Since 2002 Yangjiang Group has been inviting neighbors in Yangjiang, its small hometown on the southern coast of China, to drink tea, play soccer, practice calligraphy, and enjoy communal dinners. As part of Unwritten Rules Cannot Be Broken, their newly commissioned work for Tales of Our Time, visitors are invited to converse and contemplate calligraphy over a cup of tea prepared and served by local tea brewers. This participatory installation is set inside, and a Chinese bamboo garden with a miniature pond is visible on an outside balcony overlooking Central Park. Visitors are also encouraged to measure their blood pressure and heart rate before and after experiencing this installation—a humorous ploy designed to calculate the purported relaxing effects of a tea gathering.
Photo: Yangjiang Group, Tea House Ceremony, 2015. Performance view: Twilight Garden Party, Chinese Garden of Friendship, Darling Harbour, Sydney, February 14, 2015. Photo: Blue Murder Studios, Sydney, courtesy the artists and 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney. Middle and bottom: Yangjiang Group, Calligraphy and Scratching Leading to the Same Way (Shu Tu Tong Gui), 2013. Performance view: Auckland Triennial, If you were to live here . . ., May 10–August 11, 2013