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 Fundacion, 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

  • 1stTaipei 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


CATALOGS 
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 Fundacion, 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 Portugal et Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna, Lisbon, Portugal)

2008

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

2003

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

2002

  • Return to Painting (Harpercollins Publishers, New York, United States)
  • Gao Xingjian (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain)

2001

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)