Jianguo Sui

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anxiety, dictatorship
Visual Arts (installation art, sculpture)
Asia, Eastern, Europe, Western
China, France
Beijing, Paris
created on:
August 23, 2003
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Weighted soul

Born in 1956 in Singtao, China, Sui Jianguo is a sculptor who works in hard, heavy materials. His techniques create a relationship of association and confrontation between his materials, which reflect his perception of life and his internal conflicts.
A sculptor born in 1956 in Singtao in the province of Shan Dong, China, Sui Jianguo tends to work in hard, heavy materials. His techniques of sealing, binding, tying and hammering create a relationship of association and confrontation between his materials, which resonates with his perception of life and his internal conflicts.

Among his well-known works of the early 1990s are ‘Land Depression’ in which Sui entwines huge boulders in nets made from steel ropes, and ‘Sealed Memory’, a closely welded cabinet of thick steel sheets, which gives an oppressive sense of weight and blockage. His work ‘Memory’ is a wall made out of old railroad sleepers. The sleepers have been ground down just as humans are ground down by life, and they become part of a dividing wall, a boundary.

Sui Jianguo began his ‘Mao Suit’ series in 1997. His works all reflect his personal experiences and explore, to a lesser or greater extent, his anxieties and feelings of imprisonment. This series can however be regarded as the conclusion of an important stage in his self-exploration. He draws on the powerful image of the Mao suit, not as an element of revolutionary attire but as a symbol of restriction and limitation. Sui suggests that none of the Chinese have truly taken off their Mao suits even though the revolutionary era is over.

Sometimes Sui makes the Mao suits resemble Buddhas and at other times he turns them into hard shells. Recently, Sui has made fairly humorous, soft and almost transparent Mao suits. The Mao suit is perhaps coming to represent to the artist an object of fun.


Sui Jianguo was born in Singtao, Shan Dong province in 1956. He studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and is now Associate Professor at the sculpture department there. He has also spent some time teaching in Paris as a guest professor. Sui has held solo shows in China, Australia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan and has participated in numerous high-profile exhibitions worldwide.


