Chen is a founder, along with Lin Yilin, of Big Tail Elephant. Not that founder means much, since the group does not work collectively, and only shows together. Plus, the members are non-hierarchical, a rare example of peckless order. People in China know their place, their link in a chain that stretches from peasant to Emperor (Chairman).

    The absence of a personal power structure in Big Tail Elephant is as revolutionary as their work.

Neon People Power
Neon People Power

A document of neon life. On the hour for 72 hours during the installation / performance, Chen noted the amount of power his neon beings had consumed.

Poor neon creatures, none of their consumables are stir-fried.

5 Hours Their lack of interest in cuisine did not endear them to Guangzhou gourmets, i.e., everybody in this town.

5 Hours (unfinished)

Chen may have to rename this performance "Two and a Half Hours" because the cops closed it down prematurely. They claimed he was a traffic nuisance, and rejected his plea that his performance was an art work. Chen wryly notes that had the authorities accepted his work as art, they would have told him to pack up because art should only happen in art galleries.

Changing TV Channels

Changing TV Channels and the Decision to Change the Bride

Not a complicated work, Chen explains. People are married to TV, so let them look at a TV dressed up like a bride.

Changing TV Channels

Detail of TV, what's on now

Chen is doing his bit to change TV viewing habits.


Another Big Tail Elephant. That makes four in all.


In Guangzhou, bamboo is the material used to build scaffolding. Even the highest skyscraper, and some rise more than seventy-five stories, go up with this flexible shell. Liang's Paradise looks like scaffolding for a building reaching to the heavens.
In actuality, the work consists of a mirror box, 7 meters by 7 meters, containing bamboo and lanterns. For Liang, the box itself is paradise. It is filled with the delight a child finds in the paradox of a boundless, confined space.

Second Dimensional Space

Second Dimensional Space

Liang's day job, set designer for a local TV station, has seeped into his art. The work looks like a studio shot from a surrealist film, or a tidied up bad dream. Still, the doubling of the mannequins and their mirror image is strangely fascinating.

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