Lot 555 - Gu Wenda - United Nations-Gengzi's Necklace
Pen on Print on Paper
A6 (10x15cm) original artwork
Bidding starts at £50
Gu Wenda was born in Shanghai in 1955 and graduated from and received his MFA from the China Academy of Arts where
he studied under master Lu Yanshao in 1981. Gu moved to the U.S. in 1987. He currently lives and works in Shanghai and
New York. The United Nations project (using human hair as material) the artist embarked in 1993, which has been included
in various publications on world art history, addresses the notion of a single humanity. The postcards feature the most recent
work of the project: Gengzi’s necklace, completed in August 2020. The work was inspired by the recent global pandemic.
Gu has developed a personal vocabulary of invented Chinese characters by misplacing various aspects of existing characters to create new and meaningless words. This tactic among others is the artist’s means to subvert tradition while using its formal attributes. “I used characters without any meaning and political icons taken from propaganda and inserted them into my ink painting,” he explained. “For me, this was a kind of double power: these ink works were both scholarly and socialist.” Born in 1955 in Shanghai, China, Gu was encouraged in pursuing a creative career from a young age by his family. However, this interest in culture led his grandparents to be taken away for reeducation by Mao Zedong’s regime. He went on to study traditional Chinese landscape painting under Lu Yanshao at the China Academy of Arts in Hangzhou. In 1987, Wenda moved to the United States, where he began to employ materials related to human body. Intending to celebrate life and promote universal accord, Gu created his United Nations Project in 1993. Today, his works are held in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Museum of Art in Beijing, and the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, among others.