Further Biographical Context for Cao Yun
Cao Yun was born in 1986, grew up during the 1990s and was inspired by the artistic atmosphere of the time. A group of artists working in the United Kingdom, who came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, defined the artistic culture of the 1990s. Affiliated loosely by their age and nationality, they were a varied group of practitioners. A number of the YBAs attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by the ‘super collector’ of the time, Charles Saatchi. The most renowned member of the group is Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). The YBAs became known for their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, alongside their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an outlook that was defiant yet commercial. Due to the large amount of media coverage that they garnered, they dominated British art during the 1990s, and their work was epitomised in the group show ‘Sensation’. Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a key idea in the 1990s. Works by artists including Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as significant artists who worked to this agenda.