Biography

 

 

Dai Guangyu was born in 1955 into a scholarly family in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. From childhood he was trained in calligraphy, painting and literature, and his career as a contemporary artist is comprised of his longstanding practice as a visual and performance artist, a curator and cultural critic, and a poet. His work engages Chinese art history, ink painting culture, as well as Chinese poetics and politics, and his sustained public performance art practice changed the course of performance art in China.

 

One of the main leaders of China’s pivotal ‘85 New Wave movement in the southwest, he organized and participated in Red Yellow Blue – Young Artists of Sichuan, the first modern art exhibition in Sichuan province, at the Sichuan Art Gallery (1986), and participated in the landmark 1989 China Avant-Garde Exhibition at the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. After the demise of the 1989 student movement protests, when Chinese art went into a withdrawn, depressive state, Dai Guangyu continued his active interventionist work, curating exhibitions and public performance interventions away from the capital. In 1990 and 1991, he organized exhibitions that had a major impact on the developmental trajectory of contemporary art in southwestern China, including a three-person solo, and the group show 000,90 Modern Art Exhibition at the prominent Chengdu Art Salon space. In 1992, he was selected by curator Lü Peng for The First Chinese Art Biennale of the 1990s in Guangzhou, winning the Award for Excellence there.

 

From 1995, Dai Guangyu emerged as one of China’s most influential performance artists and leader of the Chengdu Public Performance Art movement. Major achievements include organizing the largest-scale public performance art intervention of that era in China, Keepers of the Waters, in July and August 1995, in Chengdu; engaging over 10,000 members of the public with water pollution issues; In Defense of Memory (1998), which successfully halted the demolition of a library dating from the Qing Dynasty; and he organized collective interventions to protest the 2001 official ban on performance art.

 

His work has been shown in numerous biennale, triennials, performance art festivals and group and solo exhibitions, including Secret Signs - Contemporary Chinese Art in the Name of Writing (Secret Signs - Zeitgenössische chinesische Kunst im Namen der Schrift), Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, Germany (2014); “OSTRALE Biennale of Contemporary Art,” Dresden, Germany (2014); 55th Venice Biennale collateral exhibition, Voice of the Unseen, Venice, Italy (2013);  Shanshui - Poetry Without Words? Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art (Shanshui - Poesie ohne Worte? Landschaft in der chinesischen Gegenwartskunst), Kunstmuseum Lucern, Switzerland (2011); Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2008); FOTOFEST’08 International Photography Biennale, China Under Construction II, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, US (2008);  Made in China, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2007); VitalInternational Chinese Live Art Festival, Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK (2006);  Dashanzi International Art Festival, Transborder Language Performance Art, 798 Art Factory, Beijing, China (2004 and 2005);  7th and 8th  Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF) (2002 and 2003); First Chinese Art Triennial Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou Art Museum, China (2002);  First Chengdu Biennial, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Chengdu, China (2001) China! Contemporary Painting, Museum of Modern Art, Bonn, Germany (1996); First Biennale of Chinese Art in the 1990s, Guangzhou, China (1992).

 

Dai Guangyu’s artworks belong to major private and public collections, including the Uli Sigg collection, the Bonn Modern Art Museum collection, the Joan Lebold Cohen Collection, etc. His artworks have been featured in numerous art magazines, academic journal articles and PhD dissertations, and books such as Art of the 20th Century (Cologne: Taschen Verlag, 1998), and he is Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Humanities & Arts series (Shanghai: Sanlian Books, 1997-present). He lives and works in Beijing.
CV

Lives and works in Beijing

1997 - present 

 

Editor and Creative Director of Humanities & Art (Shanghai Joint Publishing Company)

 

1994

                     

 

Visited the United States (Washington, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Phoenix)

on the United States Information

Agency’s International Visitor Program

 

1955                      

 

Born in Chengdu, China

 

                         
                         

SOLO EXHIBITIONS AND PERFORMANCES

2017

                     

 

Making Traces: The Arts of Participation and Refusal, Ink Studio, Beijing, China

 

2015

 

                     

 

Endowed with Speech from Birth, YaFeng Contemporary Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

Dreamlike Memories of Wang River, Tree Gallery, Beijing, China

 

2014

 

                     

 

Diluted Shadows, Ifa Gallery, Brussels, Belgium      

Black Paper, Ifa Gallery at Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France

 

2012                      

 

Still Crossing, Dai Guangyu Solo Show, Ifa Gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

 

2010

                     

 

Dai Guangyu—Recent Works, Galerie Adler, Paris, France

Erased Memory and Flexible Type Printing (live performances), Ifa Gallery at Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France

 

2008                      

 

Ink Games, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China

 

2007

                     

 

“Mend the Fold If a Sheep Is Lost”—A Sheep’s Lecture on Chinese Contemporary Art, South Gate Space, Beijing, China
When the Waters Recede, the Rocks Appear, Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China

