beijing

Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun, Mulan River Project, 2007–11, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable.

Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun

Boers-Li Gallery

Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun, Mulan River Project, 2007–11, mixed-media installation, dimensions variable.

“Mulan River Project” was the first collaborative exhibition by the brothers Chen Yufan and Chen Yujun. It took the Mulan River, which runs through the artists’ native city of Putian, in China’s Fujian province, as its creative source. The Mulan is “mother river” to the Putianese, the source of their livelihood and culture, and it played a similarly central role in the Chens’ exhibition, with an installation representing the river made of cardboard and found materials forming the conceptual and architectural core of the show. But the artists’ ongoing “Mulan River Project,” begun in 2007, is more than a depiction of a geographical place; it is an elegy crossing space, time, and history through the memories and traditions that bind a family together. Those ties are loose and ephemeral, as in “Everyday Relationships,” 2011, in which black-and-white printouts of family photographs

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