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Star Gallery

Keynes • MaoAcrylic on canvas mounted on aluminum100cmx71cmx62012

Born into what he calls an "average" Sichuanese family, Gao Yu was fascinated by Chinese philosophy at an early age, reading Lao zi's books under covers at night because he wasn't sure if his mother would understand his premature interest. His philosophical tendencies were tempered with a healthy diet of Kung Fu novels, ancient Chinese classics filled with wartime drama, and comics––plenty of comics. These childhood hobbies can perhaps elucidate Gao Yu's body of work: his literary themes were borrowed from the Chinese cannon, his comic - addiction influenced his style and the manner in which he connects his main character across canvases, lastly, certain ancient philosophies have influenced his easy - going manner and let - it - be approach to art.


And there is the panda, otherwise known as "GG." However, the birth of this feisty creature was not one inspired by love, instead by Gao Yu's intense feelings hatred for his sometimes bloody, other times, heroic national symbol. The "lovable," but lazy panda, in his opinion, is better suited to being a stuffed bear, not a symbol of national pride. The adventures of GG and his on again off again girlfriend can be followed across the panels of his very two- dimensional, purely colored works. In early 2002 he began with painting his ravenous version of the bamboo-chewing bear, and the character stuck with him, reincarnated in what seems to be a loosely autobiographical tale that, instead of appearing on the printed sheets of a comic, unfolds slowly over his canvases. Often the bear's dress embodies classical Chinese themes, or a painting's composition, or the use of a literary title.


Recent experiments with animation have seen this constant companion take the shape of the Monkey King in a legendary battle with a Superman-like figure, and a product design series "Panda Box" sees him reproduced across T-shirts, drinking glasses, sofa chairs and wallpaper, revealing Gao Yu's inherent attraction to pop culture and mass marketing. Today, Gao Yu's compositional themes, his repetition and the supposed "logo-ification" of his GG character have bounced him into renown and garnered its fair share of criticism. But he shrugs it all off easily; if you ask him how long he'll be working with his bear, he doesn't know, I guess that as long as a public is buying into the "myth of the panda" Gao Yu will have fodder for his next work.


 


Gao Yu


1981


Born in Guizhou, China


2005


Graduated from Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts 


Currently lives and works in Beijing


 


SOLO EXHIBITIONS 


2013


The Accession of Zhong Kui, Gao Yu x Hi Art - Joy Project, Hi Art - Joy Project, Beijing, China


2012


Unreality, Galaxy SOHO, Beijing, China


2010


Cheers to the Losers, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2009


Singing Stars, Marella Gallery, Milan, Italy


2008


Panda Box, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2007


Five Elements Mountain, Gallery Mook, Beijing, China


2006


Specimen, ANDARTLAB, Beijing, China


 


GROUP EXHIBITIONS


2016


i sauce: the 11th Anniversary of Star Gallery, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2015


It’s Not Right But It’s Okay, UCCASTORE, Beijing, China


2014


1199 People: Collection from Long Museum, Long Museum, Shanghai, China


2013


Criss-Cross: Artworks of Young Chinese Contemporary Artists from Long Collection, Long Museum, Shanghai, China


Uneasy Trip in Asia III, CANS Tea&Books House, Taipei


2012 Future Master, Winshare Art Museum, Chengdu, Sichuan, China


MIRROR AND SHADOW, National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia


2012


After Deliverance, 798 Space, Beijing, China


2011


One Man Theater: Works by Post-80s Artists, He Xiangning Museum, Shenzhen, China


Polyphony: 1st Exhibition of next Generation of Artists as Superstars, Huanshan1914, Taipei


Absolut Art Collection Tour, Today, Art Museum, Beijing, China


2009


News, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


Weaving A Chinese Dream, Star Gallery, Beijing, China 


From Zero to Hero, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2008


Superficial Is Not My Motto, Star Gallery, Beijing, China 


Looking For Me, Minsheng Center for Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China


2006


Naughty Kids, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


Beyond Experience, Arario Gallery, Beijing, China


2005


Next Station, Cartoon? Star Gallery, Beijing, China; He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China 


Post 70s, Mingyuan Art Center Shanghai, China; Today Art Museum, Beijing, China 


The Self-Made Generation, Zeng dai Moma, Shanghai, China


2004


Ideal of A New Generation, He Xiangning Art Museum Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China


 


PUBLICATIONS


2012


Unreality, China Today Art Museum Publishing House, Beijing, China


2010


Cheers to the Losers, Star Gallery, Beijing, China 


2009


Singing Stars, Star gallery, Beijing, China


2008


Looking for Me, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2007


Panda Box, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


2006


Specimen, Star Gallery, Beijing, China 


Naughty kids-the Chinese New Generation born after 1970, Star Gallery, Beijing, China 


Fancy.Dream, DAMIANI Press


2005


A Cartoon, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


Next Station, Cartoon?, Star Gallery, Beijing, China


 


COLLECTIONS


He Xiangning Museum, Shenzhen, China 


Absolut Art Collection, Sweden