Founded in 2002, TAMEN(他们), which means “they” in Chinese Mandarin, is an artist collective composed of two young Chinese artists, Lai Shengyu (赖圣予) and Yang Xiaogang (杨晓钢), who were born in Hunan Province in 1978 and 1979, respectively. As a duo, they reject notions of the self and individuality in art by co-painting each work and collaborating in a way that draws attention away from the individual by juxtaposing elements of traditional Chinese life.
“Our pictures hold up a mirror to contemporary China. This mirror should not just show the outer layer of reality. We are much more concerned with the psychological effects of China’s rapid modernization.”
Lai and Yang received post-graduate degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in the Department of Printmaking. They are currently working at Beihang University (BUAA) in the Department of New Media Art.