Biography

b. 1945 in Rudong, Jiangsu province, lives and works in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province

 

Wang Dongling's artworks ground the modernist engagement with gestural abstraction and the post-modern skepticism of language and power in the pre-modern practice of embodied action and performance originally developed in Chinese calligraphy. Wang Dongling himself is widely recognized as China's greatest living calligrapher and is perhaps the only artist to have been granted three solo exhibitions at the National Art Museum of China. Although he is perhaps best known for public performances of monumental "mad" cursive script calligraphy, his artistic practice can be highly experimental and includes "enormous, swashbuckling abstractions" (Roberta Smith, New York Times, [December 12, 2013]) and calligraphy in new media, such as chemical photography, in which Wang's calligraphic actions are directly captured on silver-gelatin photographic paper.

 

Wang Dongling's innovations notably reinterpret for a new era two aspects of historical calligraphy practice-its creation through performance and its embrace of gestural abstraction. In his performances writing monument-scale calligraphy or abstraction, he lays bare to the public the connection between brush-and-ink and the body; he exposes the work of art as shaped directly by the artist's reach, stamina, and physical movement. In his calligraphic abstractions, Wang liberates calligraphic gesture, form and space from the bounds of text. The history of non-objective painting in twentieth-century Modernism and Minimalism is rife with references to calligraphy and its early embrace of gestural expression.

 

Wang Dongling is currently Director of the Modern Calligraphy Study Center at the China National Academy of Arts, Hangzhou. He graduated from the calligraphy department of the China National Academy of Art in 1981. His calligraphic work found rapid recognition in China where he exhibited in solo shows at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (1987) and at the China National Academy of Art (1987). In 1989, Wang traveled to the United States where he taught the practice of calligraphy to Western art students and began his own exploration of pure abstraction.  While in the United States, he exhibited in solo shows at the University of Illinois, the University of Kansas and the University of Minnesota (1989), again at the University of Minnesota and Montreal University (1990), and the University of California, Santa Cruz (1991). Wang was welcomed back to China for his second solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of China (1994) and throughout the 1990s participated in group exhibitions at the Hayward Gallery in London, which showed works that had been collected by the British Museum (1990), at the Yale University Art Gallery (1993), and at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (1997). His work was featured in the New York exhibitionChinese Art & Civilization of Five Thousand Years at the Guggenheim Museum (1998), the Konsthall Gallery, Malmö, Sweden (1998), the British Museum (2002), the World Exposition, Nagoya, Japan (2003), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2006), The Louisiana Art Museum, Denmark (2007), the Art Academy of Rome (2007), and the Third Chengdu Biennale (2007). Wang had his third solo exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in 2007 and a solo exhibition at the Zhejiang Museum of Art in 2011.

 

Most recently, his works have been exhibited at the Hong Kong Museum of Art (2014), and at the Metropolitan Museum's Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China show (2014). He is the subject of a documentary film, The Enduring Passion for Ink, and a forthcoming monograph, The Origins of Abstraction, edited by Dr. Britta Erickson.

 

Wang Dongling had his opening exhibition at Ink Studio in November 2013 where he showed his latest calligraphy-based, abstract ink paintings including One's Own Way (2013), his most ambitious abstraction in terms of scale to date, and his most recent experiments in "photographic calligraphy."

 

Wang Dongling's works can be found amongst others in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum, New York, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, the British Museum, London, the Palace Museum, Beijing, the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, the Zhejiang Museum of Fine Art, Hangzhou, the Yale University Art Gallery, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkley. 

CV

1945

         

Born in Rudong, Jiangsu Province, China

             

 

         

 

EDUCATION

1966

         

B.A. Fine Art Department of Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China

1981

 

         

M.A. Calligraphy Department of Zhejiang Academy of Fine Art (now China National Academy of Fine Arts), Hangzhou, China

             

 

         

 

POSITION

Professor of Calligraphy, Calligraphy Department of China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

             
             

AWARDS & HONORS

2012

 

          "Orchid Pavilion Prize: The Art Prize" in The 4th Chinese Calligraphy Orchid Pavilion Exhibition

2011

          Named “Annual Influential Artist,” 6th Award of Art China (AAC)
            Named “Annual Top Ten Persons in Chinese Calligraphy”

2006

 

          "Orchid Pavilion Prize: The Education Prize (The First Prize)" in The 2nd Chinese Calligraphy Orchid Pavilion Exhibition
2005          

Named "Annual Top Ten Persons in Chinese Calligraphy"

1997           "The Grand Prix" in Worldwide Calligraphy of Jeollabuk-do Biennale 
             

 

         

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

         

Poetic Rainbow: The Calligraphy of Wang Dongling, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hongkong S.A.R., China

 

         

