Chivalry No.2, 2018
Acrylic on Linen 80 x 130 cm
Chivalry No.5, 2018
Acrylic on Linen 80 x 130 cm
Born in Beijing, China, 1957
Lives and works in Beijing & Sydney
Guan Wei is a major figure in both the Australian and Chinese contemporary art scenes. For almost 30 years he has been creating work that interweaves imagery from his Chinese heritage, his life experience in Australia and his personal mythology.
In 1989, three years after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University, he came to Australia as artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art. He migrated in 1990. Further residencies followed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (1992) and the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University (1993). In 2008 he set up a studio in Beijing and he now lives and works in both Beijing and Sydney.
Guan Wei’s works display a heightened socio-political awareness. Many of them incorporate European-style maps and Chinese-style landscapes as the foundation on which he addresses a range of topics: cross-cultural issues, environmental awareness, Australian politics, immigration, the plight of refugees. His distinctive style and highly personal visual vocabulary – floating clouds, map coordinates, isobars – are vehicles for statements that have a profoundly felt moral dimension. Some of his works incorporate the timeless theme of journeying, a theme prevalent in classical Chinese literature and scroll paintings, though transported by the artist to the present day when so many journeys are made to escape persecution or seek a better life.
At the same time his art is laced with whimsy and humour. Human figures depicted in his delightfully idiosyncratic manner play hide and seek in a forest or cavort on the beach, which, for Guan Wei, is the epitome of hedonism and freedom in Australia. “I try to emphasize three elements in my work”, the artist says, “wisdom, knowledge and humour. I believe people need wisdom to choose from the many different cultural traditions that confront us every day; knowledge is the key to opening our minds to the diversity of the world; and humor is necessary to comfort our hearts”.
1986 Graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of Beijing Capital University and became an art teacher in a High School.
1989 Artist-in-Residence, Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
1990 Grant, Australia Council.
1990-91 Artist-in-Residence, Tasmanian School of Art, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
1992 Artist-in-Residence, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
1993 Artist-in-Residence, Canberra School of Art, Australian National University Canberra.
1994 Awarded 1994 Gold Coast City Gallery Gonrad Jupiters Art Prize.
1995 Grant, Australia Council.
1996 Curatorial Team Member, the Second Asia-Pacific of Contemporary Art Triennial Queensland Art Gallery.
1997 Artist-in-Residence, Sydney Grammar School.
1997 Awarded 1997 Australian Print media Art Prize, University of Western Sydney, Nepean.
1997 Awarded 1997 Biennial art Exhibition diary, The Southland Entertainment centre, Sydney.
1997 One of the eight artist commissioned to produce the fine art limited edition prints for the
1997 Sydney 2000 Olympic poster program.
1998 Visiting Fellowship, Canberra School of Art Australia National University, Canberra.
1998 Grant, Australia Council.
1998 Awarded 1998 Gold Coast City Gallery Gonrad Jupiters Art Prize.
1999 Awarded 1999 Nillumbik Art Award VIC Australia.
1999 Awarded 1999 Geelong Print Prize.
1999 Awarded 1999 Rena Elen Jones Memorial Print Award.
1999 Artist-in-Residence Queensland College of Art, Griffith University.
2000 Grant from Asia Link Australia.
2000 Artist-in-residence, Lasalle SIA College of the Arts, Singapore.
2001 Awarded 2001 Mosman Art Prize Sydney.
2001 Awarded 2001, 39th Festival of Fisher’s Ghost, Campbelltown Art Gallery Sydney.
2001 Artist-in-residence Bundanon Trust Nowra NSW.
2001 Artist-in-residence Parks Victoria VIC.
2001 Artist-in-residence Casula Power House Museum NSW.
2001 Commissioned by The Sydney Morning Herald to do a cover art work for celebrate Australia Day.
2002 Awarded 2002 Sulman Prize NSW Art Gallery.
2002 Grant, Australia Council, artist-in-residence Greene St New York.
2002 Visiting Fellowship, Canberra School of Art Australia National University, Canberra.
2002 Commission ‘Feng Shui’ Mural Painting for 700 Collins St Docklands Melbourne.
2002 Commission ‘Paper War’ For SBS & Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
2002 Australian – China Council residence grant at Taipei Artist Village.
2002 Artists’ Camp, Gunbalanya (Oenpelli), Western Amhem Land, through 24HR Art, Darwin (Australia Council Grant).
2002 Artist-in-residence Campbelltown Arts Centre Sydney.
2007 Ambassador 2007 City of Sydney Chinese New Year Festival.
2007 Grant, Australia Council, artist in residence at Cite International des Art Paris.
2008-10 Fellowship Grant Australia Council，& set up a studio in Beijing.
