Mulan River - Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun
2017.09.14 - 2017.12.17
Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel
Curated by Guo Xiaohui & Silia Tung
The Mulan River
Since they began collaborating on installation art in 2008, the Mulan River has been the major subject addressed by brothers Yufan and Yujun Chen and the hallmark of their work as a whole. Around the river they construct a domestic space; a house which is the infrastructure enabling them to use data fragments, scattered throughout it, to describe a unique living space and its residents’ alienated identity.
The Mulan River flows through Putian in the Fujian Province—hometown of the artists, who are expatriates like many other Chinese—like a thread that binds the memories of a clan, linking past and present.
The imagined journeys of the clan members who moved from the traditional village to the modern metropolis; the deeply-rooted ethnic and religious culture of the old homeland; the series of blows to traditional society, especially in the last decade; the artists’ own experience of the traditional village growing into a modern city; and a reexamination of such concepts as “native” and “international” under this new paradigm—all these intertwine to produce the Mulan River Project. The river, which once bore the clan’s other half out into the southern seas, is the origin point of this intricate thicket.The true motif of the Mulan River Project, however, is not the river, but the house. Ephemeral wooden scraps, cheap plywood, bubble-wrapped objects, a tattered brick wall laid from cut books, a rickety old-style door, mysterious architectural elements that carry rich flavors of the ancestral homeland, and old family photographs interspersed in between them—all these come together to transform the multiplicity of microscopic gazes into a sweeping personal epic.
Zhiling Fang, June 2017
Mulan River | Cuo was published in 2020
by Kerber Publishing House and BMCA as a documentation of the comprehensive exhibition
project of Chen Yujun and Chen Yufan.
Since they began collaborating on installation art in 2008, the Mulan River has been the major subject addressed by brothers Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun and the hallmark of their work as a whole. Around the river they construct a domestic space; a house which is the infrastructure enabling them to use data fragments, scattered throughout it, to describe a unique living space and its residents’ alienated identity.
In 2017, BMCA organised and financed the „Mulan River“ Exhibition 2017 at Petach Tikva Art Museum in Israel. The book shows many detailed installation views of this exhibition project which has been realised in close collaboration with the two artists.
Mulan River - The Book
Setting up for Mulan River