Wang Dongling: The Bamboo Path, Exhibition halls A and B OCAT, Shengzhen, China

2016

 

         

Public performance of chaos-script (luanshu) calligraphy, Vancouver, Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

           

Public performance of chaos-script (luanshu) calligraphy, Library and Archives Canada, Vancouver, Canada

           

Between Heaven and Heart, Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing, China

           

Public performance of calligraphy, Guiyang Confucius Academy, Guiyang, China

            Wang Dongling: Contemporary Calligraphy, Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
           

Public performance of chaos-script (luanshu) calligraphy, British Museum, London, UK

           

Public performance of chaos-script (luanshu) calligraphy, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

            Public performance of chaos-script (luanshu) calligraphy, Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing, China

2015

 

         

“The Heart Sutra in Chaos Script,” public calligraphy performance, Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA

           

Public calligraphy performance, Universität Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany

           

“‘Drinking by the Lake: Clear Sky followed by Rain’ by Su Shi,” public calligraphy performance, Apple Store West Lake, Hangzhou, China

 

 

         

Writing Non-Writing: Calligraphic Works by Wang Dongling, Sanshang Contemporary Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

           

Wang Dongling·The Heart Sutra, Wenzhou Contemporary Art Museum, Wenzhou, China

           

New Works, Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA

2014

 

          Public performance of monumental cursive-script calligraphy, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Skärhamn, Sweden
           

Public performance of monumental cursive-script calligraphy, Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA

            Beside the Ancient Road, Jinwan Faculty of Humanities of Tianjin Water Park, Tianjin, China
            The Moon over the River on a Spring Night: The Art of Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
            Small Calligraphic Works by Wuzhai, Jingcai Gallery, Hangzhou, China

2013

          Wang Dongling: The Origins of Abstraction, Ink Studio, Beijing, China
           

Wang Dongling: Brushing the Ties, Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

           

Calligraphy Performance and New Media, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

           

The Moon over the River, Wang Dongling Public Performance of Calligraphy, Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

2012

 

         

Decanter Ink: Hangzhou Cross-year Exhibition - Wang Dongling Solo Exhibition, Sanshang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

2011

         

Wang Dongling: The Daoism of Calligraphy, Zhejiang Museum of Art, Hangzhou, China

2007

 

         

Share the Peripatericism: Calligraphy Exhibition by Wang Dongling, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

2006

 

         

“Preface to the Riverside Gathering” (Linhe Xu), public calligraphy performance, Lanting International Calligraphy Festival, Shaoxing, China

2003

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Yilanzhai Art Museum, Nanjing, China
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

2002

         

Works of Wang Dongling, Goedhuis Gallery, New York, USA

2001

          It is Not Calligraphy, Ethan Cohen Fine Arts Gallery, New York, USA
            Writing With Ease, Jincai Gallery, Hangzhou, China
           

Calligraphy of Wang Dongling, Lanting International Calligraphy Festival, Shaoxing, China

1999

         

Calligraphy of Wang Dongling, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

1998

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, D.P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, USA
            Muthesius Hochschule & Polytechnic School for Art, Kiel, Germany

1997

         

Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Nagoya Zie Mien Gallery, Nagoya, Japan

1994

         

Wang Dongling: Calligraphy and Painting, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1993

         

Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, International Press, Tokyo, Japan

1992

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Minnesota State Exhibition Center, Minneapolis, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, D.P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, USA

1991

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
           

Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA

1990

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, D.P. Fong Gallery, San Jose, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Montreal University, Montreal, Canada

1989

 

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Macalester Gallery, St. Paul, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, University of Kansas, Kansas, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, USA
            Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, Art School of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, USA

1987

          Calligraphy by Wang Dongling, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
           

Calligraphy Exhibition of Wang Dongling, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

             

 

         

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017

 

         

Boundless: On Going Chinese Ink Art, Art Museum of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China.

The Unusual West Lake: The First Art Scene of West Lake Photo Exhibition, CAA Art Museums, Hangzhou, China

2016

 

         

Open Books: International  Artists Explore the Chinese Folding Book, Library and Archives Canada, Vancouver, Canada

           

Shan Shui  A Manifesta, Gong Wang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

           

Shan Shui Within, Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China

           

Light Writers 2016, Light Gallery, Hangzhou, China

2015

         

10th World Calligraphy Biennale of Jeollabuk-do, Jeonju, Korea

           

Magic Mountains, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

           

Hangzhou International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition and Writing Nor-writing Document Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art of CAA, Hangzhou, China

           

China 8 – Contemporary Art from China at Rhine & Ruhr, Kunstmuseum, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

2014

 

         

Kochi-Murizis Biennale - Collateral Project "Janela-Migrating Forms and Migrating Gods", Mill Hall Compound, Kochi, India

           

Orchid Pavilion Calligraphy Biennial, Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

           

