Sunyuan and Pengyu are a team of Beijing-based installation artists. The duo has been active since the late ‘90s, working their way up to solo exhibitions starting in 2005.
This year, Paris’ Galerie Perrotin gallery hosted an exhibit by the pair titled “Dear.” Among the works on display was a deeply personal installation inspired by the mother of one of the artists.
Before passing away, Pengyu’s mother appeared in a 14-minute video interview, expounding upon the end of her life and what she hoped for in the world beyond.
Determined not to be bound by morbid concepts of death, the woman spoke at length about the concept of rebirth, and revealed some surprising hopes she had regarding reincarnation.
Moved by her mother’s words, Pengyu and her creative partner chose to honor them in the way they know best, creating this astounding installation.
The piece, entitled “If I Died,” is a fantastic physical representation of Pengyu’s mother’s ideal for her soul’s departure.
The figure of the artist’s mother can be seen holding a wreath of flowers and surrounded by sea creatures, both allusions to comments made during her interview.
While the birds are stuffed specimens, the sea life is crafted from fiberglass and silica gel.
Similar materials are used for the recreation of Pengyu’s mother, who is shown wearing a peaceful, serene expression. We’re sure it’s a perfect representation of how the proud parent would react to the display of talent, creativity, and devotion from her beloved daughter.