2010 Artist-in-residence at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation USA.
2011 Artist-in-residence at He Xiang Ning Art Museum, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shenzhen, China
2012 Artist in residence at Ah Ming studio Jing De Zhen, ceramic city China
2013 Commission for MCA mural “The Journey to Australia ”
2013 Confer honorary president for Meijiang International Art Center Tianjin China
2014 Artist in residence at Jun Jun studio Jing De Zhen, ceramic city China.
2014 Artists’ Camp, “Looking for Spirits ” Lipo Guizhou China.
2015 Commissioned by Fairfax Digital Australia & New Zealand Pty Limited to do cover art work for The Sydney
2015 Morning herald, The age, and The Canberra Time three news papers to celebrate Chinese New Year.
2015 Grant, Australia Council, artist-in-residence at ACME London.
2015 Awarded 2015 Arthur Guy Memorial Prize, Bendigo Art Gallery VIC
2015 Artist in residence at Henriot Quimper, France
2016 Curated Sun Ziyao’s Ink Instinct exhibition at Vermilion Art Gallery Sydney
2016 Curated Foreshadow exhibition at Vermilion Art Gallery Sydney
2017 Coordinated Australia team for Qian Ling New Media International Festival Guizhou Province China
2017 Visiting Artist for LongLi Multi-media Art project Guizhou Province China
2017 Curated the Charming Confusion exhibition at Vermilion Gallery Sydney
2018 Commissioned design for ATW “Treasure Hunt” Tapestry
2018 Curated the Niche Construction at Vermilion Gallery Sydney
2018 Designed Dragon Lantern for Lunar Lanterns Festival Sydney
2018 Adjudicator Committee for the Golden Wattle Awards 2018
2018 Designed Golden Wattle Awards trophy
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2018 Chivalry, ARC ONE Gallery, Melbourne
2018 Unexpected Histories, The University of Chicago Center in Beijing
2017 Cosmotheoria, White Box Art Center 798 Art District Beijing
2017 Reflection, Martin Browne Contemporary Sydney
2016 Guan . Perspective, Scene Sense Art Gallery, Beijing
2016 Bird, Map, Shadow, Heiser Gallery QLD Australia
2016 Salvation, ARC ONE Gallery, VIC Australia
2015 Panorama, Art of Guan Wei, Jia Pingwa Cultural Museum of Art Xi’an china
2015 From Stars To Soul, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2015 The Great Southern World, Nancy Sever Gallery, Canberra
2015 Guan Wei & Wayne Warren Crossing Lines, ACME Project Space London
2014 How Far Heiser Gallery Brisbane
2014 Archaeology ARC One Gallery Melbourne
2014 From the water to the sky Glasshouse Port Macquarie Reginal Gallery NSW
2013 Twinkling Galaxies, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2013 Enigma Space, Moonlight 8 Gallery, Suzhou, China
2012 The Enchantment, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne
2011 Spellbound, He Xiang Ning Art Museum, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal Shenzhen, China
2011 Bird Island, Chan Hampe Galleries, Singapore
2011 Play on the Beach, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney
2011 The New Classic of the Mountains and Seas, Red Gate Gallery Beijing, China
2010 Cloud in the sky, Water in the bottle, Shumu Art Space, Beijing
2010 Cloud, ARC One Gallery Melbourne, Australia
2009 Fragments of history, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2009 Longevity for Beginners, 10 Chancery lanes Gallery Hong Kong.
2008 Zodiac, Turner Galleries Perth, Australia.
2007 Day After Tomorrow, Red Gate Gallery 798 Village Beijing.
2007 A Mysterious Land, ARC One Gallery Melbourne Australia.
2006 Other Histories: Guan Wei’s Fable for a Contemporary World, Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
2006 A Distant Land, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide
2006 Jiang Hu, Liverpool Regional Museum, Sydney.
2006 Echo, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2005 Secret Histories, ARC One Gallery, Melbourne.
2004 Looking for Enemies, Sherman Galleries, Goodhope, Sydney.
2004 Prediction-Reflection, The Church Gallery, Perth International Arts Festival.
2003 Looking, Greene St Studio, New York.
2003 A Passage to Australia, photospace School of Art ANU Canberra.
2002 Dao Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Singapore.
2002 Island, Sherman Galleries Goodhope St, Sydney.
2002 Exotic Flowers & Rare Grasses, Sherman Galleries Hargrave St, Sydney.
2001 Studio Show, Parks Victoria Warrandyte Melbourne.
2000 Horoscope, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing.
2000 Domino, Arrivals, Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, Sherman Galleries Hargrave St, Sydney.
2000 Zen Garden, Sherman Galleries, Goodhope St, Sydney.
2000 Looking for Home, Earllu Gallery, Singapore.
1999 Floating, Sherman Gallery, Sydney.
1999 Nesting, or Art of Idleness, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
1999 New Paintings, Span Galleries, Melbourne.
1998 Revisionary, Drill Hall Gallery, The Australian National University.
1998 Internal Circulation, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing China.
1997 The Last Supper, Tokyo Gallery, Tokyo Japan.
1997 ex/inspire, Sherman Galleries, Goodhope, Sydney.
1997 Anonymous Invader, Sydney Grammar School, Sydney.
1996 Return to Paradise, Red Gate Gallery, Beijing China.
1996 Sausage, Umbrella Studio, Townsville North Queensland.
1996 Magic Garden, Hanart T Z Gallery, Hong Kong.
1995 Treasure Hunt, Sherman Galleries, Goodhope, Sydney.
1994 The Great War of the Eggplant, Drill Hall Gallery, The Australian National University.
1993 Test Tube Baby, Sherman Galleries, Sydney.
1992 The Living Specimen, Plimsoll Gallery University of Tasmania Hobart.
1992 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, Dick Bett Gallery, Hobart.
1991 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, Waverly City Gallery, Melbourne.
1991 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, Hobart Despard Street Gallery, Hobart.
1991 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, Plimsoll Gallery University of Tasmania Hobart.
1991 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, photospace School of Art ANU Canberra.
1989 Guan Wei Solo Exhibition, French Embassy, Beijing.