Guanshan Gathering: Works by Zheng Shengtian and Wang Dongling, Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA

           

Ink and the Body, Ink Studio, Beijing, China

           

China's Changing Landscape-Contemporary Chinese Ink, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet (Nordic Watercolour Museum), Goteborg, Sweden

2013

 

 

 

         

Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA

Beyond Black and White: Chinese Abstract Ink, Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai, China

Guanshan Gathering: Works by Zheng Shengtian and Wang Dongling, Chambers Fine Art, Beijing, China

2012

 

 

 

 

         

Images and Words: Since Magritte Era, Chinese Art Museum, Beijing, China

Inner and Outer Transformation: A View on Chinese Contemporary Art, Istanbul Modern, Istanbul, Turkey

Textual Logic: Works by Wang Dongling, Qiu Zhenzhong and Xu Bing, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China

2011

 

 

 

         

International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition, Wiesbaden International Arts Festival, Baden and Hamburg, Germany

Hollow Stroke Style: Dimension of Chinese Character, Chengdu Biennial Special Invitation Exhibition, Chengdu, China

2010

 

 

         

Hangzhou International Modern Calligraphy Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

Breaking out, Zhejiang Contemporary Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

Beauty of Chinese Characters: Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Paris, France

2009

 

 

 

         

The Orchid Pavilion: The Art of Writing in China, Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

Black and White Image - Wang Dongling & Joao Carlos Almeida, Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, Portugal

2008

 

 

 

 

         

Seoul Calligraphy Art Biennial, Seoul, Korea

Water & Wood Wonderland, BFA International New Media Art Triennial, Beijing, China

The Sixth International Brush Painting Biennial - Ink · City, Exhibition, Shenzhen, China

Eighteen Teaching Plans - Experimental Art Teaching Plan Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

Classic Calligraphy - Silent Night Calligraphy Activity, Hangzhou, China

2007

 

 

 

         

In the Hand of Paper, Art Academy of Rome, Rome, Italy

Reboot, The 3rd Chengdu Biennale, Chengdu, China

Opening Fun - International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan, China

Made in China - Contemporary Art Exhibition, Louisiana Art Museum, Louisiana, Denmark

2006

 

         

Ink & Brush - Chinese Writing Art Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA

Yellow Box, Qingpu China Space Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shanghai, China

2005

 

 

         

The Calligraphy Is Not Calligraphy: The Open Calligraphy Space - International Modern Calligraphy Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

International Calligraphy Exhibition, World Exposition, Nagoya, Japan

2004

 

         

Maze: The 2nd National Media Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

The 8th National Calligraphy and Seal Exhibition, Xi'an, China

2003

 

 

 

         

Calligraphy Exhibition, Sydney, Australia

International Modern Ink Color Exhibition, Xi'an, China

Hello, Chinese Calligraphy, Modern Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Finland

The 1st Exhibition of the Works of Chinese Leading Calligraphers, Tokyo, Japan

2002

 

         

Silent Music - Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, London, UK

Brushes with Surprise: The Art of Calligraphy, British Museum, London, UK

2001

 

         

Borderless China: Exhibition of Chinese Paintings, New York, USA

Spirit of Ink & Brush, Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Seoul, Korea

1999

 

 

         

Exhibition of The Works of 46 Contemporary Chinese Artists, Shanghai, China; Melbourne, Australia

Grand Exhibition of Chinese Calligraphy in the 20th Century, Tokyo, Japan

1998

 

 

 

 

         

Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Paris, France

Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy & Paintings, Konsthall Gallery, Malmö, Sweden

Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy Exhibition, Columbia University, New York, USA

Chinese Art & Civilization of Five Thousand Years, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

1997

         

Calligraphy Exhibition of the 21st Century, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1994

         

Modern Calligraphy Exploration Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

1993

         

Chinese Seal Exhibition, Yale University, New Haven, USA

1992

         

The 2nd International Art Exposition, Miami, USA

1991

         

Chinese Art and the West - Chinese Art Exhibition, San Diego, USA

1990

         

Brush Dancing & Ink Singing, collected by the British Museum, Hayward Gallery, London, UK

1989

 

         

Sino-Japanese Calligraphy Exchange Exhibition, Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Paper Art from Hangzhou, Hamburg, Germany

1987

 

 

         

Lanting Sino - Japanese Calligraphy Exhibition, Shaoxing, China

Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Calligraphy Treasures from Mainland China, Taipei, Taiwan, China

             

 

         

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

British Museum, London, UK

Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution, Beijing, China

The Palace Museum, Beijing, China

National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China

Peking University, Beijing, China

National Library of China, Beijing, China

Yale University, New Haven, USA

University of California, Berkeley, California, USA

North Dakota Museum of Art, North Dakota, USA

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA

 

Last Updated: January 2017

Works
Exhibitions
News
Video
Documents