the punch by a Chinese railway clerk.
Francis Alÿs – When Faith Moves Mountains (still), 2002, In collaboration with Cuauhtémoc Medina and Rafael Ortega. 16mm film transferred to DVD, Lima, Peru
When Faith Moves Mountains or Cuando la fe mueve montañas was created by artist Francis Alÿs to explain the paradox of life; sometimes people make things that lead to nothing, while sometimes making nothing leads to remarkable things.
Ai Weiwei – Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995
The return of Ai Weiwei to China after living in New York City for more than a decade marked the beginning of a new form of art. No one knew all long he was thinking about the themes of transformation and destruction. He embarked on collecting ancient vessels with the aim of converting them into contemporary art pieces. Some people viewed this act as a way of collaborating with the ancient artists’ work, but some argued that it was misappropriating the artists’ work without their approval. This act provoked emotions since the urns were considered a form of consumer culture and heritage preservation, especially since he dropped it intentionally.
He Yunchang – The Rock Tours Around Great Britain, 2006-07
Chinese performance artist He Yunchang has been using his body as the main prop in his art pieces. His performances are often hard on endurance, and he has to go to the extremes to showcase his might.
On 23 September 2006, he collected a beach rock that was the size of a shoe at the Beach of Boulmer, located at the Northumberland Cost of England. The piece weighed about 3.6 kilograms. He then walked with the boulder at hand and sometimes ran with it around the perimeter of Great Britain.
Zhang Huan – 12 Square Meters, 1994, single channel video, 3min 2sec, documentation of a 40-minute performance
Zhang Huan is no stranger to controversy. Having attended school at a time when China was undergoing a dramatic time in its history, Zhang learned a lot from the years of protests and demonstrations that would be staged in front of the Tiananmen Square in Beijing. As an avid fan of Avant-garde art, Zhang did not really have adequate resources at his disposal that would allow him to execute his artistic vision. As such, and not surprisingly, Zhang decided to change the way he expressed himself by adopting a more provocative and transgressive form of performance art, which was later photographed and documented.
Silence Was Golden – Snobs, Eslite Spectrum Songyan
In 2015, Public Delivery collaborated with the Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, Taiwan’s first museum to be dedicated exclusively to contemporary art and one of the most prominent art institutions of Asia. Silence Was Golden is our on-going global public art project which is centered around words or short phrases made out of golden letter shaped balloons, chosen by performers to express their feelings towards their environment and the histories surrounding it. Words were collected through an open call, and then performed together with a variety of people, including students from Tainan National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, Tamkang University and Taipei Jingmei Girls High School in different locations all over Taipei.
Up until now, the project was performed 253 times in 1/4 of the world’s countries (179 cities, 48 countries, six continents).
Silence Was Golden – Anxious, Huashan Creative Park
Silence Was Golden – Boss, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall
Silence Was Golden – Date, Bitan Suspension Bridge
Silence Was Golden – Fear, Xindian ghost house
Silence Was Golden – Hustle, 228 Peace Memorial Park
Silence Was Golden – Noisy, Museum of Contemporary Art
Silence Was Golden – Nose, Elephant Mountain
Silence Was Golden – Savour, Guang Hua Night Market
Silence Was Golden – Tea, Bitan tea house
Silence Was Golden – Temple, Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall