Born in China in 1956 and 1962 respectively, Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi have been living and working in the United Kingdom since the 1980s. Cai Yuan trained in oil painting at Nanjing College of Art, Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art. Jianjun Xi trained at the Central Academy of Applied Arts in Beijing and later at Goldsmiths College. They started working as a performance duo in the late nineties with their action Two Artists Jump on Tracey Emin’s Bed (1999) at Tate Britain’s Turner Prize Exhibition.
Mad For Real (Cai Yuan and Jian Jun Xi)’s oeuvre has continually questioned the relationship of power to the individual. Using a position of resistance Cai and Xi have consistently produced work which is necessarily oppositional yet the warmth and humour of their work also acts to draw viewers in. their performance have taken place as radical gesture calling to mind notorious artists of earlier radical art movements but the historical, linguistic and political context of their practice is often related specifically to their origins: China