Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Unmask Group

  • Artist: Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun, Tan Tianwei (Unmask Group)
  •  Incomplete Horseman
  • Stainless Steel
  •  Lifesize
  • 2011

            Collectively called the Unmask Group, artists Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun, and Tan Tianwei met while studying at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, China. They began working together in 2001, producing works in both marble and stainless steel. They employ a style which relies heavily on the use of negative space, their works challenging the viewer with what is absent just as much as they do with what is there (
            The group’s challenging style is meant to be “Isolated from, if not opposed to, the outside world, forming a negative virtual environment” ( It forces the viewer to complete the art in their own minds, leaving negative space as a blank canvass where the viewer is invited to paint their own image.
            By providing an incomplete image, and challenging the viewer to fill in the missing pieces, the Unmask Group creates a certain intimacy with their audience, allowing them to be a part of the creative process. By presenting a piece that comes as close to a two dimensional shell of their subject as possible, the Unmask Group’s style challenges the traditional three dimensionality of sculpture as a whole.
            Because of their breathtaking and sensual use of negative space in a style of art that has traditionally presented heavy, fully formed works, the Unmask Group has successfully challenged our notion of sculpture as an art form, while simultaneously elevating the style to a new, modern level.

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