 

2005

                     

 

Little Scares: A Solo Exhibition of Dai Guangyu’s Videos, Dogpig Art Café, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

 

2002                      

 

Food and Words (performance in a public space), Triune Bookshop, Chengdu, China

 

2000                      

 

Shooting at Myself, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, Germany

 

1999

                     

 

Making Love to the Earth (performance in a public space), banks of Jinjiang River, Chengdu, China

Missing (performance in a public space), Chengdu and Wenjiang, China

 

1998

                     

 

Fossil (performance in a public space), Ming-dynasty fortifications, Chengdu, China

Meditation (performance in a public space), Section 2, First Ring Road (West), Chengdu, China

Turning Stone to Gold (series of performances in public spaces), city center, Chengdu, China

 

1997

                     

 

I Am a Good Person (performance in a public space), city center, Chengdu, China

A Frog in a Well (open exhibition), 152B Studio, Chengdu, China

Leaving Traces (performance in a public space), unofficial burial ground near Shuangliu International Airport, Chengdu, China

Borderline (open exhibition), 152B Studio, Chengdu, China

Like Flowing Water (performance in a public space), Hongqi Supermarket Ximen Branch, Chengdu, China

 

1996                      

 

Resurrection '96, Sichuan University (Eastern District), Chengdu, China

 

1995

                     

 

A Red Room, and the Landscape Outside of It (room-sized installation), No. 164, Section 2, First Ring Road (West), Chengdu, China

 

1994

                     

 

Chinese Landscape (room-sized installation), No. 164, Section 2, First Ring Road (West), Chengdu, China

 

1993                      

 

Dai GuangyuExhibition of Paintings, Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montreal, Canada

 

                         
                         

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017                      

 

Super Body: Performance Art and Its Documentary, Li Space, Beijing, China

 

2016

                     

 

Wen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art, 1980s and 1990s, Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China

Beijing Live—International Performance Art Festival, Danish Cultural Centre, Beijing, China

Deconstruction and Liberation of Ink, Changjiang Museum of Contemporary Art, Chongqing, China

Critical Connections, China-Switzerland Art Exhibition, Museum art-st-urban and Abbey St Urban, St Urban, Lucerne, Switzerland

Group exhibition, Swiss Embassy, Beijing, China

Deconstruction and Liberation of Ink, Phoenix Art Palace, Wuxi, China

 

2015

 

 

                     

 

On Literati and Humanistic Ink Paintings, Wanchai Gallery, Hong Kong, China

Enough of Art, Fuck Art, Espace Cinko, Paris, France

Ming Gathering / Force 12 Hurricane, Mingyuan Art Museum, Shanghai, China

 

2014

                     

 

Secret SignsContemporary Chinese Art in the Name of Writing, Deichtorhallen, Collection Falckenberg, Hamburg, Germany

Open, Da Xiang Art Space, Taichung, Taiwan

Nanjing International Art Festival, Nanjing International Exhibition Center, Nanjing, China

Ink and the Body, Ink Studio, Beijing, China

OSTRALE’014—8th International Exhibition of Contemporary Arts (now OSTRALE Biennale of Contemporary Art), Ostragehege, Dresden, Germany

Reshaping Shuimo: New History, Jinling Art Museum, Nanjing, China

 

2013

                     

 

Forms of the Formless: Exhibition of International Contemporary Art, TEDA Contemporary Art Museum, Tianjin; Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China

A New Spirit in Ink–Contemporary Space Ink 2013, Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

Insightful Charisma, Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai, China

Voice of the Unseen, Collateral Event of the55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Sensor Ship 0.46 Dai Guangyu, Gao Brothers, Zhang Dali, Ifa Gallery at Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Like a Thunder Out of China, Arsenal Toronto and Arsenal Montréal, Canada

 

2012

                     

 

My Country, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China

Paper, Art and Dao, Yidian Art Center, Shanghai, China

The Way of Writing, Zendai Contemporary Art Space, Shanghai, China

Undoing Shuimo, Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai; Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China

Disenchantment of Chinese Imagination, Fourth Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

 

2011

                     

 

ShanshuiPoetry without Words? Landscape in Chinese Contemporary Art, Kunstmuseum Luzern, Switzerland

Right EyeLeft Leg, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China

The HellThe HeavenOn the WayIn Between, Ifa Gallery, Shanghai, China

 

2009

                     

 

Passages: Video Art from the People's Republic, Gallery OED, Kochi, India

Chinese Masters of Ink, Grand Chamber of the Royal Castle Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland; Today Art Museum, Beijing, China

Ink Storm, Transformer Gallery, Washington DC, U.S.A.

