Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He)

b. Duo founded in 2016; Huang He (b. 1985); Huang Shan (b. 1985) in Guangzhou, China
Working in Foshan, China
Showing at Asia Society Museum
On view from March 16, 2021, through June 27, 2021
A divination card featuring two cranes drawn in an outline of neon orange beside some clouds appears. Below the birds Chinese and Latin characters appear. The Latin text reads, "43 As idle as the clouds and wild cranes"

Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He), High Speed Divination: Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms, 2017. Single-channel video. Duration: 3 minutes, 17 seconds. Courtesy of the artists and Canton Gallery. Image courtesy of the artists

Location: Asia Society Museum
A divination card featuring a drawing of a crane in purple and orange strokes near four chickens drawn in purple, blue, and green. Below the animals text appears in Chinese and Latin characters. In the Latin text it reads, "35 a crane standing among chickens"

Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He), High Speed Divination: Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms, 2017. Single-channel video. Duration: 3 minutes, 17 seconds. Courtesy of the artists and Canton Gallery. Image courtesy of the artists

Location: Asia Society Museum
A divination card featuring a drawing of a praying mantis in orange touching a spoked wheel drawn in blue and green. Below the drawing text appears in Chinese and Latin characters. In the Latin text it reads, "23 A mantis trying to stop a chariot"

Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He), High Speed Divination: Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms, 2017. Single-channel video. Duration: 3 minutes, 17 seconds. Courtesy of the artists and Canton Gallery. Image courtesy of the artists

Location: Asia Society Museum
Two divination cards appear. The left card features a striped dragon against a green and brown background. At the bottom appears Chinese and Latin characters. The Latin text reads: "8 a firece dragon crossing the river." The card at right features a tiger drawn in red strokes. Below the tiger are Chinese and Latin characters. The Latin text reads "38 Glare like a covetous tiger"

Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He), Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms, 2017. Set of forty-nine divination cards. Each: H. 3 1/4 x W. 5 1/16 in. (8.2 x 12.8 cm). Courtesy of the artists and Canton Gallery. Image courtesy of the artists

A deck of black-bordered divination cards appears at the right. The top card features a colorful drawing of a phoneix with yellow stars and red and blue feathers. At the left are two folded packets of papers, secured with a paper clip. They contain Chinese and Latin characters but the text is illegible.

Mountain River Jump! (Huang Shan + Huang He), Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms, 2017. Set of forty-nine divination cards. Each: H. 3 1/4 x W. 5 1/16 in. (8.2 x 12.8 cm). Courtesy of the artists and Canton Gallery. Image courtesy of the artists

Mountain River Jump! is a Guangzhou-based duo founded in 2016 by Huang He and Huang Shan. These identical twin sisters explore the intersections of mysticism, western psychology, politics, and popular culture within contemporary Chinese society. Their multidisciplinary practice includes interactive installations, new media, and performances that often include elements from ancient shamanistic and occult practices to illuminate contemporary societal fears and anxieties. Huang He received a BFA from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2008, and Huang Shan received a BFA from the Chengdu Academy of Fine Arts in 2008.

Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms: Legends in Human World is an interactive installation that merges the traditional Chinese practice of divination with contemporary technology. The artists selected forty-nine Chinese animal idioms to create illustrated divination cards that they digitized into a rapidly looping video. Visitors are asked to meditate on a question and then take a cell-phone picture of the video playing on the screen. The captured image may then be deciphered by an index of corresponding fortunes written by the duo. This modern-day interpretation of fortunetelling humorously combines Asian cultural traditions with the digitized consumption of information and search for meaning across the cacophony of contemporary life.

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