Ideas

Operation PRD Big Tail Elephants: One Hour, No Room, Five Shows

Tue, 14 Jun-Fri, 7 Oct 2016 | Times Museum (Guangdong, China)

 

Asia Art Archive collaborates with Guangdong Times Museum as research partner for the exhibition ‘Operation PRD: Big Tail Elephants: One Hour, No Room, Five Shows’—Big Tail Elephants Group’s first large-scale retrospective since its 1998 exhibition in Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland. Complementing AAA’s archival research for the exhibition, a selection of material on the group from AAA’s collection is provided below, including publications, photo documentation of artworks and exhibitions, exhibition ephemera, manuscripts, and sketches.

 

The Big Tail Elephants Group was founded by three artists based in Guangzhou in the early 1990s: Chen Shaoxiong, Liang Juhui, and Lin Yilin, with Xu Tan joining the group shortly after. Its first exhibition was held in Guangzhou No.1 Workers’ Palace in 1991, and the group followed with yearly self-organised exhibitions, typically in unconventional exhibition spaces such as local bars, outdoor venues, and abandoned residential buildings. Each exhibition primarily showcased works by members of the group. Though Big Tail Elephants Group never officially dissolved, it was mainly active from 1991 to 1998, and the artists have worked independently since.

 

Although members of Big Tail Elephants Group did not create works collectively, constant dialogue within the group generated a synergy, expressed through a focus on methodologies, ideas around art creation, and social issues. Their work centred on cross-disciplinary experimentation through installation, video, and performance art that reflected their individual experiences. The work of Big Tail Elephants is considered to represent the anxiety derived from China’s urbanisation in the 1990s, offering a critique of the rapid change in social values generated by pop culture, consumerism, and the information age. The body of work by Big Tail Elephants spotlights a unique point in the course of contemporary art history on social issues, experimentation of artistic media, and exhibition organisation.

Collection Highlights

 

No Room — Invitation, 沒有空間 — 邀請函

Possibility — Exhibition Invitation, 可能性 — 展覽邀請

Big-Tail Elephant, United Art Exhibition — Exhibition Invitation, 大尾象,聯合藝術展 - 展覽邀請

The Alterations and Extensions of 14 Sanyu Road, Guangzhou, 關於廣州三育14號的改建加建

Allegory of Love I, II (Exhibition View), 愛的寓言之一、之二 (展覽現場)

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity II, 勻速、變速 之二

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity I (Exhibition View), 勻速、變速之一 (展覽現場)

New Order (Exhibition View), 新秩序 (展覽現場)

New Order, 新秩序

Digital Game (Exhibition View), 數字遊戲 (展覽現場)

Image: Juhui LIANG 梁 鉅輝, <i>Digital Game (Exhibition View)</i>, 1996, Site-specific performance installation.
Image: Juhui LIANG 梁 鉅輝, Digital Game (Exhibition View), 1996, Site-specific performance installation.

People and Cockroaches, 蟑螂與人

, Photo installation (Photo, plastic cockroaches, rope, burlap, sugar), Photo: 120cm x 480cm.
Image: Juhui LIANG 梁 鉅輝, People and Cockroaches, 1998 , Photo installation (Photo, plastic cockroaches, rope, burlap, sugar), Photo: 120cm x 480cm.

Construction of a Place and Ants, 產生空間與螞蟻

, Photo installation (Photo, plastic ants, rope, burlap, sugar), Photo: 120cm x 750cm.
Image: Juhui LIANG 梁 鉅輝, Construction of a Place and Ants, 1998 , Photo installation (Photo, plastic ants, rope, burlap, sugar), Photo: 120cm x 750cm.

Entering the Project, 進入計劃

Paradise I (Partial), 樂園I (局部)

Goldfish in the Bathtub, 浴缸里的金魚

Movement · The Rudiments of Embryo, 行 · 萌生的胚胎

See-Saw, 蹺蹺板

72.5 Hours Electricity Consumption, 耗電72個半小時

Change the TV Channel, Change the Bride’s Decision, 改變電視頻道便改變新娘的決定

Sight Adjuster (Exhibition View), 視力矯正器 (展覽現場)

5 Hours (Exhibition View),  5小時 (展覽現場)

5 Hours (Exhibition View)
Image: Shaoxiong CHEN 陳 劭雄, 5 Hours (Exhibition View), 1993 , Installation (fluorescent lights, watt-hour meter), 300cm x 300cm x 200cm.

