Born in 1958 in (China)
Lives and works in (China )
Born in 1958 in Suining, in the province of Sichuan, Jianwei Wang lives and works in Beijing. Graduating in 1987 from the oil painting department of the China Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou, he was first and foremost a talented, young painter before turning to documentary and video in the mid-1990s. With Peili Zhang, a graduate from the same school, he became a precursor of video art, greatly influencing Chinese video-makers. His works became rapidly known internationally and earned him his participation at the “Documenta” in Kassel in 1997, as well as the FIAC Video Cube award in 2001. An eclectic artist with a strong leaning towards experimentation, Jianwei Wang created his first piece of experimental theatre and Chinese multimedia, Paravent, in the year 2000 which was presented in Beijing, and later at the Kunsten Arts Festival in Brussels. His second piece, Ceremony, was presented at the Centre Pompidou in October 2003 as part of the Paris “Festival d'Automne”. Having grown up under the Maoist regime and just reached adulthood by the end of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76), Jianwei Wang was part of a generation of artists extremely sensitive to political and ideological issues, as well as to China's history. From the mid-1980s, he began to discover philosophy, sociology, art theory and even Western science thanks to a multitude of translations. He particularly enjoyed Sartre, Camus, Barthes and Foucault and claims to be very influenced by French philosophy.
(Texte extrait du catalogue 'Collection installations nouveaux médias', éd. Centre Pompidou, 2006)
Translated by Diana Tamlyn