Sheng Qi

Sheng Qi
b. 1965, Hefei, Anhui
Performance artist, painter
Even before graduating from Beijing’s Central Academy of Art and Design in 1988, Sheng was among the founders of Concept 21, a pioneering performance art group (together with Zhao Jianhai, Kang Mu, Zheng Yuke and Xi Jianjun). Since 1986, they have staged performances that used landmarks such as the Great Wall and the Summer Palace as backdrops. From 1990 to 1992, Sheng worked in Italy, and in 1993 he entered Central St Martin’s College of Art and Design in London, receiving an MFA in 1998. In 1999, he returned to Beijing, where he is teaching at the Central Academy of Art and Design.
Sheng’s recent art has taken up many of his earlier concerns. His first works were based on the idea of using the human body as a tool, and in a performance soon after 4 June 1989, Sheng chopped off the little finger on his left hand. Photographs of Sheng’s mutilated hand appear in many of his works, sometimes in conjunction with his frequent use of the AIDS ribbon. Sheng has revived Concept 21 in a number of performance pieces and virtual performances envisioned through digital collages. Wearing only an Armed Police jacket and gloves, donning the AIDS ribbon, his face covered in a red cloth and his genitalia wrapped in gauze, he is placed in improbable locations, such as Beijing landmarks and the Tibetan countryside. Some works, such as Ambush from All Directions (1999) are overtly political, while others, such as Yang Guifei on the Road (2002), juxtapose symbols of Chinese tradition and modernization.
See also: political icons (and art)

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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