Gao Shiqiang Biography

Gao Shiqiang Biography
Born in 1971 in Shandong province, China, Gao Shiqiang later graduated from the China Academy of Art
in Hangzhou, where he is now a professor in the Experimental Art Department.
Gao first came to international attention with his participation in the 2003 Guangzhou Triennial. His work
was included in the 2006 Shanghai Biennial and in the satellite project, A Yellow Box in Qinpu, curated by
Gao Shiming and Johnson Chang. It was in Yellow Box that the video installation Story was first
presented and which now makes its debut outside of China.
In addition to film-making and teaching, Gao has curated a number of projects dedicated to new media,
including the 2005 Blink in Shanghai (a festival of 2-second video).
Text by Gao Shiqiang
Contemporary Chinese art mainly focuses on the concern, interference, appraisal and critique of social
reality. In terms of art forms, popular practices are like interactions with the audience, like a nail digging
into life. Such approaches are stirring and desired as they not only elicit the expected audience
response, but also present the talent of the artists. The material and approaches are standard and
international, in accord with our common perception of contemporary art.
However, this standard mode is far removed from the image production in Hangzhou. In reviewing this
Hangzhou-based image production over the past couple of years, we find that artists in this area are
submerging themselves deeper and deeper into the subtle experience and feeling of life. It seems that
the artists who inhabit this small, tranquil and beautiful city of Hangzhou are tired of making work defined
by the context of contemporary art and contemporary art history. They instead have returned to a plain
and ‘classic’ approach to art-making, with the belief that a work of art should be an artist’s expression of
personal experience .
Therefore, unlike most artists in China, the artists in Hangzhou rarely see the creation of a work of art as
an event, performance or happening. It is the final product, the work of art that is important and not the
process. These contemporary artists in Hangzhou, who share an educational background in traditional
academies of fine arts, refuse to cut their links to traditional art and traditional approaches to art-making.
Basically, once a work of art is finished, it exists on its own, independent of its creator. It should be
treated objectively, free of theoretical interpretation and contextual examination.
These works are more like poems, symbolizations or allegories. In contrast with standard films, including
underground and independent films, these works are relieved of the tension brought about by narration
and the involvement of stories.