Selected Group Exhibitions 1993 - 2006

Exhibition / Installation
2006 “China Trade”, Centre A, Vancouver, Canada “Fiction@Love”, MOCA, Shanghai, China 2005 “La China”, Spazio Oberdan, Milano, Italy “Beautiful Cynicism”, Arario Beijing, Beijing, China “Renovation – Relations of Production”, Long March Foundation, Beijing, China “Contemporary Art Exhi”, Platform China, Beijing, China “Between Past and Future”, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA “Between Past and Future”, Smart Museum, Chicago, USA “Convergence at E116°/ N40°”, Platform China, Beijing “Convergence at E116°/ N40°”, 798 Dayaolu Space, Beijing “Between Past and Future”, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain “Mahjong - Chinesische Gegenwartskunst”, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Switzerland “Between Past and Future”, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, USA 2004 “Is It Art? - Black Show”, Noanoa Center, Xian, China “Is It Art? - White Show”, Shanxi Provincial Art Museum, Xian, China “Olympic Cities - Gods Becoming Men”, Frissiras Museum, Athens, Greece “Between Past and Future”, International Center of Photography, New York, USA 2003 “Chinart”, MACRO - Museo dArte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy “Triennial for Contemporary Art by the Sea 2003”, Museum of Modern Art, Oostend, Belgium “Today´s Chinese Art”, Century Alter Art Museum, Beijing, China “The Time Of Open: Contemporary Chinese Art”, National Gallery, Beijing, China 2002 “Triennial of China”, Guang Zhou Museum, Guang Zhou, China “The Artist of Ideal”, Contemporary Art Center, Verona, Italy “Paris–Beijing”, Palace Cardin, Paris, France “Modernity In China, 1980–2002”, Faap, Sao Paulo, Brazil “Made In China”, Duseburg Art Museum, Duisburg, Germany “Made China”, Ethan Cohen Fine Art, New York, USA “Made By Chinese”, Gallery Enrico Navara, Paris, France “Guangzhong Triennial”, Guang Dong Art Museum, Guangzhong, China “Beijing Afloat”, Tokyo-Beijing Art Projection, Beijing, China 2001 “Transplantation in Situ”, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shen Zhen, China “Open 2001: Fourth International Sculpture and Installation”, Venice, Lido, Italy “Forever”, Canadian Embassy, Beijing, China “Dream 2001”, The Red Mansion Foundation, London, Great Britain “Between Earth and Heaven: New Classical Movements in the Art of Today”, Museum Of Modern Art, Oostend, Belgium “Art On The Beach”, Nice, France 2000 “Partage d’exotismes / Sharing Exoticisms”, La biennale dart contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, France “Sharing Exoticisms”, Contemporary Art Lyon Biennale, Lyon, France “Shanghai Spirit”, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China “Exhibition Of Sui Jianguo and Zhan Wang”, Gallery, Loft, Paris, France 1999 “Innovations Part II”, China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing, China “Transition: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century”, Smart Museum Of Art, Chicago, USA “The Second Annual Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition”, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shen Zhen, China “The Fourteenth International Asia Art Exhibition”, Asia Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan “The Door of the Century”, Cheng Du Art Museum, Cheng Du, China “Four Persons Show”, Beijing Art Warehouse, Peking, China “China 1999”, Limn Gallery, San Francisco, USA “Avant Gardes en Chine”, Galerie Loft, Paris, France 1998 “The First Annual Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition”, He Xiangning Art Museum, Shen Zhen, China “Im Spiegel Der Elgenen: Tradition”, Contemporary Chinese Art, Beijing, China “A Revelation of 20 Years”, Contemporary Chinese Art, Forbidden City, Beijing, China 1997 “Sui Jian Guo and Li Gang: Contemporary Chinese Sculpture”, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing, China “Continue: Five Sculptors´ Exhibition”, Cifa Gallery, Beijing, China “A Point Of Contact: Korean, Chinese and Japanese Contemporary Art”, Taegu Culture Centre, Korea 1996 “The First Academic Exhibition Of Chinese Contemporary Artists”, Hong Kong Art Centre, Hong Kong, China “From The East Of Eurasia: Japan, Korea And China, Installation And Painting”, Kodama Gallery, Osaka, Japan 1996 - 1995 Exhibition of Works Nominated by Art Critics (Sculpture and Installation)’, Jiangsu Monthly Magazine, China 1995 “Women Site”, Beijing Contemporary Art Gallery, Beijing, China “From The Central Nation: Chinese Avant-Garde Art Since 1979”, Centre d´ Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, Spain 1994 "Substance and Creativity: Asian Arts and Craft from its Origin to Present Day", Hiroshima, Japan 1993 “Sui Jian Guo and W.K.P. Sculpture Exhibition”, Chinese Modern Art Centre, Osaka, Japan

Selected Solo Exhibitions 1994 - 2005

Exhibition / Installation
2005 “Sui Jianguo - The Sleep of Reason”, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, USA 1999 “Clothes Veins Studing”, Passage Gallery, Beijing, China 1997 “You Meet the Shadow of the Hundred Years”, Vca, Melbourne, Australia 1996 “Sui Jian Guo”, Hanart Gallery, Hong Kong, China 1995 “Deposit and Fault”, New Delhi Culture Centre, New Delhi, India 1994 “Sui Jian Guo”, Hanart Gallery, Taipei Taiwan “Remember of Space”, Cafa Gallery, Beijing, China


1994 UNESCO-Aschberg International Foundation for The Promotion of Culture residency in India
1997 The Melbourne University, Travel Grant for Young Asian Scholarship


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

China - Between Past and Future

A project on contemporary art in China

(24 March 06 - 14 May 06)


Triennal for Contemporary Art by the Sea

Triennal for Contemporary Art by the Sea website

Long March Foundation

Artist´s participation in a project organised by the Long March Foundation, New York,and The 25000 Cultural Transmission Center, Beijing with the aim of taking contemporary Chinese and international art to a sector of the Chinese public that is rarely exposed to such work.


On-line contemporary Chinese art magazine

Hanart T Z Gallery

Hanart T Z Gallery, Hong Kong

Red Gate Gallery

Gallery representing 22 Chinese artists including Sui Jianguo
Mao Suit
Mao Suit
Mao Suit