Sheng Qi is a Chinese performance artist and painter. He was one for the original founders of the Chinese performance art group, Concept 21. Sheng Qi is probably best known for his act of personal defiance following the events in Tiananmen Square in June 1989: he cut off the little finger of his left hand. Since then, he has incorporated the image and concept of this self-mutilation into his work, which includes photography, painting, sculpture, and performance art.
His recent work continues in the vein of subtle but firm subversion and quiet political protest. Sheng Qi lives, works and teaches art in London since 2010.
1965: Born in Anhui Province, China
1988: Graduated from the Central Academy of Art and Design, Beijing
1989: Lived and worked in Italy (1989-1992)
1998: Graduated with an MFA from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, London
The memory of hundreds of millions Chinese
“My art is my memory.
I am not only an artist; I am an observer and recorder of history.
I use my brush to record the history of China in my lifetime, since 1965.
These events are truly important because they influence hundreds of millions of Chinese people and have shaped my life.
So I continue to record them as truthfully as I can in red and black.”
No informed conversation about the development of Chinese performance art can bypass Sheng Qi, whose work remains unusual, brave and adventurous.
By 1986 he had already thrown himself into a pioneering practice, working in symbolic locations including Peking University (1986), the Yuanmingyuan (1987) and on the Great Wall (1988).
Those seminal events were important contributions to a young field, and looking back at their documentation, readers will feel Sheng Qi’s passion for art and for the intense cultural transgression his works represented in their time.
More recently, he has begun with portraits of children in a rigorous academic painting style, and through their "destruction" and "revision," constructed a painting language that explores the aesthetics of violence and criticism, and their commonalities.
Sheng Qi solo exhibitions
2017 August 2017, ‘Outflow’, La Galleria Pall Mall, London
2017 June 2017, ‘Riding Alone’, GX Gallery, London
2014 Galerie Daniel Besseoche
2012 6 November - 20 December 2012, Hua Gallery, London
2011 Square, March 19 - May 21, Opening: March 19 (6-8)
Fabien Fryns Fine Art, Los Angeles, USA
314 N. Cresent Heights blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048,
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2010 'My painting has no colour', Poligono Gallery, Marbella, Spain Video >>
2009 New Paintings, F2 Gallery, Beijing, China
China: Fluid Witness, Opal Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
Sheng Qi, Galerie Bork, Copenhagen, Denmark
2008 Most Wanted, Cramer contemporary, Geneva, Switzerland
History in Black and Red, Andrew James Art, Shanghai, China
History in Black and Red, DF2 Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
Paintings, Gallery Köhler Müller, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2007 History in Black and Red, Redgate Gallery, Beijing, China
2006 Missing…, 798 Avant Gallery
Salute to Artists, 798 / RedGate Gallery, Beijing, China
Confidential, F2 Gallery, Beijing, China
2004 Madness and Appropriation, RedGate Gallery, Beijing, China
2003 Transcription, RedGate Gallery, Beijing, China
2000 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Mass Gallery, Melbourne
1998 Nine Pigeons + Nurse + Sheng Qi, Beijing, China
Are You Willing to Shake My Hand?, Tokyo
1997 Fortune Cookies, Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), London