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Article

Korean, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1957, in Seoul, South Korea.

Painter (mixed media).

Chong-Dai An exhibited at the Seoul Museum of Modern Art from 1980 to 1982. When he later settled in Paris, he exhibited at the Salon de Mai, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and the Salon Grands et Jeunes d’Aujourd’hui ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Japan and the USA.

Born 8 December 1957, in Quanzhou City (Fujian Province).

Painter, draughtsman, mixed media, video artist, installation artist, performance artist.

Cai Guo-Qiang trained in stage design at the Shanghai drama institute from 1981 to 1985. He spent several periods in Tibet, emigrated to Japan in 1986, and since 1995 lived in New York. Guo-Qiang made his name by using gunpowder in his work, which he would detonate as a symbol of his desire to free himself from cultural or political fetters. These works may be ephemera, which he captures on film or video—images that literally explode into being, or simulated landmines that detonate when visitors walk on them.

As a bearer of ancestral Chinese culture, Cai holds Western art up for examination as a form of inverse exoticism, shifting familiar ground by displacing his spectators and the way their eyes move. Sometimes, as in ...

Article

Korean, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1957, in Kangwon-de.

Painter, installation artist.

Cho Duck-Hyun studied painting at Seoul National University and is a professor in the Department of Fine Art at Hansung University, Seoul. He has taken part in various group exhibitions featuring the work of the young generation of Korean artists, including, ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1966, in Beijing.

Multimedia installation artist, painter, designer of interactive games.

After graduating from the printmaking depart­ment of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing (1991), Feng Mengbo embarked on a career that has combined the visual lexicon and technical functionality of interactive computer gaming with references to popular culture, Chinese history, and Chinese artistic traditions. Feng is regarded as a pioneer of new-media art in China: his corpus includes interactive CD-ROMs, single-player interactive games with traditional controllers or dance pads, and paintings. Feng’s early set of oil paintings ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1962, in Beijing.

Painter, sculptor, mixed-media installation artist, animation artist.

Gu Dexin is a self-taught artist and co-founder of the New Mark Group (later became the Analysis Group) in the late 1980s. This group, working collaboratively, is more interested in questioning the importance of concepts, language, and authorship, such as ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Beijing and Sydney, Australia.

Born 1957, in Beijing.

Painter, installation artist.

Guan Wei graduated in 1986 from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University. Starting in 1989, Guan began a series of artistic residencies in Australia: at the Tasmanian School of Art in Hobart, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and at the Australian National University’s Canberra School of Art. Though Guan’s ancestry links him to Manchurian nobles in China’s late-nineteenth-century Qing dynasty, he spent much of his adult life in Australia, becoming a citizen in ...

Article

Mia Yinxing Liu

(b Harbin, 1957).

Chinese painter, sculptor, and installation artist. Wang Guangyi’s formal education was interrupted by the Cultural Revolution during his teenage years. Afterwards, he attended the China Academy of Art (Zhejiang) and graduated in 1984 with a degree in oil painting.

In the wake of the avant-garde art movement in China in the 1980s, Wang became part of the Northern Art Group and produced a series of paintings whose subjects reflected skepticism towards the philosophies and themes of classical art in the West. The series used a cold, gray palette to illustrate frozen and barren Nordic settings consciously removed from emotion, revealing Wang’s distrust of passion and his faith in reason and rationality at the time, a distrust that was an antidote to the cultic zeal towards Mao and the ideals of revolution in the preceding years.

Wang’s groundbreaking series of Mao portraits in 1988 were a continuation of the conscious move away from emotional manipulation and viewer identification. In these portraits, Wang superimposed a grid over Mao. The grid served as a barrier between the adorer and the object of adoration, drawing attention to the print material of the image, and highlighting Mao as an object of common household use. If in previous decades Mao’s portraits had been used as an icon for fervent adoration and incentive for socialist construction, here in Wang’s paintings the Mao portraits were candidly presented as ready-made and found objects. However, these appropriated Mao pictures were quite ambivalent in meaning. To Wang, they were not an indictment against socialism or Mao, but rather a reaffirmation of the Dadaist spirit of the Cultural Revolution....

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1946, in Tokyo.

Painter (mixed media).

