Gao Xingjian

1940, Ganzhou China

Introduction

Amongst ink collectors and academics Gao Xingjian is renowned as a distinguished artist, and globally as a canonical writer and playwright of the twenty-first century who was the first Chinese-born writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000 for his novel Soul Mountain. Born in Jiangxi Province in 1940, Gao began painting at the age of eight, and under the tutelage of his father he studied painting, sculpture and calligraphy with the intention of enrolling at the National Academy of Fine Arts. However, his family persuaded him to study French at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages. After graduation, he worked as a translator whilst continuing to paint and write in Beijing. In 1979, his essays and short stories were first published in literary reviews in China, and in 1981 he published A Preliminary Examination of Modern Fictional Techniques. Though he was officially granted French citizenship in 1998, he became a foremost Chinese émigré novelist and playwright almost immediately after moving to Paris in 1987. In 1992 and 2000 respectively, he was bestowed the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and Légion d’Honneur by the French Government. In the gallery’s 2001 catalogue for Gao, art historian Michael Sullivan wrote that “Gao Xingjian’s landscapes are utterly different. It is as though he had left that world behind, and now he stands quite alone. There is nothing now between him and the ultimate truth revealed — as it is to all imaginative Chinese — by the hills and streams. It is a great privilege to be allowed to stand beside him and, through his paintings, to share this experience with him.”

 

The gallery first began representing Gao in 1994, after Alice King met him through Poon Yiuming, Chief Editor of the Mingpao Monthly. Since then the gallery has organised eight solo exhibitions for him, with notably one in New York in 2004. The gallery has also organised three exhibitions of Gao’s works in conjunction with Le French May, Encre/Chine: Ink Paintings by Jean Degottex, Gao Xingjian and T’ang Haywen at the University Museum and Art Gallery, the University of Hong Kong in 2005, New Works by Gao Xingjian 2007-08 in 2008, and Gao Xingjian: Layers of Light, Ink In Mind in 2016. In recounting his experiences working with the gallery, Gao said “although I live in Europe, my paintings are always in Hong Kong, and I cannot help but thank these kind friends.”

 

His works have been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Musée Guimet, Paris; Théâtre Molière, Paris; Artothèque de Nantes, France; Maison de la Culture de Bourges, France; La Ville de Marseille, France; Bibliothèque de l’Université de Marseille-Provence, France; Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium; Museo Wurth La Rioja, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm; Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm; Krapperups Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden; Nobel Foundation, Sweden; Leibnitz Gesellschaft für Kulturellen Austausch, Berlin; Morat Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg; Singapore Art Museum; National Museum of History, Taipei; Taipei Fine Arts Museum; University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong; Chinese University of Hong Kong.



BIOGRAPHY

1940    Born in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, China

1952-7    Learned sketching, watercolour and oil painting at Nanjing 10th Secondary School

1957-62    Wished to study art at the Central Academy in Beijing but his family persuaded him to study French at the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages

1962-70    Worked as a translator while continuing to paint and write novels in Beijing

1979    First publication of essays and short stories in literary reviews

1981    Published First Essay on the Techniques of the Modern Novel

1982    His play, Alarm Signal, was the start of experimental theatre in China

1983    Forbidden to publish and perform in China

1985    His play The Wild Man gave rise to a new debate. Invited by the DAAD (Germany) and the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he spent eight months in Europe. His first exhibition at the Berliner Kunsterhaus Bethanien is a success

1986    The rehearsals of The Other Shore are suspended in Beijing before the play is even staged

1987    Invited by the Morat Institute for Kunst and Kunstwissenshaft and the French Ministry of Culture, he leaves China to settle in Paris. He goes back to writing The Soul Mountain, which he began writing in China in 1982

1989    After the Tiananmen Square Protests, Gao finishes The Soul Mountain and writes the play Escape that gives rise to a total ban on the entirety of his works in China

1990    His novel The Soul Mountain is published in Taiwan

1991    The Soul Mountain is translated by the academician Goran Malmqvist, and published by Forum Publishing in Sweden

1992    The translation of The Soul Mountain by Goran Malmqvist is produced by the Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern of Stockholm for the stage

Awarded the title Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government

1994    Awarded the French Community of Belgium Prize for his play

1994-2000    His plays are translated, published and performed internationally

1997    Granted French citizenship

1998    His novel One Man’s Bible is published in Taipei

2000    Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French Government

2001    He is bestowed honorary doctorate degrees by the Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Aix-Marseille, Provence, France

2002    Awarded the Golden Plate Award by the American Academy of Achievement

Member on the editorial board of La Comédie Française

2003    Member of the Académie Universelle des Cultures

“Year of Gao” in Marseille, France, featuring his painting, theatre, opera and cinema

2005    He is bestowed an honorary doctorate degree by the University of Taiwan

2006    Awarded Library Lions by the New York Public Library

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017

  • Gao Xingjian The Awakening of Consciousness, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, Belgium

2016

  • Gao Xingjian: Layers of Light, Ink in Mind, Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2015

  • Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
  • Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium
  • Kubo Kutxa Fundazion, San-Sebastian, Spain

2013

  • The Art Gallery, University of Maryland, United States

2010

2009

  • Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna Coleccao Berardo, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Musée d’Art moderne et d’Art contemporain de Liège, Liège, Belgium

2008

2007

  • Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany
  • Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States

2006

  • Institut Français, Berlin, Germany
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bern, Switzerland

2005

  • Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2004

2003

  • Musée des Beaux-Arts, Mons, Belgium
  • Musée de La Vieille Charité, Marseille, France
  • Musée des Tapisseries, Aix-en-Provence, France

2002

2001

  • Palais des Papes, Avignon, France
  • National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan

