“With this work, I aim to express my strong disapproval of misogyny and offer my support to women worldwide. This idea came to me when the “Xian subway incident” unfolded on the internet in 2021, where a subway security personnel forcibly removed a young lady from the train, leaving her fully exposed to the public. I was overwhelmed with anger, sadness, and contempt at that moment.” – Smug Huker
The inflated uterus resembles a powerful figure raising both arms, symbolizing women’s unwavering courage. The straw serves as a tool to inflate this symbol, that viewers can interact with to show their support and uplifting through the gesture of inflating the piece.
In one of Smug Huker’s initial projects, Mimosa Ward 植物⼈病房 (2020), the central concept revolves around the idea that plants can perceive and respond to changes in their environment. The mimosa plant is designed into a suit and when worn, the captivating result of this interaction is visible to viewers, as the mimosa plants come to life and begin to move.
The genesis of this artistic journey can be traced back to an unassuming and seemingly mundane source—an innocuous jest about “vegetable people.” Mimosa plants are scientifically known for their sensitivity and “violent” mechanical movements triggered by external stimuli. These movements, involving the graceful folding of their leaves, are a phenomenon frequently observed in the natural world. At the heart of this artistic endeavor lies a profound message—one that challenges our preconceived notions of the natural world. In a scientific context, plants are often classified as “immobile” organisms. However, this artistic concept compels us to reconsider this classification. The artist’s argument is that, even though we may perceive plants as stationary, they are unequivocally alive and active. They respire, release moisture, excrete, and progress through fundamental life cycles. Thus, plants are never truly “immobile” in the conventional sense.
Smug Huker’s project, The Plate 果盤 (2022), also has its foundation in organic materials. They draw inspiration from the artistic spirit of Antony Gormley, a highly acclaimed British sculptor renowned for his thought-provoking exploration of the human body’s relationship with its environment, and his book The Shaping World (which form the fundament for the sculptures). Smug Huker equates the act of crafting plates to a form of artistic expression, much like sculpting. When dining from these artistic plates, the act itself becomes a type of artistic participation. As one consumes the food, they engage in a subtle sculpting or interaction with the presentation of the meal on the plate.
This project is rooted in traditional Chinese culture, where the significance of gatherings and celebrations is paramount. Within this cultural context, the presentation of food, including its arrangement on plates, assumes a vital role in festive occasions. It symbolizes the host’s warm hospitality and underscores the dedication to ensuring the guest’s enjoyment of the meal. This perspective underscores the profound importance of food presentation, the artistic value of plates, and the communal aspect of dining in Chinese culture, where aesthetics and symbolism are seamlessly interwoven with the act of sharing a meal and celebrating together.
In Smug Huker’s latest realization, they presents the event 㗊/0, a “smashing artworks party.” Hosted at Elevator nightclub in Shanghai, this gathering invites both artists and attendees to intentionally dismantle Smug Huker’s creations. This act serves as a liberation from the fear of losing their work, advocating for the creative potential of chaos as well ad redefining art as a living, evolving entity,
The symbol 㗊 (jí) symbolizes noise, and the title 㗊/0 meaning “noise divided by zero,” embodies the party’s core philosophy: “anything divided by 0 is a meaningless existence,” much like how this event challenges conventional artistic reasoning.
By questioning established rules and norms within the art world, this event celebrates chaos as the catalyst for creation, challenging the idea that art must be preserved at all costs.
In the ongoing project Engraft Roadside Trees (2022–) Smug Huker adorns roadside trees with additional plants, with the aspiration that they will harmoniously coexist and transform into a unified living tree morph. This project serves as a commentary on the conventional perception of an aesthetically pleasing landscape – why must all road sides conform to the same design? Why is uniformity equated with beauty?
Frequently, the added branches are pruned by road cleaners, but occasionally, they are allowed to flourish and evolve into new living entities.
The fundamental objective of this project, much like the overarching goal of Smug Huker’s portfolio of endeavors, is to inject a sense of imagination, creativity and whimsy into domains that are typically perceived as mundane. Additionally, it aims to provide commentary on established structural norms.
Currently lives and works in Shanghai, China.
Smug Huker is a creative force that operates anonymously in the field of art and expression. Their artistic repertoire spans various mediums, including sculpture, performance, sound, and land art, and everything in between, making them a highly multifaceted presence. In the world of Smug Huker, art is not confined to traditional canvases or studio settings. Instead, their works come to life in captivating fusions of mediums such as fabric, branches, or even edible elements, transcending the boundaries of visual art and engaging multiple senses simultaneously. This multisensory approach allows them to delve into the realms of taste, smell, and sound, creating immersive experiences that challenge conventional artistic norms. The unique approach transforms art into a living, breathing entity that evolves in real-time, shaped by the reactions and interactions of those who encounter it.
Their art serves as a bridge that connects disparate existences, highlighting shared emotions, experiences, and narratives that transcend the boundaries of individuality. Through their creations, Smug Huker invites viewers and participants to explore the rich tapestry of human existence, fostering a sense of unity amidst diversity.