Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan: from paper to paper

Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan: from paper to paper

Long March Space

January 2, 2024
Inga Svala Thorsdottir and Wu Shanzhuan
from paper to paper

November 4, 2023–April 7, 2024
Long March Space
Middle First St. 798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Road, Chaoyang District
100015 Beijing
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +86 10 5978 9768
F +86 10 5978 9764

Inga Svala Thorsdottir + Wu Shanzhuan’s exhibition from paper to paper opens at Long March Space on November 4, 2023. The exhibition has been designed by curator and researcher Liu Tian, the artists’ long-time collaborator. The content of this exhibition consists of 600 creative sketches on A4 paper selected from various stages in Thorsdottir and Wu’s long artistic career spanning more than thirty years.

Each sketch can be considered a work of art in its own right and often seems at once a draft, a set of notes, a drawing, a document, and a daily record. Transcending the notion of “artwork” narrowly conceived, these A4 sheets embody a range of mutable stages in the creative process of a work: antecedent, birth, embryo, prototype, essence, and excess. It is precisely this distinctive quality that allows the unique use of writing, sketch, daubs of color, narrative and planning in each piece to reveal modes of thinking, feeling and tribute that are complex, esoteric, and even absurd.

As well as engaging with great questions that have concerned humanity since the axial age, these sketches interestingly also touch upon some of the most disputed and hot-button topics of the contemporary era: identity, gender, capital, globalization, labor, equality, revolution, media, infrastructure, ecology, anti-anthropocentrism, and so on. However, most of the works came about some time ago and, as part of a self-sustaining, ever-growing creative system, they have been contemplated and expressed through a series of inventive and interrelated concepts: Thing’s Right(s); An International Soup; Yellow Flying; Monosex; Vege-pleasure; Paradises; Tobuy Is Tocreate; Selling Oneself At Large; Red Humour International; Bird Before Peace; An Appreciation; Pulverization; Flame Thrower; SMS & Its Enemy; @=p³wc; The Second Hand Water; Borg; Nature Is a Taxi; Temperature War; Butterfrog

These are accompanied by another set of free-spirited, speculative, and metaphysical concepts: Deficit; Times Zero; Unusefulism; Examples; Tourist Information; Perspective-Projection; Perfect Bracket; kuo xuan; Little Fat Flesh…

Wu met Thorsdottir in Iceland in 1990, when he was already considered one of the most important artists in ‘85 New Wave of China. During their first meeting, Thorsdottir shared with him one of her ideas: urinating in Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain. Wu boldly volunteered to be the “performer” of this work and the two of them travelled to Stockholm to carry out the piece they called An Appreciation (1991) at Moderna museet. From this was born the concept of “Thing’s Rights”, which sought to liberate “Things” (including artworks) and resulted in Thorsdottir and Wu turning the Declaration of Human Rights into the Declaration of Things’ Right(s). This was the beginning of a long and fruitful collaboration between the two artists that continues to this day.

About the artist
Inga Svala Thorsdottir, Icelandic born 1966. Gratuated 1991 from Painting Department of the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts. 1995 gratuated from the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. 1993 founded Thor’s Daughter’s Pulverization Service.1999 founded BORG.

Wu Shanzhuan, 1960 born in China, 1986 graduated from Normal Department of the Zejiang Art Academy. 1995 graduated from the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. 1985 founded Red Humour. 1990 founded Red Humour International.

Since 1991 Thorsdottir and Wu have been working and exhibiting collaboratively and working as independent artists as well. They live and work in Hamburg, Iceland and Shanghai.

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Long March Space
January 2, 2024

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