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Chapman Brothers unveil diabolical art installation at White Cube in Hong Kong
British artist Jake Chapman smiles during an interview with AFP at a media preview of his and his brother Dinos Chapman's piece "The Sum of all Evil" (back) at Hong Kong's White Cube gallery on May 21, 2013, as he unveiled the siblings' first exhibition in China. The Chapman brothers presented their latest epic installation featuring thousands of little figures in violent conflict on May 21 at the sidelines of Art Basel in Hong Kong, but dismissed the renowned fair as a "shop". AFP PHOTO / ANTHONY WALLACE.


HONG KONG (AFP).- The Chapman brothers presented their latest epic installation featuring thousands of little figures in violent conflict Tuesday at the sidelines of Art Basel in Hong Kong, but dismissed the renowned fair as a "shop".

"The Sum of all Evil" by Jake and Dinos Chapman builds on previous works "Hell" (1999), and "Fucking Hell" (2008), which showcased innumerous miniature Nazis soldiers in various states of diabolical torment.

Their ambitions to use themes of war, genocide, the apocalypse and the evils of mass consumerism come in the form of tiny, tortured Nazi soldiers, skeletons and bloody corpses, and crucified Ronald McDonalds, the mascot of the fast food giant.

"I don't want to think that making art or works of art are the pioneering objects of capitalistic markets, which ultimately they are, but I don't really want to think about that," Jake Chapman told AFP at Hong Kong's White Cube gallery, as he unveiled the siblings' first exhibition in China.

"One of the ways in which we proof our work from being implicated in that process is to make the work as awful as we can, so it can't be mistaken for anything positive -- it's as cynical and pessimistic and anti-human as possible," he said.

The four-day annual Art Basel show, the world's premier art fair that is enjoying its inaugural showing in Hong Kong, is offering a crowded platform for around 2,000 international artists to promote and sell their work.

Nothing could be further from the artistic vision of the London-based pair, Jake Chapman insisted to AFP.

"If you're an artist I think you allow yourself the privilege of believing that what you do is something to do with producing culture, rather than commodities," he said, adding it was "best (to) keep away" from the massive fair happening nearby -- dismissing the gathering as "a big shop".

Art is, in fact, "to do with producing commodities and not culture", he admitted, "but you don't have to force yourself into the awful truth of it by going to art fairs".

© 1994-2013 Agence France-Presse






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May 22, 2013

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