Photo by birdhead

Hu Yun (1986, Shanghai) is based between Belgrade and Shanghai.

In his practice, Hu Yun revisits historical moments in order to provide alternative readings, a process that also informs the artist’s self-reflection on his native and personal ties.

His selected solo exhibitions include Image of Nature (Natural History Museum, London, 2010); Our Ancestors (Goethe Institut Shanghai, 2012); Lift with Care (2013) and Narration Sickness (2016) at AIKE Shanghai, and Another Diorama (2019, NUS Museum Singapore). His works have been exhibited at the Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Centre Pompidou (Paris), CCA Londonderry, The Cultural Centre of Belgrade, Para Site (Hong Kong) and Times Museum (Guangzhou). Hu Yun has also participated in the 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012, China), 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016, South Korea), 6th Singapore Biennale (2019, Singapore) and 10th Asia Pacific Triennial (2021, Australia). He is the co-founder of art e-journal PDF (2012-2013).

Artist's Instagram.

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1. & 5. Carving Water, Melting Stones, 2019. 4K video with sound (15 min), ice sculpture and sound installation. Installation view. Singapore Biennale 2019 commission, photo: Singapore Art Museum; 2. & 3. Still from Carving Water, Melting Stones, 2019; 4. Ice carving process, Carving Water, Melting Stones, 2019; 6. - 8. Nature printing process at historical Chinese gold-digging site, on the land of Jaara nation, central Victoria, Australia. Hu Yun 2020-2021; 9. & 10. It is not mine to give, nor yours to take,. Detail of the drawing, Mineral-based watercolour on paper; 11. It is not mine to give, nor yours to take, 2021. Mineral-based watercolour and inkjet print, Two scrolls: 70 x 800cm (each, approx.) Commissioned for ‘The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art’ (APT10). Installation view, Courtesy & © Hu Yun / Photo: Joe Ruckli © QAGOMA
Artist statement

My practice often features elements of research, survey and travelling, and in the meantime, it centers on certain figures. By borrowing certain episodes out of their life stories based on museum records, archival documents and oral narration, I keep building and breaking linkages among the various fragments and searching possibilities to orchestrate them on different occasions.

Through projects in recent years I have been focusing on various forms of stressed labour (of both human and nonhuman). These labourers have been forced to move from place to place, and greatly contributed to the shape of particular localities. From the research about the Filipino Santeros (religious icon carvers) who due to lack of work have been transformed into Ice Carvers performing on the cruise ships, to the collaboration with the laboratory researching on a subset of plants that can accumulate extraordinary amounts of metals within their living tissues so those plants actually became miners...

I continue to be fascinated by these Stressed Labours constantly being transformed in various contexts. Question that I often ask is what art can bring into these realities in making.

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