Hailing from Yangjiang, a coastal city in Guangdong Province, Yangjiang Group was formed by the artist Zheng Guogu in 2002 with members Chen Zaiyan and Sun Qinglin. With a focus on social action, their work spans installation, painting, performance and calligraphy. Yangjiang Group has a belief that culture can be practiced by anyone, and possess a desire to break the hierarchies and social privileges that inform traditions like calligraphy. Yangjiang Group imbue its work with a sincere anti-authoritative streak.

In developing this exhibition 4A’s invitation to Yangjiang Group was to engage with the gallery and administration areas of the organisation. Yangjiang Group has responded by devising a daily action for 4A staff called Tea Office (2015). Each morning staff will prepare and drink a cycle of Chinese teas for the duration of the exhibition. The artists have chosen these teas for their therapeutic qualities and the effects they have on the mind and body, which is a particular process valued by the artists. By encouraging a daily ritual, the artists offer an activity to observe shifts in sensory and spiritual perception and to consider the organisation’s administrative and cultural functions.

Yangjiang Group are Zheng Guogu (b. 1970, Yangjiang, China), Chen Zaiyan (b. 1971, Yangchun, China) and Sun Qinglin (b. 1974, Yangjiang, China). Founded in 2002 the group name themselves after their home town, a city in Guangdong province, where their principle studio is located. Their work is dedicated to reaching the widest possible audience often through creating ephemeral works. Yangjiang Group have been widely exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums such as the San Diego Museum of Art, USA; Tate Liverpool, UK; Kunthaus Graz, Austria; Mori Art Museum, Japan; and Guangdong Museum of Art and He Xiangning Museum of Art, China. They also participated in Art Basel in 2008, 2010 and 2012; the Venice Biennale in 2003; and the Gwangju Biennale in 2002.

This exhibition is the first exhibition component of MASS GROUP INCIDENT, an ambitious 5-month multi-stage project which brings together artists from Asia, Australia and Europe to present new and existing works over a range of platforms and venues including exhibitions, performances, film screenings and site-specific interventions. MASS GROUP INCIDENT will explore ideas of social engagement, collective action and the ever-shifting and complex position of the individual in relation to the group.