Born in Shanghai in 1961, Yuan Gong obtained PhD degree in theory of art at the Chinese National Academy of Arts in 2012, but has immersed himself in different aspects of Chinese contemporary art since the 1990s. Being both creator and researcher, designer and planner, Yuan Gong is a multifaceted artist playing at the interface of conceptual art, performance and fine arts. Using a large variety of media, his artworks address many philosophical questions, reflecting his concerns about the Chinese society and conflicts within localities, and impugning the art system, the exhibition format and the status of the artwork.

Yuan Gong held his first solo exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1997 and has participated in more than 18 group exhibitions around the world. In 2013, he has hold five solo exhibitions, exploring various topics and media: Reappearance at the Tianren Heyi Art Center of Hangzhou, Untitled at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Beijing, Butterflies fly once more at Bund18 Gallery, Mechanism at the Guangdong Museum of Art and A New Kind of Individual - Release at the Zendai Contemporary Art Space in Shanghai. Major exhibitions in which he has participated in recent years include the thematic exhibition at the China Pavilion of the 55th and 54th Venice Biennale, the Copenhagen Art Festival, the 6th Prague Contemporary Art Festival, the inaugural Beijing 798 Biennale, the 4th China Songzhuang Culture and Art Festival and the 4th Chengdu Biennale.

In 2006 he launched the New Power China Biennale as a curator in order to promote young emerging Chinese artists. In 2007 he initiated the Tibet series Art Project “Transparent Scene” and organized artist residencies in Tibet for 8 months. In 2008, he was volunteered researcher for one year in the Sichuan province in the Wenchuan earthquake disaster area, from which he produced some of his most iconic and controversial artworks. In May 2009, he was involved as an artist in the archaeological excavation of Duke of Zhou Temple in Shanxi province. Once again breaking rules of conventional thinking, he collected the soil dug from the excavations and launched the Duke of Zhou Soil Collection Plan.

In 2007, Yuan Gong was awarded the Culture China Person of the Year Award. He received the ICS City Beat EDGE Artist of the Year Award in 2009. The same year, his work “Sounding off 512 with Dong Feng” was included in the book Interview with the New Arts in China 1949-2009, edited by Chinese art theorist Shao Dazhen. His artworks dealing with the Wenchuan earthquake are now part of the Uli Sigg’s collection of Chinese contemporary art.


Solo exhibitions


A New Kind of Individual - Release. Zendai Contemporary Art Space, Shanghai, China
Mechanism. Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Butterflies fly once more. Bund18 Gallery, Shanghai, China
Untitled. Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Beijing, China
Reappearance. Tianren Heyi Art Center, Hangzhou, China


Yuan Gong Solo Exhibition. Hong Kong Art Center, Hong Kong, China

Group exhibitions 


Individual Growth - The Momentum of Contemporary Art. Tianjin Museum of Fine Arts, Tianjin, China
Voice of the Unseen – Collateral event of the 55th Venice Biennale. The China Pavilion, Venice, Italy
Embark! Beyond The Horizon. Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre – Oil Street Art Space, Hong Kong, China
Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Money. Chi K 11 Art Space, Shanghai, China


RE-INK Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary Ink and Wash Painting 2010-2012. Tianren Heyi Art Center, Hangzhou, China
Copenhagen Art Festival. Kunstrad Museum, Copenhagen, Danemark
JETLAG - Chinese Culture Year in Germany. Kunsthalle Faust, Hannover, Germany
The 4th Guangzhou Triennial. Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China


The 4th Sino-European Cultural Dialogue. Neumünster Abbey, Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
The 6th Prague Contemporary Art Festival – TINA B. Prague, Czech Republic
Pervasion - 54th Venice Biennale. The China Pavilion, Venice, Italy 


3+X People And Things Around. China Art Archives and Warehouse CAAW, Beijing, China
The 6th Culture and Art Festival of Songzhuang - CROSSOVER 2010. China Art Archives and Warehouse CAAW, Beijing, China
3+X Can Be More Poetic. Shandong Center of Contemporary Art, Shandong, China
3+1 Monolog. Arthur M. Sackler Museum Of Art and Archaeology, Peking University, Beijing, China


Drifting Communities, 798 Biennale. 798 Art District, Beijing, China
Narrating China, 4th Chengdu Biennale. Chengdu, China
REFLECTION– New Art Invitational. West Lake Museum of Art, Zhejiang, China
REFLECTION– New Art Invitational. Wall Art Museum, Beijing, China


Through the Wild, 4th Songzhuang Art Festival. Beijing, China
What is Art ? 798 Art Festival. 798 Art District, Beijing, China
Virtual City, New Power – China Contemporary Art Biennale, Yuan Gong Art Museum, Shanghai, China


14th Asia International Watercolor Exhibition. Zhengzhou Museum, Henan, China
The Popular Image. Shanghai Art Fair, Shanghai, China

Curated exhibitions

Transparent Scene. Tibet Museum, Lhasa, China


2013 AAC Art China - Device Multimedia nomination 

2011 SMG Shanghai Television - ICS City Beat Annual Award 

2009 Person of the Year of Chinese Contemporary Art History award. Yuan Gong's artwork Sounding off with 512 - Dong Feng" got included in the "Interview Record of Art for 60 Years in New China 

2009 Modern Shanghai Public Praise Award held by Oriental Morning Post of Wenhui-Xinmin Group 

2007 Modern Shanghai Public Praise Award held by Oriental Morning Post of Wenhui-Xinmin Group 

2007 Culture China Person of the Year Annual Special Award of Culture and Art 

2007 Symbolic institute promoting new artists in Chinese contemporary art award by Phoenix Satellite Television, with follow-up report for the whole year 

2007 List of Power in Chinese Contemporary Art award by Art Focus magazine 

2007 Person of the Year award by the magazine of Art and Investment 

2007 2006 Art China • Annual Influence award