Mountain River Jump! is an artist duo founded in 2016 by twin sisters Huang Shan and Huang He. The duo has a variety of creative formats in art, often applying “divination consulting” as a performance to examine the potential of such art medium, and to interact with the audience at the intrinsic level. They have chosen 49 Chinese animal idioms frequently used in daily China, then illustrated for them and made them into 49 divinatory cards.[+]
Through these 49 divinatory cards, we can see how Chinese ancestors described human’s situation through animal idioms. This kind of metaphors can also be found in Zhou Yi. These 49 cards can be distributed into 7 groups, from 0 The Dragon’s Nine Distinguished Sons to 48 Time Flies like A Golden Crow and Runs like A Jade Rabbit, including different stages of personal growth. For example, some of the cards are telling stories about newborn, development, fights, reflections, and rebirth.
Divinatory cards are common in human culture while Tarot Cards are the most popular. In China, there is also a long history of divination. Mountain River Jump! is using Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms to see what will come out when eastern cultural genes mix with fortunetelling in the context of the contemporary world. Meanwhile, they have strong curiosity towards human psychology and individual’s narration. With their studies into Oriental mysticism and folklore, the artists pry open the topics of identity politics, labor issues, feminism, life politics, modernity and others.
By the way, the artist also translates all the Chinese into English to enable English-speakers to try this divinatory system. So don’t worry that you are not able to read Chinese! Just try it and see whether it works or not!