Gu Xiong: a journey exposed takes viewers on a global journey of interconnected waterways, food production, and environmental incidents while also relaying Xiong’s personal and artist journey that seeks to inspire, educate, and form connections across continents.
When surrounded by Xiong’s work, despite all the cynicism we may harbour about the future, it seems unavoidable to resist taking our own journey today toward greater awareness, activism and engagement with the people, places and issues that make up our beautiful, complex world.
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Gu Xiong, a multi-media artist from China now lives in Canada, works with painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation. He has exhibited nationally and internationally including more than fourty solo exhibitions and three public art commissions. He has participated in over one hundred prominent national and international group exhibitions including Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures, (Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2010); Art Is Nothing – 798 Art Festival (Beijing, China); Post Avant-grade Chinese Contemporary Art – Four Directions of the New Era (Hong Kong, 2007); Starting from Southwest (Guang Zhou Art Museum, China); the Shanghai Biennale (2004), where he was one of four Canadian representatives; MultipleCity (Panama, 2003); Le Mois de la Photo (Montréal, 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 United States, such as the Safeco Field, Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium, Seattle and the Seattle Public Library Columbia City Branch, Seattle, WA, USA; the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre Donald Forster Sculpture Park, University of Guelph, ON, Canada.
Gu Xiong has published two books, ten solo exhibition 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 international art magazines, Flash Art and Art in America, and The New York Times. 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 twice attended the Banff Centre for the Arts as artist-in-residence, and in addition to many other colleges and universities in Canada, the United States and China. He has served on Canada Council The Governor General Awards Jury for Visual Arts, Media Art and Architecture, Canada Council Visual Art Grant Jury, Seattle Arts Commission Jury, BC Arts Council Jury, and Vancouver Foundation Jury. As Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia, Gu Xiong is engaged in the disciplines of installation, painting, drawing, photography and contemporary art theory.