Chen Shaoxiong

Article Bio Works Projects
metropolises, modernity, terrorism
Visual Arts (photography)
Asia, Eastern
created on:
July 17, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since April 28, 2006. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
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Chen Shaoxiong
PR Photo


Chinese avantgarde photos

Chen Shaoxiong is a young installation artist, reflecting modern China - with video, photo, etc.
Chen Shaoxiong is one of China´s best known conceptual artists. In his work he shows that the large amount of visual information a person is used to absorb can cause a wrong image of reality.

In a series of his photographs you think you see an ´ordinary´ street view, but in the meantime a maquette, that also contains elements of a streetview, influences the sight. The viewer is fooled and ´punished´ for his bias.

Chen Shaoxiong showed various clips of manipulated video images named Windows 2002, clearly meant as mimicry of Microsoft products. The video images show different scenes of aeroplanes crashing into high-rise buildings, and yet none of them cause devastation. The aeroplanes metamorphose into something else as they approach buildings, or the buildings reshape themselves to avoid the collisions. It is to propose various means of manoeuvring against terrorism, as the artist has stated. That said, it would be more appropriate to consider the piece as an irony directed against the media sensationalism that is a predominant constituent of our synthetic reality.

Chen Shaoxiong´s statement about his works:

"Like a person can´t jump into the same river twice, I can´t see the same scenery while looking into the window in my house. Everything in this city is temporary: streets, buildings, shopping centres, train station, airport, transit ways, trees, road marks and etc; even the crowds. No matter permanent or temporary residents, nothing is fixed. Everything changes easily just like altering a telephone number.

I try to use my photography to fix these moving objects, and then put these fixed images back to the moving backgrounds. These moments (things) either meet or by-pass each other in this world, it doesn´t really matter. I would like to replay this chaotic logic, these uncontrollable rules and its confusing magic. Just because I still have a bit of passion to this world and would like to share this passion with every single object of the world, I have to record what I have seen. As a witness myself, I would like to keep the memory of my life inside my built-up small-scale country, or to build a scenery monument for this ever changing city.

Since seeing scenery at a window is a kind of tourism, my works can also be called an opposite kind (a city travelling in people, or people travelling in a city) when they are put into an exhibition space in a foreign country. Since we build a city according to some existing rules; we feel the same strangeness of our own city as foreign ones; we want to be modern; we want to join the WTO and we want everything that this world can offer, I would like my works of street images in China to be associated with Bangkok, Tokyo and other big cities alike. If so, I can provide a better dream for such a globalization".
Author: Karin Bergquist


1962: Born in Shantou, Guangdong Province, PR China
1984: Graduated from the print department of Guangzhou Fine Art Academy
1984-continuing: Teaching at Guangdong Art Normal School
1991: Formed" Big Tail Elephant Group" with Lin Yilin, Liang Juhui
Lives and works in Guangzhou

Solo Exhibitions (Choice)

“Guangdongtokyo“, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan

“Chen Shaoxiong: Ink City - New Works”, The CourtYard Gallery, Beijing, China
“Double Landscape”, Grace Alexander Contemporary Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland

“Anti-C.S.X.”, Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China
“Making Differences“, Kulturhuset, Stockholm, Sweden

Group Exhibitions (Choice)

“China - Between Past and Future“, House of World Cultures, Berlin, Germany
“Regeneration“, Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, USA
“China Group”, The Hospital, London, Great Britain

“China! China!! China!!!“, Grace Alexander Contemporary Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland
“Video from the Haudens“, ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai, China
“Mirror Worlds”, Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney, Australia
“Guangzhou Triennial 2005“, Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China
“Regeneration“, Arizona State University Art Museum, Phoenix, USA
“Between Past and Future“, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA
“Between Past and Future“, Smart Museum, Chicago, USA
“Between Past and Future“, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain
“Tirana Biennial 3“, Biennial Tirana, Tirana, Albania
“China: Crossroads of Culture / Follow Me!“, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
“A Strange Heaven“, Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
“Mahjong - Chinesische Gegenwartskunst“, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland
“Between Past and Future“, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA
“In-Between Realities“, Shanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China

“GAP - Fünf Künstler aus China“, Kunstverein Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
“Between Past and Future“, International Center of Photography, New York, USA
“All Under Heaven - China Now!“, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp, Belgium
“Zooming into Focus“, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
“Is It Art? - Black Show”, Noanoa Center, Xian, China
“A l´Ouest du Sud de l´Est - L´annee de la chine“, CRAC Languedoc Roussillon-Septimanie, Sete, France

“A Strange Heaven“, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czechia
“50. Biennial Venice 2003“, Biennial Venice, Venice, Italy
“Under Construction: New Dimensions of Asian Art“, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan

“Shanghai Biennial 2002“, Shanghai Biennial, Shanghai, China
“Guangzhou Triennial 2002“, Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, China

“Living in Time / Shenghuo zai Cishi“, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany

“International Contemporary Art Festival 2000”, Pusan Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pusan, South Korea
“Fuck Off”, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China

“Concepts, Colors and Passions”, China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing, China
“Fast Forward - New Chinese Video Art”, Contemporary Art Center, Macau, China


Selected Recent Exhibitions

Exhibition / Installation,
2002: Sorry for the inconvenience: Under Construction, Si-Am Art Space, Bangkok, Thailand Pause-Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea New Internationalism, Kunstforeningen, Copenhagen, Denmark Moist-Multimedia Art Asia Pacific, The Art Museum of China Millenium Monument, Beijing, China Reinterpretation: A Decade of Experimental Chinese Art, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China Urban Creation, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai Under Construction, Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan Synthetic Reality, East Modern Art Centre, Beijing, China 2001: New media Art of China, Loft New-Media Art Space, Beijing, China City Slang, He Xiangning Museum, Shenzhen, China Chinese Photography Now, Canvas International Art, Amsterdam, Holland and Art Chicago, Chicago, USA Living in Time, National Gallery Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germany The New-Media Art Festival: Non-Linear Narrative, National Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China 2000: Our Chinese Friends, Bauhaus-University and ACC Gallery, Weimar, Germany Multimedia Art Asia Pacific 2000 Festival, Brisbane Powerhouse, Australia Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival 2000, Pusan Metropolitan Museum of Art, Korea Fuck off, Eastlink Gallery, Shanghai, China 2nd Festival International;Arts Multimedia, Urbains Belfort, France 1999: Cities on the Move 4,5,6,7: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark, Hayward Gallery, London, United Kingdom, Bangkok, The Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland Fast Forward: New Chinese Video Art, Contemporary Art Center, Macau Art For Sale, Shanghai, China 9th International Photography Biennial, Image Center, Mexico 8th Biennial of Moving Images, Saint-Gervais, Geneva, Schwitzerland


This artist took part in the following project(s) organized/funded by the partner institutions.

China - Between Past and Future

A project on contemporary art in China

(24 March 06 - 14 May 06)

Images of Asia

(08 August 03 - 26 September 03)