abstract art

Tang Guo

China 1955

Photography, Abstract Art, Color Field

Tang Guo
Tang Guo
February 20, 2015

Tang Guo is a Chinese contemporary artist, recognized for his ink-wash landscapes, abstract paintings, and photographs that are deeply rooted in a long history of Chinese artistic traditions.

Tang Guo was born in 1955 in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. He studied at Nanjing Art Academy and Central Academy for Arts and Crafts, Beijing from 1986 to 1989.

Tang Guo has been able to create a very unique universe within the traditional media of ink painting and calligraphy, where the beauty of the work arises from the harmonious color gradations. Ranging in size from the miniscule to the large, Tang Guo’s abstract paintings of monochromatic fields change gradually from profound blue to intense shades of red. In his ink paintings on canvas, color is the basic element out of which a rigorous and poetic pictorial proposal is made, showing the artist’s clear interest in the relationship between color fields that mix and interact. Each brush stroke is unique and in zealous search for simplicity despite the reduced color range.
Given Tang’s fascination with calligraphy and predilection for using ancient techniques to make his own paper from tree bark, his work is in many ways anti-contemporary. Yet, his lyrical black-and-white landscape photographs and vibrant, nearly monochromatic abstract works subtly subvert tradition, repurposing classical techniques to explore an interior, rather than natural, universe.

In his black and white photographic series Water and Human Territory, a certain poetic nostalgia is articulated, where all the photos are devoid of humans. Whereas photographs from Water are abstract, blurred and subjective, Human Territory applies the tradition of realist and objective photo documentary.

While the ink works do exude Tang’s originality, the reportorial expansion into stop-motion animation work is the main attraction. A 13-minute video from 2012, titled The Rhyme of Ruins, compiles black- and-white photographs of natural material like dead branches and dry leaves. Although simple in form, it has a very hypnotic, mesmerizing effects, where a consistency of struggle and tension can be seen throughout the film until the fragments disappears, and silence takes over.

Selected solo exhibitions include the ones at the ShanghART Gallery, Shanghai in 2013, at the Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai in 2006, at the ShanghART H-Space, but also numerous exhibitions across Europe, especially in Italy, where his work can be found in many private collections.

Tang Guo resides and works in Nanjing.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumGroup/Solo
2006Water & Earth - Tang GuoZhu Qizhan Art Museum, ShanghaiSolo
2005Human TerritoryShanghART Gallery H-Space, ShanghaiSolo
2005Make Up- Chinese Xiqu Theme Art ExhibitionBeijing H Art Museum, BeijingGroup
2005TemperatureNorthdelan Art Museum, DanmarkGroup
2005The First Reality- Chinese Photographical ExhibitionEurope Union Head Exhibition Hall, BrusselGroup
2004Move on the pace, change the sceneNanjing Art MuseumGroup
2004Very closely associated with each other50 Mo Gan Shan Lu, ShanghaiGroup
2003Happy WaterPingyao International Photographical Festival, ShanxiGroup
2003Happy WaterCentury Palace Art Museum, BeijingGroup
2002Water - Tang Guo photographyShanghART Gallery, ShanghaiSolo
2002Chinese Experimental Ink & Wash ArtQindao,YantaiGroup
2001Tang Guo New WorksShanghART Gallery, ShanghaiSolo
2000Shou - Long LifeLa Galliavola, Milan, ItalySolo
2000New Chinese Ink PaintingsLiu Haisu Art Museum, ShanghaiGroup
2000Location East Asia - Contemporary Art from China, Japan and South KoreaContemporary Art Museum, Ju Cultural Centre, ShanghaiGroup
1999Fortune Global Forum Contemporary Art ExhibitJinmao Podium Bldg. ShanghaiGroup
1999'99 Chinese Ink & Wash PaintingsGuangzhouGroup
1999Ways - Contemporary Art ExhibitionNew Zhejiang Library, HangzhouGroup
1998New Works on Papery by Tang GuoShanghART Gallery, ShanghaiSolo
1998Chinese Paintings - First Invitational ExhibitionNational Art Museum, BeijingGroup
1998A Retrospective of the Art of the 20th CenturyWarshaw, PolandGroup
19985 Cinesi a VerpunoArte Nel Castello, ItalyGroup
1998Stars of the Century - Biannual of Chinese ArtChinese Art Museum, Ontario, CanadaGroup
1997Jiangsu Art Monthly ’97 Invitational ExhibitionNanjingSolo
1997Original & of the BestHong Kong.Group
1996Tang Guo’s Abstract WorksShanghART Gallery, ShanghaiSolo
1996Tang Guo: Ink & Wash PaintingsGuo Fu Memorial Museum, Taipei, TaiwanSolo
1995Flying over the Homeland - Tang Guo’s New WorksEastern Gallery, Jiangsu Art Museum, NanjingSolo
199520 Years of Jiangsu Art MonthlyNanjing Museum, NanjingGroup
1994Hong Kong - Beijing: Tang Guo’s Painting ExhibitionCultura Office of the Italian Embassy, BeijingSolo
1994Estern Homeland: Tang Guo’s New WorksPhims Gallery, London, U.K.Solo
1994Unrestained Wandering & RealityCity Hall, Hong KongGroup
1993China's Christian ArtMt. Daofeng, Hong KongGroup
1992Spring ExhibitionTimes Gallery, GuangzhouGroup
1992Modern Chinese ArtCactus Shadows Fine Art Centre, Carefree,Arizona, U.S.A.Group
1991Tang GuoInternational Art Garden, BeijingSolo
1991China's Fan Shaped PaintingsConcert Hall, BeijingGroup
1991The Collection of the Jiangsu Art MonthlyXiongshi Gallery, Taipei, TaiwanGroup
1991China's New Literati Paintings of the '90sInstitute of Chinese Painting, BeijingGroup
1991Ink & Wash Paintings by Young Artists from JiangsuDaqian Gallery, BeijingGroup
1991The Practical Art of PaperShanghai Library, ShanghaiGroup
1990Tang GuoCultural Office of the Italian Embassy, BeijingSolo
1990China's New Literati PaintingsInstitute of Chinese Painting, BeijingGroup
1990Five Man's Exploration of Chinese PaintingShizhu Work Shop, BeijingGroup
1990Spring ExhibitionInstitute of Chinese Painting, BeijingGroup
1986International Youth Year: A Grand Art Week with Young Artists from JiangsuJiangsu Art Museum, NanjingGroup
1982A Travel to the WestGulou Park, NanjingGroup
1980The Art Show by Jiangsu FarmersJiangsu Art Museum, NanjingGroup