Hikosaka Naoyuki studied at Taka University. Using visible wooden panels, he paints geometric abstract motifs in acrylics in the style of papiers découpés. He then assembles these components in space in patterns and correspondences related to the artistic traditions of the Far East, to form what he describes as ‘composed paintings’. He has exhibited since ...

Article

Korean, 20th – 21st century, female.

Born 1964, in Yongwol.

Sculptor, installation artist, performance artist, draughtswoman.

Lee Bul graduated from Hong-Ik University in Seoul with a bachelor of fine arts in sculpture. She settled in Seoul. Lee seeks to explore feminine archetypes by creating a universe inhabited by monsters and imaginary creatures based on Korean legends and contemporary technology (notably cyborgs), or manga imagery. She has also used her own nude body in her performances. Whether making unliveable, solitary cubicles - as in her karaoke pods - or strolling about in one or other of her outlandish costumes, she tries to destabilise established values through her objects and creatures. For instance, in her sculpture ...

Article

Korean, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Paris.

Born 1959.

Painter (mixed media).

Sang Woo Lee exhibits regularly in Korea. In France he has exhibited at the Salon de Montrouge (1988, 1989 and 1991), the Salon de la Jeune Peinture (1986), and the Salon de Novembre in Vitry (...

Article

Japanese, 20th–21st century, male.

Active in France, Belgium, Taiwan, and China.

Born 1964, in Tokyo.

Painter, installation artist.

Michael Lin was born in Tokyo to Taiwanese parents and grew up in California. In 1990 he received his B.F.A. from the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles, and in 1993 he received his M.F.A. from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena. He creates installations of found objects and large-scale, graphic paintings based on decorative textiles.

1990, Oltre il Muro, Accademia di Belle Arti de Brera, Milan

1994, Art and Text, National Normal College, Taipei

1997, IT Park Group Exhibition, Taipei Fine Arts Museum

1998, Tu parles/J’écoute, La Ferme de Buisson Art Centre, Paris

2001, Casino 2001: 1st Quadrennial of Contemporary Art, Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kusnt, Ghent

2001, The Gravity of the Immaterial, Institute of Contemporary Art, Taipei

2001, Venice Biennale

2002, Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia...

Article

Britta Erickson

(b Beijing, Jan 9, 1966).

Chinese installation artist, painter and computer artist. He completed middle school in 1985 at the Beijing School of Arts and Crafts, and received his BA in 1991 from the printmaking department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. He is considered China’s first and most important computer artist. He is a guest teacher at the Central Academy’s Photography and Digital Media Studio.

Beginning in 1983 or 1984, Feng became fascinated by computer gaming. He made use of the look and techniques of computer games and explored the implications of computer gaming through his work. Several early 1990s painting series reproduce the look of computer games of the time, with two-dimensional fighting depicted in front of simple backgrounds rendered in flat colours. Game Over: Long March (1994; set of 42 paintings), for example, deploys such popular culture heroes as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in battle along with Tyrannosaurus rexes, People’s Liberation Army soldiers and Mao Zedong. As a result of these painting series, Feng was considered a Political Pop artist, Political Pop being a late 1980s–early 1990s painting trend that defused Cultural Revolution (...

Article

Britta Erickson

(b Hangzhou, Nov 6, 1957).

Chinese painter, performance, installation and video artist . Zhang studied in the oil painting department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou from 1981 to 1984, graduating with a bachelor's degree. With other recent graduates he formed the Youth Creative Society (1984), which organized the New Space ’85 exhibition of avant-garde art in Hangzhou (1985). In May 1986, with other Youth Creative Society members, Zhang Peili, Geng Jianyi (b 1962), Wang Qiang, Song Ling and Bao Jianfei formed the Pool Society, which created two of the earliest post-Cultural Revolution outdoor installation and performance works (Work No. 1—Yang’s Taiji Series (1986) and Work No. 2—Walkers in a Green Space (1986)).

Zhang’s paintings of the mid-1980s are coolly analytical works, rendered with a limited palette. Emotionally detached, they represent musical instruments; (figures posed in the artificially frozen steps of such activities as playing an instrument); or surgical gloves, a motif introduced following a hepatitis epidemic ...

