Zhou Yan Contemporary Chinese Art Archive 周彦当代中国艺术档案



Tan XU 徐坦


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Date of Exhibition Event

November 24th, 1993

Location of Exhibition Event

Guangzhou, China


Plastic models, etc.


The action art “Allegory of Love” is one of the works in the third activity of the “Big Tail Elephant” group, which occurred on the 24th of November, 1993, at Guangzhou, China. This series contains two photographs and one 35mm slide. The first photo captures the moment of a plastic naked female model being placed amongst tables of local people who are having dinner outside. This plastic model wears a blue helmet, holds a large bazooka, and stands stiffly in the crowd. The second photograph and the slide documented the end of this action art, when a truck that carries the same plastic model stops outside the Mc. Donalds, after passing through some of the major spots in Guangzhou, like the Haizhu Square and the Beijing Street. As the art critic Monica Dematte argues, “Xu Tan imagines his artwork as something between an object of everyday use (or non-use), and something that, due to its strangeness, gives a dramatic, theatrical feeling.” Besides, the viewers are not required to understand the meaning of the work, because the work has its own existence despite the author’s idea ("Essay: Five Hours of a 1000 Yuan Worth Allegory of Love" by Tan XU 徐坦 (kenyon.edu)). See links below for more photos of this work. (Yifan Shang ‘25)



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