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Zhu Yu (Chinese: ) b. 1970

Zhu Yu was born in 1970, in Chengdu, in the Sichuan Province of China, and lives and works in Beijing.

He is considered an important and unique artist of the Chinese contemporary art Controversy on his works goes far beyond the art field and today numerous websites still talk about artworks he realized ten years ago.

Zhu Yu’s creation covers various artistic areas, exploring questions intrinsic to media, concepts, transmission and forms in the current contemporary context.

His most well-known works are “Eating people” and “Sacrifice” (献祭) created in 2000 and 2002, usually considered as focusing on moral and religious issues between humanity and divinity, as well as pointing out ethical contradictions lying in the society by using rational and rigorous representational techniques. He coldly and even cruelly executes a certain extreme yet highly uninteresting, impulsuous, absurd performance to query the moral limits of human kind.

Nonetheless, the authenticity of both “Eating people” and “Sacrifice” could be questioned, as in the exhibiting and diffusing process there only are a few pictures of the performances, and the so-called “performances” resemble more some evil mise-en-scene. Therefore, it is almost obvious that Zhu Yu used conceptual art as a creating method, the meaning of the work doesn’t lie in the content, but is reached through the public’s reactions, in this era of colorful allusions, people deal with their reactions, extreme and impossible to calmly analyse, as well as with media’s insatiable hunger for sensational information.

In 2004, Zhu Yu started his series of paintings “Leftover”, based on leftovers’ traces on plates at the end of a meal. Zhu Yu do not work with real corpses. The artist coldly and realistically paints food remains, glutinous liquids and all other kinds of residues, clearly enlarged, on the round plate, stimulating the imagination of the viewers, who inevitably scrutinize each detail of these remains.

“192 Projects For United Nations Member Countries” (为联合国成员国所作的192个艺术方案) consists in art projects composed of texts and images in an archive form, elaborated by Zhu Yu for 192 members of the U.N., they possess a very strong readability, some of the projects are realizable while others are hardly feasible. These humorous projects involving each country’s political, cultural, geographical conditions use a very common and easy way to sow doubts in viewers’ mind regarding conceptual art creating pattern, which also constitutes part of Zhu Yu’s reflection.

See also


1. Cheng, Meiling (2005) "Violent Capital: Zhu Yu on File." The Drama Review: The Journal of Performance Studies 49.3 (Fall): 58-77.

External links



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