Contemporary Chinese Artists Highlight the Complexities of Simple Life
Pak Sheung Chuen’s work Adult Library Series: LXB originates from the Library Series during Pak’s residency in New York in 2008. The artist sees the listing of the year of birth and year of death of an author in the library system as a metaphorical memorial to an author. Pak’s work thus acts as a commemorative gesture to a recently deceased writer, while reflecting on the definition of “banned books”, as well as the porously indefinable and permeable border between Hong Kong and China.
Performance artist Pak Sheung Chuen (白双全) alters and destabilizes everyday life in an effort to reveal the structures that gird our personal lives. Pak’s work questions the possibility of individual identity within Asian megacities and contemporary globalized society. He is particularly influenced by the United Kingdom’s transfer of Hong Kong sovereignty to China in 1997. His 2009 work Breathing into a House involved the artist collecting his breath in plastic bags while living in a small apartment. After 10 days, the air-filled bags filled the space, rendering it uninhabitable. Pak later said he felt as if the apartment had absorbed his life, as though he had become his own exhalations. Many of his works, including Breathing into a House, can be considered self-experiments, as they rarely involve an audience.
Chinese, b. 1977, Fujian, China, based in Hong Kong, China