Down and Under, Up and Over: Animalworks by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu

Meiling Cheng


As divergent as they are, the [following eight scenes] have several features in common. First, they are all time-based artworks created by a duo of Beijing artists, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu. Second, each of these artworks revolves around a striking image, a center of visual gravity, even as this image also evokes, stimulates, and relies on the surrounding trans-visual drama to enrich its production and display. Third, although unintended by the artists, these performance and installation pieces have considerably expanded the possibilities of what I call “animalworks,” a genre of ephemeral artworks that incorporate animals as in/voluntary performers and/or manipulated art objects (see Cheng 2007).

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