Gu Dexin

China 1962

Installation, Photography

Gu Dexin
Gu Dexin
February 6, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Gu Dexin, born in 1962, is a Chinese visual artist best known for his subversive installations that explore the concepts of decay and permanence. Since the 1980s, Gu has rejected the exploration of China’s socialist legacy that preoccupies many of his contemporaries, instead filling galleries with fruit or meat, which he would allow to rot in the gallery space.

His early installations, exhibited in the exhibitions China Avant-Garde, Beijing, 1989, and Les Magiciens de la Terre, Paris, 1989, were reminiscent of disembowelled human organs and excrement created by burning and twisting discarded plastic materials. In a 1995 installation in a Venetian palace, a sumptuous hall was transformed into a mortuary with red plastic beads covering the entire floor and bloody chunks of beef decaying in transparent coffins.

The choice of perishable materials, such as meat, flowers and fruits, reflects Gu Dexin’s deep-rooted pessimism towards human beliefs which he deems self-deceptive. Gu’s works bear no title or simply adopt the time of the exhibition as their designation in order to emphasize the ephemeral nature of the work. In the exhibition “Another Long March” held in Breda, Holland, he displayed apples, bananas and strawberries, chosen for their direct sexual implications, which were left to decay or to be consumed by visitors and birds in an open courtyard for two months. In the same exhibition he also displayed a glass box containing a meatball, dried and darkened after hours of manipulation, a gesture subsequently memorialized in a large size, close-up photograph.

In recent years, Gu Dexin has begun creating computer-generated figures with many breasts or genitals engaging in orgiastic acts. He has also begun producing short animated stories where human violence is mocked with an eerie humour.

For other works he installs arrangements of mass-produced plastic, as in the toy automobiles of 2004.05.09, 2004, its title reflective of his insistence to not impose meaning on to his works. Gu’s artistic output is extremely varied, he began his career producing surrealistic, figurative paintings, and in recent years has turned to animation and a quieter, less graphic mode of installation, exemplified by 2009-05-02, 2009, a peaceful, cemetery-like piece accompanied by accusatory texts like “WE KILLED HUMANS.” Gu ended his career upon completing this work.