Article

Jean Robertson and Craig McDaniel

The final decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century witnessed an increasing propensity for artists to incorporate aspects of science in their own art. In many fields of scientific research—including the cloning of mammals, the genetic modification of crops, the creation of bioengineered organs and tissues, advances in nanotechnology and robotics, experimental research in how the human mind works and the study of artificial intelligence—the frontiers of knowledge pushed outward at an accelerated pace. In the spirit of creative inquiry, or in order to critique the goals and outcomes of scientific experimentation and application, artists regularly borrowed subjects, tools and approaches from science as a means to the production of art ( see fig. ).

In documenting and assessing the achievements of visual artists engaged with science, there was no broad consensus on the categorisation of artists’ work across the full range of activities, methods, motivations and use of materials. Assessments of artistic practice focused on artists’ work categorised by the traditional fields of science (e.g. artists who explore biology, artists who explore physical sciences). Other analyses of artistic practice focused on categories of art media (e.g. artists who use traditional means such as carving and casting to represent scientific discoveries, artists who explore and employ biological materials and scientific instruments)....

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1946, in Fukuoka.

Sculptor, assemblage artist, draughtsman.

Op Art.

Sunagawa Haruhiko studied physics at the University of Tokyo before studying drawing and painting at the Hammersmith College of Arts in London in 1973. He lives and works in Paris. His structures appear light, for the solidity of stone and wood is juxtaposed with the fragility of glass. His rigid geometric forms are softened by the effects of moving light....

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1955, in Fukui.

Sculptor, installation artist, draughtsman.

Kimio Tsuchiya studied architecture at Nihon University before going to London, where he studied in the sculpture section of the Chelsea School of Art. Since 1983 he has lived and worked in Matsudo, Japan....

Article

Japanese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1947.

Draughtsman, sculptor, installation artist.

Keiji Uematsu combines geometric volumes (the cone or the spiral) in fragile constructions of stone, copper and wood. His aim is to ‘create a work where the absence of a single piece would make the entire structure collapse, the invisible existence of things and the connection between them, like a cosmos’. His solo exhibitions include: ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1958, in Chengdu, Sichuan.

Painter, performance artist. Conceptual art, installations, video.

Wang Jianwei studied at the Chengdu Painting Academy from 1983 and received an M.A. from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in 1987. He lives and works in Beijing. He paints people moving in space and bathed in an atmosphere close to that of dream symbolism. He has been a member of the Beijing Painting Academy since ...

Article

Claire M. Roberts

(b Beijing, Dec 19, 1957).

Chinese painter and installation artist, active also in Australia. Guan Wei graduated from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University in 1986 and worked as an art teacher in a secondary school while pursuing his own experimental artistic practice. In 1989 he was invited to Australia as artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art, Hobart. Following the violent suppression of democracy protests in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere on June 3–4, 1989 Guan Wei returned to Australia and undertook further artistic residencies in Tasmania (1990–1991), Sydney (1992–1993), and Canberra (1993–1994). In 1993 he was granted permanent residence and in 1999 held a solo exhibition at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art. He established a studio in Beijing in 2008.

Guan Wei is descended from a noble Manchu family. His father was a Peking Opera performer and Guan Wei acknowledged his underlying influence in the gesture and humor that permeates his art. ...

Article

Chinese, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in Iceland; Hamburg, Germany; and Shanghai.

Born 1960, in Zhoushan, China.

Installation artist, performance artist, book artist, painter.

In 1986, Wu graduated from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou and conceived his installation and performance series Red Humour, extracting Chinese characters and phrases from their original contexts in a deconstructive mash-up of advertisements, revolutionary slogans, classical literature, newspapers, and government-issued announcements. Taking aim at art institutions as gatekeepers, Wu performed Big Business: Selling Shrimp outside the China/Avant-Garde exhibition (1989) before Chinese authorities closed his makeshift food stand. Following the violent suppression of demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, Wu left China to live in Iceland and Hamburg, Germany, until 2005. Because he was an early pioneer of experimental art in China, and on account of the centrality of questioning language in his work, critics have often discussed Wu in conjunction with Xu Bing, Gu Wenda, and Qiu Zhijie. Yet Wu’s projects have evinced a sharper conceptual turn. Wu’s artist book, ...