Huang Rui

China 1952

Installation, Performance Art

Huang Rui
Huang Rui
November 15, 2014
Nina Karaicic is a journalist with experience in TV and radio media. Born in 1989, she had studied at the University of Belgrade – Faculty of Political Sciences (Journalism). Interests: Photography, Art, Film, Folklore, Video Games

Huang Rui is one of China’s most respected and controversial contemporary artists who creates two-dimensional, three-dimensional, installation, and performance works. He was a founder of the Stars Group and the 798 Art District.

Born in Beijing, China in 1952, Huang is an original founder of the avantgarde art group, the “Stars,” which included artists Wang Keping, Ai Weiwei, Ma Desheng and Li Shuang and was active in from 1979 to 1983. This groundbreaking group of amateur artists was the first publicly active art collective to protest government censorship after the Cultural Revolution. Huan is considered one of the founding members of China’s contemporary art movement.

In the 1990s, at a time when there were no public spaces for the display of contemporary art, he was among the few who launched the concept of apartment exhibitions. After spending 14 years in Japan, Huang Rui returned to Beijing and became one of the main initiators and advocates of the 798 Art District, which has since become the symbol of the success of contemporary art in China.

Early on, Huang Rui mostly created paintings that referenced various Western artistic styles such as Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, Fauvism and Cubism. However, as his style developed, he became more experimental and began exploring different mediums including photography, printmaking, installation art and performance art.

Huang Rui’s work is characterized by symmetry and simplicity of form, as well as by the use of primary colors. His work stands alone as aesthetically pleasing; however, he is recognized as a socially minded, and thus often controversial, artist. Throughout his career, he has continued to be vocal about his belief in the importance of free expression—and as a result, he has faced a large amount of censorship from the government.

A major theme of Huang Rui’s work is the use of language. He uses texts, often Chinese political slogans, in a playful manner; however, his implications are far from comical. One of his most powerful pieces is “Charmain Mao 10,000 RMB” where he uses 10,000 RMB worth of banknotes to spell out the political slogan “Mao Zhuxi Wan Sui” which translates to “10,000 years for Chairman Mao.”

It is hard to categorize Huang Rui’s art. Over the years, his work has taken on many forms. Most of them are characterized by a spirit of rebelliousness and an interest in exploring the human condition in the face of the impenetrable walls of authority. In his art, he often approaches serious issues with playful use of words. His artwork can be very symbolic, and often uses simple and direct slogans for an ironic and humorous effect. With geometric clarity and symmetry, as well as a consistent reliance on primary colors, all of Huang Rui’s pieces stand alone as objects of beauty. His body of work reflects the concerns of a highly socially engaged artist through satires of reality and references to history.

Huang Rui currently lives and works in Beijing, China.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Huang RuiMagda Danysz Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2013The Wasteland Series Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing ChinaSolo
2013The Change of Essence- The Shenzhen Public Sculpture Exhibition 2013 Shenzhen, ChinaGroup
2013Digital Live Xiaozhou Village, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2013Venice Biennale Venice, ItalyGroup
2013Light before Dawn Asia Society Hong Kong Center, Hong KongGroup
2012Woman Outdoor Sculpture Show German Embassy, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2012Ping-Pong Shanghai Tang, Hong KongSolo
2012Language-Color 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong KongSolo
2012 I-Ching Opposite House, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2012RAZE Pékin Fine Arts, Beijing, China Group
2012Daydreaming with… ArtisTree, Hong KongGroup
2012Chai-na-China Signs: Works by Huang Rui and Ko Siu Lan Slought Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USAGroup
2011Huang Rui Exhibition Space Hongjee, Seoul, South Korea Solo
2011 I JOY YOU JOY 604 Gallery, Busan, South KoreaSolo
2011 CZECHINA Embassy Art Gallery, Embassy of the Czech Republic, Beijing, ChinaSolo
2011Guangzhou LIVE Performance Art Festival Xiaozhou Village, Guangzhou, ChinaGroup
2011Blooming in the Shadows: Unofficial Chinese Art 1974-1985 China Institute, New York, USAGroup
2011Red 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong KongGroup
2011LOVE and HOPE Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2011Black White Zero Field Art Center, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2011Documentation of Chinese Performance Art Exhibition Songzhuang Art Museum, Beijing, ChinaGroup
2010Erotic Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery, Beijing, China Group
2009 Comerchina Chinese Contemporary Gallery, Shanghai, China Solo
2006One Country Two Systems – Unchanged After 50 Years! 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong Solo
2006Chairman Mao 10 000 RMB Chinese Contemporary, Beijing Solo
20052nd Dashanzi International Art Festival: LanguageFable, BeijingGroup
2005Convergence Art exhibition Dashanzi Art District, BeijingGroup
20041st Dashanzi International Art Festival: Radiance and Resonance -Signals of Time Dashanzi Art District, BeijingGroup
2003Transborder Language: Live Poetry-Performance Art Beijing Tokyo Art Project, BeijingGroup
2003Blue Sky Exposure – Anti SARS Exhibition Dashanzi Art District and Yi Zhuang, BeijingGroup
2002Beijing Afloat Beijing Tokyo Art Project Opening Exhibition BeijingGroup
2002The 1st Guangzhou Triennale Guangzhou Museum, GuangzhouGroup
2001Promenade in Asia AFTER KITCH” Shiseido Gallery, TokyoGroup
2001Dream 2001 Contemporary Chinese Art Exhibition Red Mansion Foundation, LondonGroup
2000The Xing Xing 20 years Tokyo GalleryGroup
2000Non-existent Journey III KCAL Kansai Contemporary Art Laboratory, Amagasaki, Osaka Solo
2000Non-existent Journey IV Osaka Contemporary Art Center, Osaka Solo
2000Huang Rui Exhibition Kaze Gallery, Osaka (also ’98, 97, 95, 92, 90) Solo
1999Beijing 0:00 [Performance] Wenzi Gallery, Tokyo Solo
1999Memories of 100 Years Huang Rui Studio, OsakaGroup
1998Huang Rui Exhibition JF Mayer Gallerie, MarseilleGroup
1998L’Art Degenere Gallerie Municipale de Sextius, Aix en ProvenceGroup
1997Chinese Abstraction and Beyond Hong Kong Arts centerGroup
1997I Ching + Planned Road Nishetenma Area, Osaka Solo
1997Huang Rui Exhibition Bricollage Gallery, Osaka Solo
1997Huang Rui Exhibition Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo Solo
1996Chinese Modern Arts Gallery Asur, OsloGroup
1996Gold Fish + Planned road Nishetenma Area, Osaka Solo
1995New Painting of Chinese Artists Alisan Fine Arts Gallery, Hong KongGroup
1994The Xing Xing – China Modern Art & Cultural Kunsterhaus Mousonturm, FrankfurtGroup