Unmask Group /   Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun and Tan Tianwei

China 2001

Sculpture, Surrealism

Unmask Group
Liu Zhan, Kuang Jun and Tan Tianwei
March 27, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Unmask Group is an artistic trio composed of Beijing-based artists Liu Zhan, born in 1976, Kuang Jun, 1976, and Tan Tianwei, 1978. Three boys met while they were studying at the sculpture department of China Central Academy of Fine Arts and have been producing sculptural work together since 2001.

Unmask’s Sculpture

The Unmask art group is known for their seemingly incomplete figures in a state of dissolution out of stainless steel and marble. The almost-abstract figures leave just enough of the sculpture intact to make the solid figure clear. It’s the exclusion of certain parts that add a hint of intrigue. Most of their work revolves around self-image as a central theme, challenging one’s self-awareness with contemporary opinions. Using the language of sculpture, they create new ideas and philosophy of art, and present new vision and aesthetics.

Unmask Group – Individuality and Coexistence

Unmask is an art group consisting of three artists, who have different perspectives of art, but who feed off each other, debate and make concessions until a unique logic is accepted by all of them. It makes them different from other artists as they place greater emphasis on individuality and coexistence, which are the foundation of their cooperation. This also allows for greater flexibility when implementing an artistic process and enables all of them to exert their specific talents.

Unmask – Key Element

The human form, including both the body and its social status, is the key element of their artworks. Influenced by their research into classical Chinese and Western sculpture but at the same time striving for their vision of the “human”, Unmask group started to conceive every human as a mini universe. In their Transparency Series, in 2006, trio used their own body characteristics to create human forms like classical sculpture and then purposely deleted the redundant parts, including gender and ethnic identity, by removing the defects of the sculpture in a two-dimensional way. Finally they got some varied and fragile bodies with internal and external parts that corresponded to each other. Putting these bodies randomly in a certain space formed an environment which was unbalanced, delicate and highly unexpected. In their “0° Degree Series” humanoid creatures gather in a void space, forming an isolated and virtual ecosystem, surrounded by a shell that shapes the panorama but is also a way of creating self-protection. The self-containing space is isolated from, if not contradictory to the outside world, forming an independent and virtual environment.