In the 1980sWen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art Exhibition, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China

OPEN International Performance Arts Festival 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Realization Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China

13 No KAOs, Duffy Gallery, Kunming, China

Ink­­­–Not–Ink, Shenzhen Art Museum, Shenzhen, China; Drexel University, Phoenix, U.S.A

 

2008

                     

 

Oriental ImaginationThe 3rd Asian International Art Exhibition, Wall
Art Museum, Beijing; UCITY Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, Guangzhou, China

Action-Camera: Beijing Performance Photography, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

China Under Construction II (part of Fotofest2008), Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, U.S.A.

Interval of SilenceContemporary Art from China, Red Star Gallery,Beijing, China

 

2007

                     

 

China Under Construction I (part of Art Houston), Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, U.S.A.

Made in China (live performance art event), Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark

Starting from the Southwest: Exhibition of Contemporary Art in Southwest China, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

Echoes: Chengdu New Visual Art Documentary Exhibition 1989-2007, 1000 Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, China

The 3rd China-Japan Performance Art Exchange Project 2007, Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, China
The Fragmented Gaze: Video Art from the People's Republic (video screening), Deborah Colten Gallery, Houston, U.S.A.

 

2006

                     

 

Misalignments: Chinese Performance & Video Art Documents, Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Vital 06
International Chinese Live Art Festival, Chinese Arts Center, Manchester, U.K.

Red Star, Red Star, Red Star, Red Star Gallery, Beijing, China

 

2005

                     

 

Artists in ActionPerformance Art Project, Hong Kong, China

Inward GazesDocumentaries of Chinese Performance Art, Macao Museum of Art, Macau, China

In Honor of ‘85, Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, China

The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, China Millennium Monument Art Museum, Beijing, China

Making Relations??!!!, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Transborder Language: Performance Art / Language ArtSecond Dashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, China

China Live: Reflections on Contemporary Performance Art, Arnolfini, Bluecoat Arts Centre, Chapter Arts Centre, Chinese Arts Centre, Colchester Arts Centre, Warwick Arts Centre, Greenroom, BALTIC, Victoria and Albert Museum, U.K.

Rain Art Salon, Rain Gallery, Beijing, China

 

2004

                     

 

Performance Art in 798, Thinking Hands, Beijing, China

Double Happiness Festival, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, China
Matchmaking, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

Transborder Language 2004: Volume ControlFirst Dashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing, China

 

2003

                     

 

NIPAF: Asia Central Europe, Performance Art Meeting 2003, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland

Chinese Ink in Contemporary Art, National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Live International Performance Art, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, China

China-Japan Performance Art Exchange Project 2003, Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing, China

Interlocking Floors: Know White–Preserve Black, Chengdu Sports Center, Chengdu, China

 

2002

                     

 

Harvest: Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Agriculture Exhibition Center, Beijing, China

First Chinese Art Triennial, Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

FridayConcerning SoundPerformance & Poetry Exchange, Chengdu Eastern Centre, Chengdu, China

Daydream, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China

Mushroom Cloud or Utopia, Old Suzhou River Warehouse, Shanghai, China
7th Platform of Asian Performance Art (PAPA)—Nippon International Performance Art Festival (NIPAF), Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Nagano, Japan

Mask Vs Face, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China

 

2001

                     

 

Physical Resources and Objects, Artist Commune, Hong Kong, China
Dialogo, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Mantova Museum, Mantova, Italy
Dialogo: Other—Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Chiesa Santa Teresa dei Maschi, Bari, Italy
Top Bottom Left Right, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Chengdu, China Crossroads, Chengdu Museum of Modern Art, Chengdu, China
Turning 360 Degrees—Contemporary China Art Archive Exhibition, Shanghai Mountain Art Space, Shanghai, China
Virtual Future, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Holding the White Piece, Chengdu Art Academy, Chengdu, China
Second OPEN International Performance Art Festival, Chengdu, Pengshan, and Leshan, China
An Exhibition of Ruinous Remains, Chengdu Working People's Culture Palace, Chengdu, China

The First Chengdu Biennial, Chengdu Contemporary Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

 

2000                      

 

Think of Danger in Times of Safety (art action), Guihu Lake Park, Xindu, China
Zen ohne Sur (traveling art exhibition), Kunsthalle Faust, Hanover; Duisburger Stadtibibliothek, Duisburg; and Düsseldorf, Germany

Chinese GlamoursConceptual Images, East Link Gallery, Shanghai, China
Cultural Landscape: Landscape Art Exhibition, Langdao, Guilin, China
Home? Contemporary Art Project Exhibition, Yuexing Furniture Warehouse, Shanghai, China

People and Animals (performance art exhibition), Chengdu, China
Explaining Water–Keepers of the Waters–Fourth Art Action, along Minjiang River from Dujiangyan to Chengdu, China

 

1999                      

 

