Tsui Kuang-Yu uses video, performance and photography to examine aspects of urban life and human behaviour in regulated contemporary city environments. Tsui is part of what is known as the ‘Third Wave’ generation of Taiwanese artists, characterised as having grown up in the period after martial law was lifted in 1978. A recurrent feature in Tsui’s work is a sophisticated critique of public life, its social groups and urban systems. The time-poor city-dweller contends with a population density and pace that impels order and efficiency. The physical manifestations of these systems are realised as footpaths, pedestrian crossings, chain-link dividers, awnings, café umbrellas, parks and iron-studded features in marble, placed to deter skateboarders, and so on. These kinds of structures naturalise the functioning city so as to be almost invisible.
Shot in London and Taipei, Shortcut to the Systematic Life 2002–05 presents a series of intentional misunderstandings of urban architectures – specifically, those that prescribe where and when to walk, work, exercise or play. Tsui presents ‘Humerous’ takes on the changing city and what it means to live there.