Gu Wenda, ‘36 Vanishing Gold Section Pigments’, 1991, Guggenheim Museum

Installation view: Exceptional Passage: Chinese Avant-Garde Artists Exhibition, former Kashii Rail Yard, Fukuoka, Japan, August 29 – September 30, 1991

Image rights: Photo: courtesy the artist

About Gu Wenda

Wenda Gu is considered a pioneer for building upon and appropriating traditional Chinese traditional ink painting and calligraphy in his conceptual projects. Gu, who has a background in classical ink painting, has explored the radical possibilities of the medium through series of environmental installations and large-scale semi-abstract works. A member of the post-Revolution Chinese diaspora, Gu is concerned with themes of regionalism, national identity, universality, and the gaps between language and culture. The most famous of his projects includes the “United Nations” (begun 1993), in which Gu collected human hair from countries around the world, and wove them into banners with text in invented languages; Gu’s goal was to have one piece in the series in every country in the world.

Chinese, b. 1955, Shanghai, China