Inga Svala Thorsdottir (born in Iceland, 1966). Icelandic. Studied at the Icelandic School of Arts and Crafts and Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg.
Wu Shanzhuan (born in Zhoushan, China, 1960). Chinese. Studied at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou and Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. Lives and work in Hamburg.
Since 1991, Wu Shanzhuan and Inga Svala Thorsdottir have been collaborating on the production of keenly witty, deeply humanist works, ranging from installations and sculptures to photographs and works on paper, through which they examine, question, and, ultimately, expand the value of art and the meaning of its making. Both Wu and Thorsdottir had been building vibrant careers individually before they began to work together—Wu as a leading artist in the pre-Tiananmen Square generation of Chinese Conceptualists, and Thorsdottir as a critically acclaimed Icelandic conceptualist. Merging their language-based, historically informed practices, they have created such works as To Buy is To Create (1992-2005), a lightbox printed with the titular slogan and a bar code, foregrounding the link between art and consumption and the long tradition of artists transforming everyday objects into works of art.