Wang Guangyi (Born in Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, 1957) is a contemporary painter and sculptor who lives and works in Beijing. Wang graduated with a degree in oil painting from Zhejiang Academy of Art (1984).
Wang is part of a group of artists seeking objective values external to Eastern and Western cultures. His prolific body of work explores ideological systems of value including religion, capitalism, and spirituality. Wang’s art does not present a set analysis, instead allowing the viewer multiple interpretations. The work endeavors to offer spectators the ability to be objective. A common thread in Wang’s work is the Kantian idea of thing-in-itself, presenting images as reference to an inexpressible authenticity that is outside sensory awareness.
Select group exhibitions include China Avant Garde Exhibition (1989) at the National Art Museum, Beijing, China; Cocart-Bevete Arte Contemporarea (1991) at the Bianca Pilat Gallery, Milan, Italy; The first Biennial of Art in the 1990s (1992) at the Guangzhou International Exhibition Center, Guangzhou, China; China’s New Art, Post-1989 (1993) at the Hong Kong City Hall, Hong Kong, China; the traveling exhibition Chinese Avant-Garde (1993), Germany, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Denmark; 22nd São Paulo Biennial (1993), São Paulo, Brazil; the traveling exhibition New Asians Art show – China-Korea-Japan 1994-1995 (1994), Beijing, China, Osaka, Japan, and Tokyo, Japan; China Now (1996) at Littmann Kulturprojekte, Basel, Switzerland; Inside Out – New Chinese Art 1998-2000 at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA; Transplantation in Situ: Fourth Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition (2001) at the He Xiangding Art Museum, Shenzhen, China; First Triennial of Chinese Contemporary Art (2002) at the Guangdong Museum of Art, Gaungzhou, China; Alors, la Chine? (2003) at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; OCAT Inaugural Exhibition (2005) at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China; Open 2005: 8th International Exhibition of Sculpture and Installation (2005) at the Venice Lido, Italy; the Moscow 2007 Biennial, Moscow, Russia; ’85 New Wave: the Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art, at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China; Writing on the Wall: Chinese New Realism and Avant-Garde in the Eighties and Nineties (2008) at the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands; State Legacy: A Visual History Project on the State Concept (2009) at the Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design, Britain and the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China; The Constructed Dimension: 2010 Chinese Contmeporary Art Invitational Exhibition (2010) at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China; Pure Views: New Paining from China (2011) at the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA; Little Movements – Self Practice in Contemporary Art (2011) at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China; and 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial (2012) at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China.
Select solo exhibition include Hanart TZ Gallery (1994), Hong Kong, China; Witnessed (1996) at Littmann Kulturprojekte , Basel, Switzerland; Faces of Faith (2001) at the Soobin Art International Gallery, Songapore; Galerie Enrico Navarra (2003), Paris, France; Galerie Urs Meile (2004), Lucerne, Switzerland; the Arario Gallery (2006) Seoul , Korea; Visual Polity: Another Wang Guangyi (2008) at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China; Cold War Aesthetics (2008) at the Louise Blouin Institute, London, U.K.; Visual Archives of Chinese Contemporary Art: Wang Guangyu – The Interactive Mirror Image (2011) at the Tank Loft Contemporary Art Center, Chongquing, China; and Pujiang OCT Public Art Project – Wang Guangyi: Cold War Aesthetics (2012) at Pujiang Overseas Chinese Town, Shanghia, China.
(Photo by Wang Junyi)
Reference: Demetrio Paproni, Wang Guangyi: Works and Thoughts 1985-2012 (Milan, Italy: Skira Editore S.p.A., 2013).
Compiled by Sarah Loyer