2000

  • Morat Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg, Germany
  • Bibliothèque de l’Académie Suédoise, Stockholm, Sweden

1998

1997

  • Gallery Schimmel Center for the Arts, New York, United States

1996

1995

  • Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

1993

  • Maison de la Culture, Bourges, France

1989

  • Ostasiatiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

1988

  • L’Office Municipal des Beaux-Arts et de la Culture, Wattrelos, France

1987

  • Département de la Culture, Lille, France

1985

  • People’s Art Theatre, Beijing, China
  • Berliner Kunsterhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
  • Alte Schmid, Vienna, Austria

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2019

  • 1st Taipei Dangdai, Alisan Fine Arts, Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Taipei, Taiwan

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

  • BRAFA12, Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair, Brussels, Belgium
  • Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France

2009

2008

  • Art Paris, Grand Palais, Paris, France

2007

  • Kunst 07, Zurich, Switzerland
  • The New Face of Ink Paintings-Modern Ink Painting, Sino Group, Hong Kong

2006

  • Brussels 24th Contemporary Art Fair, Brussels, Belgium
  • Kunst 06, Zurich, Switzerland

2005

2004

  • Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France

2003

  • Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France

2000

  • Art Paris, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France

1998

  • 19e Biennale Internationale des Antiquaires, Carrousel du Louvre, Paris, France

1991

  • Figuration Critique, Grand Palais, Paris, France
  • Figuration Critique, Trejiakov Galerie, Moscow, Russia
  • Figuration Critique, Galerie de l’Association des Artistes, Saint-Pétersbourg, Russia

1990

  • Figuration Critique, Grand Palais, Paris, France

1989

  • Figuration Critique, Grand Palais, Paris, France

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

Musée Guimet, Paris, France

Théâtre Molière, Paris, France

Artothèque de Nantes, France

Maison de la Culture de Bourges, Bourges, France

La Ville de Marseille, France

Bibliothèque de l’Université de Marseille-Provence, Marseille, France

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels, Belgium

Museo Wurth La Rioja, Spain

Musée des Arts Modernes, Stockholm, Sweden

Ostasiatiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Krapperups Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden

Nobel Foundation, Sweden

Leibniz Gesellschaft für Kulturellen Austausch, Berlin, Germany

Morat Institut für Kunst und Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg, Germany

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

University Museum and Art Gallery, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

 

NOVELS

2004 Buying a Fishing Rod for My Grandfather (Harpercollins Publishers, New York, United States)

2002 One Man’s Bible (Harpercollins Publishers, New York, United States)

2000 Soul Mountain (Harpercollins Publishers, New York, United States)

 

DRAMAS

2007 Song of the Night (City of the Dead and Song of the Night, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

2003 The Man Who Questions Death (Escape & the Man Who Questions Death, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1997 Snow in August (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1995 Weekend Quartet (The Other Shore, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1993 Nocturnal Wanderer (The Other Shore, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1992 Dialogue and Rebuttal (The Other Shore, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1991 Between Life and Death (The Other Shore, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1989 Of Mountains and Seas (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

Escape (Escape & the Man Who Questions Death, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1987 City of the Dead (City of the Dead and Song of the Night, Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1986 The Other Shore (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

1985 Wild Man (Asia Theatre Journal Volume 7 No.2, University of Hawaii Press, United States)

1982 Absolute Signal (National Institute for Compilation and Translation, Taiwan)

 

BOOKS

2008 Aesthetics and Creation (Cambria Press, New York, United States)

1996 Cold Literature (Chinese University Press, Hong Kong)

The Case for Literature (Yale University Press, United States)

 

MOVIES

2013 Requiem for Beauty

2008 After the Flood

2006 Silhouette/Shadow

 

CATALOGUES

2016 Gao Xingjian, Layers of Light, Ink in Mind (Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong)

2015 Gao Xingjian, Le Goût de l’Encre (Editions Hazan, Paris, France)

Gao Xingjian, Liamada a un Renacimiento (Kubo Kutxa Fundazion, Spain)

2013 Gao Xingjian, Peintre de l’Âme (Editions du Seuil, Paris, France)

Gao Xingjian, Painter of the Soule (Asia Ink, London, United Kingdom)

The Inner Landscape, The Painting of Gao Xingjian (New Academia Publishing, Washington, United States)

2010 Gao Xingjian, Al Fons del Mon (Casal Solleric Fondacion Espal d’Art, Spain)

2009 Gao Xingjian, Depois do Dilùvio (Wurth Potugal et Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal)

2008 Gao Xingjian, Despuès del Diluvio (Museo Wurth La Rioja, Spain)

New Works by Gao Xingjian 2007-2008 (Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong)

2007 Gao Xingjian, La Fin du Monde (Ludwig Museum, Koblenz, Germany)

Gao Xingjian, Between Figurative and Abstract (Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, United States)

Silhouette/Shadow, The Cinematic Art of Gao Xingjian (Editions Contours, Paris, France)

2005 Gao Xingjian, Experience (Singapore Art Museum, Singapore)

2004 Gao Xingjian, Contemplating an Inner Vision (Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong)

2003 Gao Xingjian, Ni Mots Ni Signes (Musée des Tapisserie, Aix-en-Provence, France)

2002 Returne to Painting (Harpercollins Publishers, New York, United States)

Gao Xingjian (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain)

2001 Darkness & Light (National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan)

The Solitary World of Gao Xingjian (Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong)

2000 Gao Xingjian Tuschmalerei 1983-1993 (Morat Institut for Kunst and Kunstwissenschaft, Freiburg, Germany)

1995 Ink Paintings by Gao Xingjian (Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan)

1993 Gao Xingjian (Maison de la Culture de Bourges, Bourges, France)

1986 Gao Xingjian Tusche Rausch (Leibniz Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany)