Horizontal Living

Artist: Chen Yiyun
installation | Mixed materials | 6000x2500x3000mm | 2018

Horizontal Living - Long Live In Bed is an environment suitable for horizontal posture developed by artist Yiyun Chen, Professor Patrick Schrauwen and Vera Schrauwen of the Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences at Maastricht University. It hacks the current space for living upright, explores the change of lifestyle, perspective and health status of living in bed and aims to echo today's indoor lifestyle. By designing a horizontal living studio with a mobile bed, Chen lives and works in it for one month under body data tracking, mimics the lifestyle of the bedridden and investigates metabolic processes to see the impact of horizontal living in a restricted area on health and mind, finding ways to make such an existence more palatable, even sustainable. The project takes as its starting point the observation that trying to live well in bed is a struggle for a vast and growing number of people worldwide. These are literally millions of souls in this situation who are pitied but ignored, forgotten about, or even judged negatively for it. For the chronically ill, the recovering, and the shut-in, the bed is a symbol of limited bodily capability, physical dependency and the trap of mind. Meanwhile, the long time spent lying down often gets the bedridden physical degradation and social isolation. Being a paradox of health, the bed is a site of both recovery and deterioration. Today, lying down is also a choice made by the able-bodied. Humans now are able to live a functional life in the virtual world while the bodies stay still. Post-industrialization now collapses work back into the home. In the 24/7 society, the line between rest and work is blurred. The Internet generation can not only work in bed but eat, read, exercise, socialize in bed, even entertain sexual relationships with people miles away. Bed is turning into a site of action. If this is a future trend, how will this lifestyle reshape our everyday behaviors from upright to horizontal and from active to still?


FREE PANORAMA - 2019 Shenzhen New Media Art Festival | 2019.04.20 - 2019.06.16 | Pingshan Cultural Center Exhibition Gallery(Shen zhen, China)