TSUI Kuang-Yu was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1974. He obtained a bachelor’s degree from the Taipei National University of the Arts in 1997. Tsui was a member of P8, an art group, for some time. He has been invited by the Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, Chelsea Art Museum in New York, Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, OK Center for Contemporary Art in Linz and many other international exhibitions and arts and cultural institutions to display his works. He is the winner of the 2003 and 2008 Taishin Arts Award.
Tsui started to practice body performance in 1995. He takes inspirations from everyday life, and sheds lights on the dynamic relationship between the struggling individuals and society through camouflage, mimicry and action art. The artist bagged the Jury’s Special Award of the 1st Taishin Arts Award in 2002 with his solo exhibition entitled The Shortcut to the Systematic Life – City Spirit held at the IT PARK. He was especially mentioned for his representative new-generation style, breakthroughs in artistic genres, and underived viewpoints that respond to people’s living conditions of the time. Between 1996 and 2002, Tsui also actively participated in the art community as a P8 member. This art group cared about the operation of art system and its relationship with artists and their performances. Tsui won the Visual Arts Award of the Taishin Arts Award with Invisible City: Liverpool Top 9 in 2008. The jury praised him for his “unusual smartness and sense of humor in analyzing and critiqing urban culture, brilliant use of limited resources at hand, and a masterly portrayal of contradictions between urban norms and people’s lifestyle.”
The Shortcut to the Systematic Life – City Spirit was developed in 2004 while Tsui served as a resident artist in London. Most of the shooting locations are located within the city, such as street intersections, outdoor squares, parks, and traffic islands. To compose this artwork, the artist performed several strange acts on these spots. In one example, he played bowling on pigeon-filled squares and parks. When the bowling ball ran into a pack of pigeons and made them fly, it looks as if the artists had just had a strike. In another, the artist played a golf swing on a traffic island. These seemingly improper acts carried out in wrong places are choreographed into a smart symphony. From the earlier “body mimicry,” the artist has found a way to take part/ fit into the city space. The artist may seem messing with a city’s rules and order with his laughable behaviors. Surprisingly, however, he has reached a new kind of responsive harmony.
Stability as people feel it in a mature, civilized modern city is usually based on strict regulations and meticulous planning. Following safety rules, people avoid risks brought by mal-operations. With each of us abiding by the norms, we establish an orderly society that functions systematically.
TSUI Kuang-Yu’s works are closely related to “urban life.” He discusses the relationship between people and urban space through unique artistic actions and tries to find possible paths of art as he elbows through crowded cities. His early works, such as An Imitation: Mimicry（1996）, The Vehicle（1997）and The Welcome Rain Falls from the Sky（1997）are already characterized by perceptional elements in response to the greater social environs, including mimicry, alternative system, and social measurement. On one hand, the artist emphasizes intuitive bodily perceptions. On the other, he suggests a systematic path that almost feels like a detour. Hence “biological nature” and “social adaptation” become the two prominent themes in Tsui’s works. They seem to be contradictory and yet respond well to one another. His 18 Copper Guardians in Shoulin Temple and Penetration – The Penetrative, The Perceptive, The Spontaneous, completed in 2001 demonstrates his thoughts on one’s survival against social norms.
|Chinese title：||系統生活捷徑—表皮生活圈 城市精神|
|English title：||The Shortcut to the Systematic Life: City Spirits|
|Medium / Classification：||New Media and Video|
|Collection Unit：||Courtesy of the artist|
|Contact method for authorization：||
|Related Exhibition：||"The Pioneers" of Taiwanese Artists, 1971-1980|
|Related Work：||Eighteen Copper Guardians in Shao-Lin Temple and Penetration - The Penetrative - The Spontaneous Eighteen Copper Guardians in Shao - Lin Temple and Penetration - The Penetrative - The Perceptive Eighteen Copper Guardians in Shao - Lin Temple and Penetration -The Penetrative|