Unmask Exhibitions

In 2002, their works was awarded the First Prize, Graduating Students Exhibition of the Central Academy of Fine Arts China. Unmask Group has participated in many exhibitions all around China, as well as in France, UK, South Korea and USA. They lives and works in Beijing, China.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Dawn - New Art From China Zhong Gallery, Berlin, Germanygroup
2015Portrait Gallery Kallenbach gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlandsgroup
2014New Sculpture - Sculptors from A Younger Generation Michael Ku Gallery, Taipeigroup
2013AtypicalGallery Beijing Space, Chinagroup
2012Dawn – New Art From ChinaZhong Gallery, Germany group
2011Flash MemoryH.T. Gallery, Beijingsolo
2011UnmaskH.T Gallery, Beijinggroup
2011Tang Contemporary | Bangkok, Hong Kong, Beijing@SH Contemporary 2011Shanghai Exhibition Center, Chinagroup
2011ShoppingTang Contemporary Art Hong Kong, Hong Kongsolo
2011Extract the 3rd Stall Keeper ShowC5 Art, Beijinggroup
2011Beyond Art Space@Art Stage Singapore 2011Suntec Singapore, Singaporegroup
2010Beyond Fashion, 1st crossover between young chinese fashion designersBeyond Art Space, Beijing, Chinagroup
2010Invisible WingsTimes Art Museum, Beijinggroup
2010Shopping-Unmask Solo ExhibitionTang Contemporary Art Hong Kong, HKgroup
2010Negotiations – The Second Today’s Documents 2010Today Art Museum, Beijinggroup
2010Beyond Art Space@Art Taipei Art Fair 2010Taipei World Trade Centergroup
2010Aura Gallery @Young Art Paipei 2010Sunworld Dynasty Hotelgroup
2010Commit- The 2nd Stall Keeper ShowC5 Art, Beijiinggroup
2010Filter Window, Young Chinese ExhibitionBeyond Art Space, Beijing, Chinagroup
2010AttitudeLinda Gallery, Singaporegroup
201012% DesignMicheal Ku Gallery, Beijinggroup
2010Aura Gallery@Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art FairGrand Hyatt , Hong Konggroup
2010AtitudeLinda Gallery, Singaporegroup
2009Enliven – In Between Realities and Fiction – Animamix Biennial 2009-2010Today Art Museum, Beijinggroup
2009Flash MemoryH.T Gallery, Beijinggroup
200960 70 80 – China Contemporary Art ExhibitionTours Castle Museum of Art, Francegroup
2009Beyond Art Space@Sh Contemporary 09Shanghai Exhibition Center, Shanghaigroup
2009The Market Summer 2009 – In the MakingBeijing Center for the Arts, Beijinggroup
2009Posture LanguageNew Age Gallery, Beijinggroup
2009Rave ForumLi-SPACE, Beijinggroup
2009UnmaskBeyond Art Space, Beijing, Chinasolo
2009ShoppingTang Contemporary Art Hong Kong, Hong Kongsolo
200912% DesignMichael Ku Gallerygroup
2009Aura Gallery@Asia Top Gallery Hotel Art Fair HK Grand Hyatt, Hong Konggroup
2009UnmaskChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Taipeigroup
2008Far WestArnolfini Art Center, Bristol, UKgroup
2008Facing RealityNational Art Museum of China, Beijinggroup
2008China design nowV&A Museum - Victoria & Albert Museum, Londongroup
2008A Vista of PerspectiveShenzhen, Chinagroup
2008The Origin - The First Annual Moon River Sculpture Festival Moon River Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, Chinagroup
2007CHINA - Facing RealityMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Austriagroup
2007FragmentationChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Beijing
2007UNMASKSun Contemporary, South Korea
2007UNMASKChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Taipei
2007Facing RealityMuseum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Austriagroup
2007FragmentationChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Beijinggroup
2007UNMASKSun Contemporary, South Koreagroup
2007UNMASKChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Taipeigroup
2007EXIT FestivalNOM Maison des Arts de Creteil, France
2007VIA FestivalManege Maubeuge, Francegroup
2007The Sixth Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition: A Vista of PerspectivesHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, Chinagroup
2006International Exhibition-CHINA GATEArko Art Center of Arts, Seoul, South Koraagroup
2006UNMASK’s 2002-2006Dimensions Art Center, Beijing, China
2006Japanimation BTAP Tokyo Art ProjectsBeijing, Chinagroup
2006Circle Both EndsHe Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, Chinagroup
2006Plato And His Seven Spirits Shenzhen, Chinagroup
200634 Contemporary Chinese Artists Anna Kustera Gallery, New York, USAgroup
2006International Art Exhibition: China GateArko Art Center, Seoul, South Koreagroup
2005Forging a New Relationship Art EthicsChen Ling Hui Contemporary Space, Beijing, Chinagroup
2005Plato and Its Seven SpiritsBeijing, China
2005Making A New Relationship- The Art EthicsDimensions Art Center, Beijing, Chinagroup
2005The 2nd Triennial of Chinese ArtNanjing, China
2005Get It LouderShenzhen, China
2005Mc1: Montpellier Chinese Contemporary Art BiennaleMontpellier, Francegroup
2005Shanghai is CoolDuolun Museum Shanghai of China, Chinagroup
2005A CartoonTaikang Space, Beijing, Chinagroup
2004Democracy ForeverPlum Blossoms Gallery, New York
2004Design by China, Made in FranceEspace Ricard, Paris, Francegroup
2004Designed in France, Made in ChinaEspace Ricard, Paris, Francegroup
2003Remaking 798:ReverberationBeijing, Chinagroup