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Guo Fengyi

Chinese, 20th-21st century.
Born 1942, Xi'an, China; died 2010, Xi'an, China.


Guo Fengyi has drawn a spectacular amount of attention since her art came to light in recent years. She was born in Xi'an, central China, in 1942. She obtained her high school diploma in 1962 and found work in a rubber factory. However, severe bouts of arthritis forced her to give up her career at the age of thirty-nine. She turned to alternative medicine in the hope of alleviating her symptoms, and found a new spiritual path in Qi Gong. She started experiencing visions in 1989, as a result of which she produced large numbers of drawings, first on the backs of pages from calendars, then later on rice paper. She worked with Indian ink and brushes, producing works up to five meters long, drawn with no initial plan in mind, discovering her own creation as she worked. The multitude of delicate lines form ghostly figures, dragons, phoenixes, and faces, sometimes interwoven, smiling and serene or terrifying and monstrous. Guo's fascinating and highly original work has the power to take the viewer to an imaginary land where serenity is calm to the point of becoming disquieting and where monstrosity is strangely familiar. Guo Fengyi is now being hailed as a major figure in the history of Art Brut.


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2016, The Art of Guo Fengyi, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2014, Guo Fengyi: LANDSCAPE PORTRAIT, Long March Space, Beijing, China

2012, Guo Fengyi, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver

2012, Guo Fengyi, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne

2010, Guo Fengyi: A Chinese Rhapsody, Galerie Christian Berst, Paris

2009, Guo Fengyi: China in Four Seasons, Covett Brewster Art Gallery, New Zealand

2009, I am Guo Fengyi, Long March Space, Beijing

2008, Guo Fengyi, Galerie Barbara Gross, Munich

2005, Who is Guo Fengyi?, Long March Space, Beijing

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016, World Made By Hand, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York

2013, Carnegie International, Pittsburgh

2013, The Encyclopedic Palace (Il Palazzo Enciclopedico), 55th Venice Biennale, Venice

2013, The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, London

2010, 10,000 Lives, Gwangju Biennale 2010, Gwangju (South Korea)

2010, The Museum of Everything, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin

2009, The Kaleidoscopic Eye: Thysse-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Collection, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

2009, Exhibition #1, Museum of Everything, London

2009, Art Statement: Guo Fengyi, Art Basel, Switzerland

Selected Collections

Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne
Collection Treger Saint Silvestre, Portugal
Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation, Beijing
Lille Métropole Musée d'Art Moderne, d'Art Contemporain et d'Art Brut, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France
Museum of Everything, London
Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna

Selected Bibliography

Rugoff, Ralph, The Alternative Guide to the Universe, exhibition catalogue, Hayward Publishing, London, 2013.

Peiry, Lucienne, "Guo Fengyi," L'Art Brut, Issue 23, Collection de l'Art Brut, Lausanne, 2011.

Balzer, David, "Guo Fengyi: Mystic Markings," Canadian Art, February 23, 2010.

The Museum of Everything, exhibition catalogue, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli & Electa, Turin/Milan, 2010.

"China in Four Seasons: Guo Fengyi," Govett-Brewster, November 2009.

Shiming, Gao, "The Politics of Images by Guo Fengyi," Long March Space, October 2, 2009.

Rookes, Felicity, "Artist's Body of Work on Show," Taranaki Daily News, September 21, 2009.

Pakesch, Peter, ed., China Welcomes You...Desires, Struggles, New Identities, exhibition catalogue, Walter König in association with Kunsthaus Graz am Landesmuseum Joanneum, Cologne, 2007.

Cameron, Dan, "On Guo Fengyi" (excerpt from 2006 Taipei Biennale), Long March Space, September 15, 2005.

Lu Jie, ed., Who is Guo Fengyi?, exhibition catalogue, Long March Space Corporation, Beijing, 2005.

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