Chinese Artists in the WorldInstallation and Documentary,Artist Commune,Hong Kong,China

Interactive Time: Chinese Painting Exhibition, Chongqing Department Store, Chongqing, China

Idea, Concept, East China Normal University, 666 Zhizaoju Lu, Shanghai, China

Unusual Ways of Writing, Art Museum of Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China

Basement Manuscript, Aozhen Gardens Underground Carpark, Chengdu, China

Gate of the Century: 1979-1999, Chengdu Contemporary Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

 

1998                      

 

Preserving Memory, Sichuan Provincial Library, Chengdu, China

 

1997

                     

 

In the Wild (multi-city simultaneous performance project), Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Guangzhou, China
Resources—Life: Keepers of the Waters—Third Art Action, Dujiangyan, China
Man in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, site of the former Chengdu Lacquer Factory, Chengdu, China

 

1996

 

 

                     

 

Keepers of the WatersOutdoor Art Performances, Lhasa, China
Chengdu Oil Painting Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
China! Contemporary Painting, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany

 

1995

 

                     

 

Keepers of the WatersOutdoor Art Performances, Chengdu, China

Jiangsu Huakan 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Nanjing Museum, Nanjing, China

 

1993

 

                     

 

Inside-Out: New Chinese Art, Toronto, Canada

Dream of China: Exhibition of Paintings, City Hall, Hong Kong, China

 

1992                      

 

First Biennale of Chinese Art in the 90's, Central Hotel, Guangzhou, China

 

1991                      

 

Dai Guangyu, Wang Falin, Li Jixiang Exhibition of Paintings, Chengdu Art Salon, Chengdu, China

 

1990                      

 

000'90 Exhibition of Modern Art, Chengdu Art Salon, Chengdu, China

 

1989                      

 

China Avant-Garde Art Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China

 

1988

 

 

                     

 

1988 Southwest Art Exhibition, Sichuan Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

Itinerary Exhibition of Modern Chinese Art, Bonn, Bremen, and Frankfurt, Germany
88 Star Modern Art Exhibition, Sichuan Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

 

1986

                     

 

Red, Yellow, Blue: Young Artists of Sichuan, Sichuan Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

 

                         
                         

CURATED EXHIBITIONS AND PERFORMANCES

2008                      

 

Interval of SilenceContemporary Art from China, Red Star Gallery,Beijing, China

 

2004                      

 

Transborder Language 2004: Volume ControlFirst Dashanzi International Art Festival, Beijing, China

 

2003                      

 

China-Japan Performance Art Exchange Project 2003, Chengdu, Xi’an, Chongqing, China

Interlocking Floors: Know White–Preserve Black, Chengdu Sports Center, Chengdu, China

 

2002                      

 

Performance Art Hebdomadal Exhibition Series, Triune Bookshop, Chengdu, China

FridayConcerning SoundPerformance & Poetry Exchange, Chengdu Eastern Centre, Chengdu, China

 

2001                      

 

Parabola, Maoyuan, Chengdu, China

Holding the White Piece, Chengdu Art Academy, Chengdu, China

 

2000                      

 

Think of Danger in Times of Safety (art action), Guihu Lake Park, Xindu, China

Explaining Water–Keepers of the Waters–Fourth Art Action, along

Minjiang River from Dujiangyan to Chengdu, China

 

1999                      

 

Basement Manuscript, Aozhen Gardens Underground Carpark, Chengdu, China

 

1998                      

 

Preserving Memory, Sichuan Provincial Library, Chengdu, China

Ming-dynasty Fortifications Live Exhibition Series and Academic

Exposition for the Protection of Cultural Relics, Chengdu, China

 

1997                      

 

Man in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, site of the former Chengdu Lacquer Factory, Chengdu, China

Resources—Life: Keepers of the Waters—Third Art Action, Dujiangyan, China

719 Artist Studio Alliance, teahouse of Chengdu Municipal Library, Chengdu, China

152B Open Studio Exhibition, Chengdu, China

 

1995                      

 

Keepers of the WatersOutdoor Art Performances, Chengdu, China

Slideshow Symposium of Chineseand American Artists and Scientists,

Garment Factory of the Chengdu Military Zone, Chengdu, China

 

1991                      

 

Dai Guangyu, Wang Falin, Li Jixiang Exhibition of Paintings, Chengdu Art Salon, Chengdu, China

 

1990                      

 

000'90 Exhibition of Modern Art, Chengdu Art Salon, Chengdu, China

 

1986                      

 

Red, Yellow, Blue: Young Artists of Sichuan, Sichuan Art Gallery, Chengdu, China

 

                         
                         

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China

Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn, Germany

Art Alliance, Zurich, Switzerland

Joan Lebold Cohen Collection, New York, U.S.A.

Uli Sigg Collection, Zurich, Switzerland

 

Last Updated: October 2017

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