May 27, 2016


Gu Xiong, a multimedia artist from China, now lives in Canada. He is an expert in painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, digital imagery, text, performance art, and installation. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including more than 40 solo exhibitions and three public art commissions. He has participated in over 100 prominent national and international group exhibitions including Beyond Image (Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China 2015); the 55 Venice Biennale Parallel Exhibition Voice of the Unseen, Chinese Independent Art 1979–Today (Venice, 2013); Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures (Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2010); Art Is Nothing – 798 Art Festival (Beijing, China); Post Avant-Garde Chinese Contemporary Art – Four Directions of the New Era (Hong Kong, 2007); Starting from Southwest (Guangzhou Art Museum, China); the Shanghai Biennale (2004), where he was one of four Canadian representatives; MultipleCity (Panama, 2003); Le Mois de la Photo (Montreal, 2001); the Montréal Biennale (2000), the Kwangju Biennale (Korea, 1995) and the ground-breaking exhibition “China Avant-Garde” at the China National Museum of Fine Arts (Beijing, 1989). His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the China National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many other museums and private collections.

Gu Xiong has done three large public art projects in Canada and the United States: the Safeco Field, Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium (Seattle, WA); the Seattle Public Library Columbia City Branch (Seattle, WA); the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre Donald Forster Sculpture Park, University of Guelph (Guelph, ON).

Gu Xiong has published two books, ten solo exhibitions catalogues and eleven book covers. His writing and art works are published in art catalogues, magazines, and newspapers. His artwork has received significant critical recognition including reviews in the New York Times and the international art magazines Flash Art and Art in America. In addition, Gu Xiong’s poem and artwork is taught in a grade 7 text book (Nelson Literacy 7c) in the province of Ontario, Canada. The documentary The Yellow Pear: The Story of Gu Xiong from the series A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada was broadcast on the History Channel in March 2001. In the capacity of curator, Gu Xiong has organized critically acclaimed exhibitions of work by emerging artists in Canada and China.

Gu Xiong’s practice centres on the creation of a hybrid identity arising from the integration of different cultural origins. Through the critical angle of visual art, his work encompasses sociology, geography, economics, politics, and literature, as well as the dynamics of globalization, local culture and identity politics, through which he constitutes an amalgamation of multiple cultural histories and seeks to create an entirely new identity. The construction of a new level of being is Gu Xiong’s primary interest.

Gu Xiong received his BFA and MFA degrees from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, China. In Canada, he attended the Banff Centre for the Arts twice as artist-in-residence, in addition to many other colleges and universities in Canada, the United States, and China. He has served on the Canada Council Governor General’s Awards Jury for Visual Arts, Media Art and Architecture; the Canada Council Visual Art Grant Jury; the Seattle Arts Commission Jury; the BC Arts Council Jury; and the Vancouver Foundation Jury. As Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Gu Xiong teaches and researches in the disciplines of installation, painting, drawing, photography, and contemporary art theory.