Zhao Liang is a famous Chinese documentary film director, also known for his remarkable video installations and photography.
Liang was born in 1971 in Dandong, Liaoning Province in China. He graduated from the Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 1992, and moved to Beijing in 1993, where he worked as an independent documentary filmmaker as well as working in photography and video art creation.
Zhao Liang began his artistic career as a photographer in the 1990s before voyaging into documentaries. Two of his early documentaries, Farewell, Yuanmingyuan and Paper Airplane, are pioneering works in Chinese documentary film. The former records the last days of the art village before its closure by the authority in 1995, and the latter follows the lives of disenfranchised youths amid the breakdown of China’s socialist system in the 1990s.
A precursor of the revolutionary documentary movement in China, Zhao Liang’s reserved and effective camerawork exposes the struggles of people from different segments of the Chinese society. In 2007, his documentary Crime and Punishment won the Montgolfiere d’or Award at the Festival of Three Continents, Nantes, France, among other awards. His 2009 documentary Petition: The Court of the Complainants premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and propelled Zhao Liang to wider international acclaim.
Zhao Liang has been involved in video art, documentaries, short films, and photography for a long period of time. Each work reveals the artist’s acute observations of social realities in China. By exploring urban and rural life in Chinese society, Zhao Liang attains a penetrating understanding of individual truth and conceptually embodies the temporality of events and existence in his works. The subject matter that Zhao Liang uses comes straight from what he sees and hears in the real world, and his finished works present representations of the ordinary. The most important aspect of his works, then, is the artist’s attitude toward reality and reality’s expressions.
Zhao Liang’s photographs are in the permanent collections of The Deutsche Bank Collection, The Goetz Collection and Three Shadows Photography Art Center Collection. Combining projections, installations, sounds, photographs, and light boxes, Zhao Liang’s works unite and transform the exhibition space.
His work has been shown in both film festivals and museum exhibitions, including Chinese Realities/Documentary Visions held in 2013 at NY’s MoMA where his landmark film, Petition screened the five-hour long version for the first time.
Zhao Liang is currently based in Beijing.
|2014||Black Face, White Face||Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China||Solo|
|2013||1st Beijing Photo Biennial||Beijing, China||Group|
|2012||Zhao Liang’s Section & Parallel Exhibition Lanterns||9th Documenta Madrid, Spain||Solo|
|2012||60-minute Cinema||Chinese Arts Centre, Manchester, UK||Group|
|2011||Zhao Liang s Section - XI International Film Festival||Watch Docs. Human Rights in Film, Warsaw, Poland||Solo|
|2011||Urban Utopia: Deutsche Bank Collection Exhibition||Hong Kong||Group|
|2010||Heavy Sleeper||Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, US||Solo|
|2010||The Potosi Principle: How can we sing the song of Lord in an alien land||Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain||Group|
|2010||The Potosi Principle: How can we sing the song of Lord in an alien land||HKW (Haus der Kulturen der Welt), Berlin, Germany||Group|
|2010||The Potosi Principle: How can we sing the song of Lord in an alien land||National Museum of Fine Arts, La Paz, Bolivia||Group|
|2010||Le Deluge, Après Mao: An Exhibition of Work by Significant Contemporary Chinese Artists||The Cress Gallery of Art, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN, USA||Group|
|2009||The Everyday||PhotoEspaña 2009, Madrid, Spain||Group|
|2009||Still Life: Contemporary Chinese Photography||Europalia, Brussel, Belgium||Group|
|2009||We Are The World: Photography from China and the Netherlands||Three Shadows Photography Art Center, Beijing, China||Group|
|2009||We Are The World: Photography from China and the Netherlands||Dutch Cultural Centre, Shanghai, China||Group|
|2009||We Are The World: Photography from China and the Netherlands||Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China||Group|
|2008||Instant: Zhao Liang’s Videos & Photos||Threeshadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing, China||Solo|
|2008||Instant: Zhao Liang’s Videos & Photos||L.A Gallery, Frankfurt, Germany||Solo|
|2008||Fokuschina||Stasiatiska Museum, Sweden||Group|
|2008||5th Berlin Biennial||Berlin, Germany||Group|
|2008||12th International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Art||Houston, TX, USA||Group|
|2006||III International Video-Art Biennial In Israel||Israel||Group|
|2005||Paris-Berlin International Video Art Festival France||Germany||Group|
|2004||New Photo and Video Art from China ICP||New York, US||Group|
|2004||Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the US||Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, US||Group|
|2004||Out the window - Space of distraction||The Japan Foundation Asia Center, Japan||Group|
|2003||How Latitudes Become Forms||Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US||Group|
|2003||How Latitudes Become Forms||Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo per l’Art, Torino, Italy||Group|
|2003||How Latitudes Become Forms||Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, Texas, USA||Group|
|2002||The 48th International Short Film Festival||Oberhausen, Germany||Group|
|2002||Input 2002||Rotterdam, Netherland||Group|
|2002||Chinese Show Unit||1st International Video-Art Biennial, Israel||Group|
|2001||The 8th New York Underground Film Festival||New York, US||Group|
|2001||The Next Generation||Asia Contemporary Art Exhibition, Paris, France||Group|
|2001||Ars 01||Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland||Group|
|2001||The 13th Brazil International Digital Art Festival||Sao Paulo, Brazil||Group|
|2000||Microwave Festival||Hong Kong||Group|
|2000||City Zooms||Hanover, Germany||Group|
|2000||Lights Are On But Nobody Is Home||Shanghai, China||Group|
|1999||Video Forms 99||France||Group|
|1999||Up and Coming||Hanover, Germany||Group|
|1999||Poly phenolrene||Beijing, China||Group|
|1999||A New Chinese Art Exhibition||Design Museum & Chinese Cultural Center, Beijing, China||Group|
|1998||The 16th World Wide Video Festival||Amsterdam, Holland||Group|
|1998||Life||Wan Fung Gallery, Beijing, China||Group|
|1997||China Contemporary Video Art Exhibition||Demonstration of Video Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts Gallery, Beijing, China||Group|
|1997||China Contemporary Artistic Photographic Exhibition||NBK, Germany||Group|