Glasses, 視力矯正器

House Hold Goods II (Exhibition View), 住器陳列二 (展覽現場)

House Hold Goods II (Detail), 住器陳列二 (細節)

House Hold Goods I, 住器陳列一

Standard Series of Ideal Residence, 理想住宅標準系列

Standard Series of Ideal Residence

100 Pieces and 1000 Pieces, 100塊和1000塊

, Performance, 50 min.
Image: Yilin LIN 林 一林, 100 Pieces and 1000 Pieces, 1993 , Performance, 50 min.

100 Pieces and 1000 Pieces, 100塊和1000塊

 

 

Shortlist

《大尾象》,瑞士伯恩美術館,伯恩,1998。Big-Tail Elephant, Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland, 1998. MON.BTE

 

陳侗,〈空間的交織 1991–1996「大尾象」〉,《當代藝術與投資》,2007 第10期,頁59-61。
Chen Tong, ‘The Interweave of Space: Big-Tail Elephant in 1991-1996’, Contemporary Art & Investment, 2007 vol. 10, pp. 59-61. PER.CAIN

 

〈徐坦:關於我使用媒介(1990年代)〉,《新美術》,2015年十月號,頁80-83。
‘Xu Tan: About My Medium (The 1990s)’, New Arts, 2015 no. 10, pp. 80-83. PER.NAT

 

陳侗,〈為什麼廣東沒有新潮美術運動? 25種回答〉,《畫家》,1991年第5期。
Chen Tong, ‘Why was there no New Wave Movement in Guangdong? 25 Responses’, Painter Magazine, 1991 no. 5.

 

尚皮亞·杜蒙,〈大尾象的歷史〉,《東西譚》,1995年第136期,頁9-11。
Jean-Pierre Dumont, ‘Histories d’Éléphants’, Paroles, 1995 no. 136, pp. 9-11. PER.PAR

 

侯瀚如, 〈街壘:「大尾象工作組」〉,《廣東快車》,湖南美術出版社,長沙,2003年,頁 78-90。
Hou Hanru, 'Barricades, “Big Tail Elephants Working Group”’, Canton Express, Hunan Arts Publishing House, Changsha, 2003, pp. 78-90. EX.ITA.BVE.2003

 

招穎思,〈靜電干擾:廣州大尾象〉,《亞太藝術雜誌》,1999年第24期,頁42-53。
Melissa Chiu, ‘Static Interference: The Big Tail Elephant Group of Guangzhou’, ART AsiaPacific, no. 24, 1999, pp. 42-53. PER.AAP

 

亞洲藝術文獻庫,《薩特與鄧麗君:1980年代的廣東當代藝術》,2010。
Asia Art Archive, From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Cantonese Contemporary Art in the 1980s, 2010.

 

莫妮卡·德瑪黛,〈五小時1000元價值之愛的寓言〉,《藝術—各自為戰的運動:親歷中國當代藝術20年》,2008,頁12-17。
Monica Dematte, ‘5 Hours, Value of 1000 Yuans, Allegory of Love’, Art — An Individual Research: Witnessing 20 Years of Chinese Contemporary Art, 2008, pp. 12-17. REF.DEM

 

 

 

Imprint

Topic
Collection Spotlight
Date
Fri, 7 Oct 2016

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No Room — Invitation

沒有空間 — 邀請函
1994

Possibility — Exhibition Invitation
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Possibility — Exhibition Invitation

可能性 — 展覽邀請
1996

Big-Tail Elephant, United Art Exhibition — Exhibition Invitation
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大尾象,聯合藝術展 - 展覽邀請
1992

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1 Image

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關於廣州三育14號的改建加建
XU Tan, 徐坦

Allegory of Love I, II (Exhibition View)
Allegory of Love I, II (Exhibition View)
1 Image

Allegory of Love I, II (Exhibition View)

愛的寓言之一、之二 (展覽現場)
XU Tan, 徐坦

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity II
Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity II
1 Image

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity II

勻速、變速 之二
XU Tan, 徐坦

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity I (Exhibition View)
Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity I (Exhibition View)
1 Image

Uniform Velocity, Variant Velocity I (Exhibition View)

勻速、變速之一 (展覽現場)
XU Tan, 徐坦

New Order (Exhibition View)
New Order (Exhibition View)
1 Image

New Order (Exhibition View)

新秩序 (展覽現場)
XU Tan, 徐坦