Jian Guo

[vc_row][vc_column][us_btn text=”中文” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fliveinart.com.au%2Fcollections%2Fall-fresh%2Fguo-jian-zh%2F|||” color=”light” align=”right” iconpos=”right”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][us_gallery ids=”8517″ layout=”masonry” columns=”5″][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text 0=””]The Joke, 2007
Oil on Canvas 213 x 152 cm
SOLD[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][us_gallery ids=”8337″ layout=”masonry” columns=”5″][vc_column_text]

Jian Guo


[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_column_text]Born in Guizhou, China, 1963

Lives and works in Melbourne

Jian Guo, and his art, are products of the last fifty years of violence and tumultuousness in China, from the Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s and 70s, to the Sino-Vietnam war at the beginning of the 80’s, and through to the horrors of the Tiananmen Square incident.

At the end of the 1970’s at age seventeen, he enlisted in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) during a recruitment drive to support the Sino-Vietnamese war, initiated by the country’s then leader Deng Xiaoping. The grim reality of his military experiences permanently transformed him from the idealistic young promoter of the ideology of the army and communist party as he served as a propaganda poster painter. As with many of his peers, his military experiences left him both cynical and with a new found critical perspective. After leaving the army he returned to his hometown and was the propaganda officer in a transport company.

His time in the army would later serve as fertile source material for his artwork. After leaving the army, Jian Guo enrolled in the National Minorities “Minzu” University and studied art in Beijing during China’s “85 New Wave” art movement period.

Throughout his body of work, Jian Guo’s art focuses on the deployment of the female celebrity, as model patriot, a tool of manipulation and Ulyssean Siren. His work points to the commonalities between the implied purity of the Chinese army’s Entertainment Soldier performers and their Western counterparts. He toys with the overt innocence and the underlying eroticism and desirability of women utilised to manipulate and motivate men in uniform and in society as a whole. He delves into the sexualisation of propaganda, heroism, patriotism and persuasion. What first appears as humour is actually a lament at the use of sex to seduce men to war.

Jian Guo’s works not only relates to his own tribulations but to themes, experiences and things left unsaid that are perhaps universal to soldiers in any army. His subjects wrestle with the inherent contradictions: high ideals verses blighted reality, heroism verses villainy, patriotism and valour verses betrayal and loathing. He speaks of the lines easily blurred between terror, euphoria, aggression and lust.

He also nods to the commonality and empathy of soldiers across borders. Soldiers don’t start wars, governments do; but it is the soldiers who serve and suffer the horrors.

Jian Guo’s work has been exhibited and collected in Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, USA, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and China, including Musée de Picardie in France, Brussels Art Festival, the Art Gallery Of New South Wales, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Australian National Gallery. He has been featured in Art Profile Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC Radio and TV and on the cover of the Asian Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Magazine.



1989 Graduated with BA, Central University for Nationalities (now renamed Minzu University of China), Beijing
1992–2014 Lived and worked in Australia and China
2014 Now based in Australia


2017 The Encroachment, Arc1 Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2012 Guo Jian, Burwood Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2010 The Cast and Crew, 4A Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2009 New Works by Guo Jian, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2007 New Works By Guo Jian, Galerie Anne Lettrée, Paris, France
2006 New Works By Guo Jian, Arc One Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2005 New Works By Guo Jian, Michael Reid, Sydney, Australia
2002 Bubbles of Yum, Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2001 Mama’s Tripping’, Heidi Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, Australia
2000 Mama’s Tripping’, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Gorman House, Canberra, Australia
1999 Trigger Happy, Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1998 Double Happiness is a Warm Gun, Tin Sheds Gallery of the University of Sydney, Australia
1994 Little Bastards, Headspace Gallery, Sydney, Australia



2016 The Refugees, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Sydney, Australia
Heavy Artillery, White Rabbit Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2015 Temporary Autonomous Zones, MOCA, North Miami, USA
(Forthcoming 15 August–13 October 2015) An Exhibition Created by a
Russian, a Chinese and a Cuban, Aluna Art Foundation Exhibition, Miami, USA
2014 1st China–Czech Contemporary Art Exhibition, Zhongjie Art Gallery, Songzhuang, Beijing, China
2013 1st China–Asean Biennale, Nanning Exhibition Center, Nanning Guangxi, China
2012 1st Contemporary Art ‘Weibo’ Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Center, Beijing, China
Today Contemporary, Songzhuang Siwei Art Space, Beijing, China
2010 DHZ Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Crossover Songzhuang Art Festival (Australian Section), Beijing, China
2009 Midway Touring Exhibition in China and Australia
China Project, Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
2008 From Mao to Now, Armory Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Songzhuang Dreamtime, Songzhuang, Beijing, China
Chinese Voices, Chinese Stories, Osage, Hong Kong
Southern Skies: Chinese Artists in Australia, The Australian Embassy, Beijing, China
The Converted Image, DAX Art Space, Beijing, China
China Project, Galeria OMR, Mexico City, Mexico
2007 Backbone Strength, Arts Mansion, Beijing, China
2004 ARTV, Australian Centre for the Moving Image & SBS, Melbourne Australia
Sulman Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Bendigo Art prize, Bendigo Art Gallery, Melbourne Australia
2003 Group Show January, Ray Hughes Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Liverpool Art Prize, Liverpool, Australia
2002 Sulman Prize Exhibition, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, Australia
The Year in Art Exhibitions, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, Australia
2000 Australian Drawing Biennale, Drill Hall, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Contemporary Australian Art, Musée de Picardie, Amiens, France
Chinese–Australian Art, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Beyond China, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Sydney
1997 3×3 Demonstration Art, Sydney, Australia
1996 3×3 (video), Touring Berlin, Germany, and Auckland, New Zealand
1992 Yuanmingyuan Artists Exhibition, Brussels Art Gallery, Belgium
Forest Art Exhibition, Beijing, China
1991 Yuanmingyuan Art, Goethe Institute, Dayuan Guesthouse, Beijing, China
Studio 149 Exhibition, Yuanmingyuan, Beijing, China
1990 Paintings of Guo Jian and Zhang Ge, Beijing Art Gallery and Beijing Friendship Hotel, Beijing, China
1988 Selected Works Exhibition of the Minzu University of China, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China
1981 Provincial Military Art Exhibition, Yunnan, China


2000 1st Prize Fisher’s Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Australia
2003 1st Prize, Liverpool Art Prize, Casula Powerhouse, Liverpool, Australia



White Rabbit Collections
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Casula Powerhouse, Liverpool, Sydney, Australia
Global Resources, Los Angeles, USA
Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Private collections in China, Hong Kong, Mexico, Sweden, Belgium, France, New
Zealand, Australia, USA



2000 – 2004 Artwork Trigger Happy used as backdrop for the main stage of Big Day Out Rock Festival Tour of Australia and New Zealand
2003 Artwork used for backdrop and theme of the music-video clip of the Gilberson–Revolution Band
2001 – 2002 Visible Arts Foundation Installation Arts Project, Republic Tower, Melbourne, Australia[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]