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DENG GUOYUAN

b. 1957, Tianjin, China
LIVES AND WORKS IN TIANJIN, CHINA

Singapore Biennale 2016 Artists DENG GUOYUAN

Noah’s Garden II, 2016

Aluminium alloy steel frame, mirror glass, LED lighting, real and artificial plants and rocks
1160 × 650 × 320 cm
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Biennale 2016 commission

This site-specific work is at once a garden of artificial flora and a labyrinth of mirrors. Entering the installation, viewers find themselves inside a kaleidoscope, where the surrounding infinite mirror images create a feeling of the loss of subjectivity. Artificial plants, referencing classical Song Dynasty representations of particular flora, but coated in vibrant colours, assault the senses and blur the lines between the real and the artificial. In applying the colour schemes from maps he has examined to these artificial plants and classically-referenced ‘scholar rocks’ he has created, the artist defies the conventional systems of colour-coding in map-making, recasting the world with a renewed hope for the integration of richness and diversity and the resolution of conflicts. By evoking scepticism and uncertainty, his work raises doubt about the validity and accuracy of map-making; it creates a utopia while simultaneously disassembling it.