Wang Gongxin

Wang Gongxin
b. 1960, Beijing
Video and installation artist
Graduating in 1992 from Beijing Capital Normal University, and subsequently a visiting scholar at the State University of New York (Cortland and Albany) in 1997, Wang began his career as a video artist with The Sky of Brooklyn—Digging a Hole in Beijing (1995), which emerged out of his experience travelling and living between China and the USA. A monitor with a shot of the Brooklyn sky was placed in a 3-metre well dug into his Beijing house, while a voice-over dissuaded the viewer from looking inside. This ‘apparatus of myth-making’ (Val Wang) reveals the artist’s humour and melancholy with respect to the sense of loss framing notions of individualism in a rapid changing urban environment and the importance attributed to a tradition that is being replaced by an empty and obtuse curiosity with Western things. Later works like Old Bench (1996), Baby Talk (1997) and Public Hallway (1997) touch upon similar themes, minimizing the power of the myth of tradition as a misleading trail. Wang’s video installations are characterized by a high operatic texture and present a critique of the essence of contemporary urban life. He often works in collaboration with his wife, installation artist LinTianmiao. His works have been shown at P.S.1 (New York), MoMA (San Francisco), ‘MAAP 2000’ (Brisbane, Australia), ‘Documentation of Chinese Avant-Garde Art in the 90s’ at the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan (2000), the Guangzhou Triennial (2002), and the Sao Paulo Biennial (2002).
Dal Lago, Francesca (2000).
The Fiction of Everyday Life: Video Art in the People’s Republic of China’. ART AsiaPacific 27 (Summer): 52–7.
Macham, Kim (2000) ‘Kara Oke in Brisbane. Exhibiting Digital New Media and Gongxin Wang’. In MAAP-Multimedia Art AsiaPacific (exhibition catalogue). Brisbane.
Smith, Karen (1996). ‘Notes on China’s Video Installation Art’. AsiaPacific Sculpture News 2.4 (Autumn): 19–21.
Wang, Val (2000). ‘Wang Gongxing’. Chinese Type-Contemporary Art Online Magazine 1.2.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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