Gu Dexin has had numerous gallery and museum exhibitions in his native country, as well as in France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, USA and UK, among others.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/group
2012The important thing is not the meatUcca, Beijingsolo
2010Maninbo - 10000 Lives8th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Koreagroup
2009Gu DexinGalleria Continua, Beijing, Chinasolo
200914.03.2009Beijing Center for Art at Legation Quarter, Beijing, Chinagroup
2008Gu DexinShanghai Gallery of Art , Shanghaisolo
2008The Borders of UtopiaToday art Museum, Beijinggroup
2008Avant – Garde China: 20 years of Chinese contemporary artThe National Art Center, Tokyo, Japangroup
2008ResilienceGalleria Continua / Le Moulin, Boissy-le-Châtel, Francegroup
2008OUR FUTURE: The Guy & Myriam Ullens Foundation CollectionUCCA, Beijing, Chinagroup
2007Gu DexinShanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, Chinasolo
2007Gu DexinGallery Art&Public Geneve Switzerlandsolo
2007The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from ChinaTate Liverpool, Liverpool, UKgroup
2007Fasmagoria, Dibujo en movimientoFundacion ICO, Madrid, Spaingroup
2007Who do you think you are? Chinese contemporary art exhibition Milano, Italygroup
2007The Real Thing, Contemporary art From ChinaTate, Liverpool, UKgroup
20072nd Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts FORMS OF CONCEPTSHubei Art Museum, Wuhan, Chinagroup
200785 new wave-the birth of Chinese contemporary artUCCA, Beijing, Chinagroup
2007Beyond icons: Chinese contemporary art in MiamiMiami, USAgroup
2007A Continuous DialogueGalleria Continua, San Gimignano, Italygroup
2007Plato and His Seven SpiritsOCT-Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, Chinagroup
2007Idylls and VisionsGuangdong Museum of Art, Guangdong, Chinagroup
2006Gu DexinGallery Urs Meile Lucerme, Switzerlandsolo
2006China Power Station: Part ISerpentine Gallery, London, UK group
2006A Continuous DialogueGalleria Continua, Beijing, Chinagroup
2006Jiang Hu: Contemporary Chinese ArtTilton Gallery, New York, USAgroup
2006Create History: Commemoration Exhibition of Chinese Modern Art in 1980sOCAT, Shenzhen, Chinagroup
2005Gu DexinShanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, Chinasolo
2005Emergency BiennaleChechnya, Chinagroup
2005Matrix art Project BrusselsBelgiumgroup
2005Majiang, Chinesische Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Sigg KunstmuseumBern, Switzerlandgroup
2005To Each his OwnContemporary Art Zero Fleld, Beijing, Chinagroup
2005Ten Thousands YearsContemporary Art Beijing, Beijin, Chinagroup
2005Contemporary Art + Conceptual Real EstateToday Art Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2004Beyond BoundariesShanghai Gallery of Art, Shanghai, China group
2004All under HeavenM HKA Antwerpen, The Netherlands, group
2004DialoguesShanghai Gallery of Art Shanghai, China, group
2004Le Moine Et Le DemonArt contemporain Chinois Musee d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, Lyon, group
2004Between Past and Future, New photography and video from ChinaChicagogroup
2004Is it Art?Centre for Contemporary Art, Xian, Chinagroup
2003Chinese MaximalismMillennium Art Museum, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Dreams and ConflictsBiennale di Venezia, Italygroup
2003DistanceArt Museum of Guandong, Guandong, Chinagroup
2003Second Hand Reality TodayArt Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Left Hand Right Hand798 Space Art, Beijing, Chinagroup
2003Paradis FabriquesCentre d'art contemporain, Le Parvis, Francegroup
2002Making ChinaEthan Cohen Fine Arts, New York, U.S.A group
2002PauseGwangju Biennale 2002, Gwangju, Koreagroup
2002Too Much Flavour3Hart Center, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2002New Stage for Chinese Contemporary Art, International ExhibitionCentre for Science and Technology, Beijing, Chinagroup
2002Food, Sex & Human NatureGallery Artside, Seoul, Koreagroup
2002Harvest: Contemporary Art ExhibitionThe National Agricultural Museum, Beijing, Chinagroup
2002Reinterpretation: a Decade of Experimental Chinese Art (1990-2000)The First Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou, Chinagroup
2002MirageSuzhou Art Museum, Suzhou, China group
2001UnknownMultimedia Art Festival, Loft, Beijing, Chinagroup
2001Living in TimeHamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Germanygroup
2001Dialogue Avec DaliShanghai Mart Shanghai, China , group
2001Chengdu BiennaleChengdu Contemporary Art Museum, Chengdu, Chinagroup
2001Transplantatatation in situThe Fourth Shenzhen Contemporary Sculpture Exhibition, Shenzhen, Chinagroup
2000Gu DexinLoft, Beijing, Chinasolo
2000Food as ArtsClub Vogue, Beijing, Chinagroup
2000Documentation of Chinese Avant-Garde Art in 90sFukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japangroup
2000Post-material: Interpretations of Everyday Life by Contemporary Chinese ArtistsRed Gate Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2000Fuck OffEastlink Gallery, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2000About Me - Chinese Conceptual Photography ExhibitionNew Vision Gallery, Shanghaigroup
2000Unusual & Usual - Contemporary Art ExhibitionModern Art Museum, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2000Lights are on but Nobody is HomeDDM Warehouse, Shanghai, Chinagroup
2000Installations-Performance-Video Versus Painting ExhibitionLang Tao Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
2000Passe-Murailles: Nouvelles scenes de L’art contemporain chinoisMusee de Picardie, Amiens, Francegroup
1999Video CircleHong Kong University of Science and Technology Exhibition Hall, Hong Kong, Chinagroup
1999Innovations Part IIChina Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), Beijing, Chinagroup
1999Poly PhenolreneThe Bow Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
1999Bird Beast Fruit FlowerGalerie Martini, Hong Kong, Chinagroup
1999Installations – Asian Artists in ResidenceMattress Factory, Pittsburgh, U.S.Agroup
1999Collection from Modern Chinese Art FoundationProvincial Centrum voor Kunst en Cultuur te Gent, Belgium, group
1998Trace of Existence - A Private Showing of China Contemporary Art ’98 ArtNow Studio, Beijing, Chinagroup
1998The Bridge Construction in Process VIMelbourne, Australiagroup
1998Beelden Buiten ’98 - I Nerer Promised You a Rose GardenTielt, Belgiumgroup
1998Site of Desire 1998Taipei Biennial, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwangroup
1998Inside Out: New Chinese ArtAsian Society and P.S.1 Art Center, New York, USA group
1998Modern Art Museum of San FranciscoSan Francisco, U.S.Agroup
1998Corruptionists in BeijingBeijing, Chinagroup
1997Another Long March - Chinese Conceptual Art 1997Fundament Foundation, Chasse Kazerne, Breda, The Netherlandsgroup
1997Aus Der Vr China Zeitgenossische FotokunstNew Berlin Art Society (NBK), Berlin, Germanygroup
1996ShelterFundament Foundation, Wolfslaar, Breda, The Netherlandsgroup
19964 Points de Recontre ChineGalerie de France, Paris, Francegroup
199696 International COM – ArtSuwon, Koreagroup
1995Asian-Contemporary Art from the Far EastCasino, Venice, Italygroup
1995Uecker Sends a Letter to BeijingNew Berlin Art Society (NBK), Berlin, Germanygroup
1995Configura 2 Dialog der KulturenGalerk am Fischmarkt, Erfurt, Germanygroup
1995Out of the Middle Kindom Chinese Avant-garde ArtSanta Monica Art Center, Barcelona, Spaingroup
1995Triennale KleinplastikOstasien, Germanygroup
1994‘94 Beijing International COM-Art Show Chinathe Gallery of Capital Normal University, Beijing, Chinagroup
1994Chinese Contemporary Artists’ Agenda 1994a printed media exhibition, China, group
1993Gu DexinGalerie Arnaud Lefebvre, Paris, Francesolo
1993China Avant-gardeHaus der Kulturen, Berlin, Germanygroup
1993China’s New Art Post 1989Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, group
1993Tomorrow’s Art - Viewpointsformer San Matteo Hospital, Spoleto, Italygroup
1992Gu Dexin/Huang Yongping/Zhang PeiliGalerie Arnaud Lefebvre, Paris, Francegroup
1991Analysts II exhibited in Exceptional PassageChina Avant-garde Artists Exhibition, Fukuoka, Japangroup
1990Next PhaseLondon Docks, London,
1990Analysts INew Analysts Group’s Workshop, Beijing, Chinagroup
1989China Modem Art ExhibitionChina Art Gallery, Beijing, Chinagroup
1989Les Magiciens de la TerreCenter Georges Pompidou, Paris, Francegroup
1988UnknownNewhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural, group
1988CenterStaten Island, New York, USAgroup
1986Gu Dexin’s WorksInternational House, Beijing, Chinasolo
1985ScrawlsChaoyang Theater, Beijing, Chinagroup