Born 1970, Yangjiang, Guandong
Lives and works in Yangjiang, China
Zheng Guogu is one if China’s most versatile contemporary artists. He is driven by ideas rather than media and stands slightly apart from the current surge of interest in contemporary painting from China. Zheng Guogu’s work utilises a wide range of media in order to express the extensive diversity of his ideas. He has worked in performance and moves between photography, painting, sculpture and embroidery. Zheng studied in Guangzhou, the first city in China to open up to the outside world after the Cultural Revolution and has been influenced by access to the West that previous generations of artists were denied. He is regarded as an artist who reveals the pursuits of new China, often working in collaboration with other artists or students, Zheng Guogu was inspired by the members of the Long Tail Elephant Group (a group of Installation artists whose art examines and challenges the rapid changes taking place in Guangzhou) to explore more experimental, cooperative projects and subsequently formed the Yangjiang Calligraphy Group. The group tests the boundaries of calligraphy in a contemporary context, often extracting the characters from their traditional setting and turning them into sculptural objects. In a recent exhibition he created an ornamental Chinese Garden complete with a vibrating lake made of crumpled up calligraphic drawing and footbridge. His painting Computer Controlled by a Pig’s Brain 2003 is one an extensive series in which Zheng Guogu experimental calligraphy is enmeshed in a Pop aesthetic.