Lai Shengyu and Yang Xiaogang form the artist duo Tamen, which means “they” in Mandarin. They, “They”, stage outrageous, surrealistic scenes in paint and photo collage that star an ever-changing cast of characters. Though the scenes always take place on the same fictional “stage”—the corner of a cafeteria-like room in an urban high-rise—the location of the room shifts constantly as the window opens onto new horizons in every image. These collaborative paintings have more than just the two personalities that make them—they may be classifiable as fully schizophrenic.
‘An epoch of the late 70’s generation, THEY reveal their attitudes toward realities of society and their circumstances in a different approach from the artists of the older generation. THEY, through interior and conflicting juxtaposition, displays contradictory nature of society that is both corrupt and progressive. However, they do not reject nor expresses any sarcasm toward the real world seen outside the window. Individuals are merely consuming or entertaining themselves.
Inside an individual surrounding environment and corrupted private space, inner and outer realm are juxtaposed. While other young artists are infatuated with the characterization of private narratives, THEY unveils inherent conditions and hidden aspects of the internal through the breach of the exterior. From this immanent observation THEY becomes the ‘true other’.’
TAMEN, Lai Shengyu & Yang Xiaogang (1978, Hunan, China)
Education: Central Academy of Fine arts, Beijing, China (2004)
2018 Mobile Theatre, They Solo Exhibition, Yang Gallery, Singapore
2016 A Floating World, They Solo Exhibition, Yang Gallery, Beijing, China
2011 Past and Present, They Solo Exhibition, Beyond Art Space, Beijing, China
2009 “THEY”, Canvas international art Amstelveen, The Netherlands
2009 They, The Lost Heaven, Museum of Hunan Province, China
2008 “They”, New York Asian Contemporary Art Fair New York
2008 “Art classroom”, China Today Gallery Brussel, België
2007 THEY, PYO Gallery Beijing, Beijing, China
2006 TA MEN, Pyo Gallery, Seoel
2004 Therefore it is and Surely it’s Them, The First Dashanzi Art Festival, Beijing
2002 US two-Man Works Exhibition, Beijing