Wang Jin (Chinese, b.1962) is a sculptor, installation artist, and performance artist. He was born in Datong city, a province of Shanxi. After graduating from the China Academy of Fine Arts in 1987 with a focus on traditional Chinese painting, he worked at the Beijing Institute of Clothing as drawing instructor for three years.

Disappointed with the fact that his creative output was being hindered by this job as an instructor, Wang quit his job, and started to create experimental works as an independent artist. In his 1995 work, Knocking at the Door (21 cashbricks), he painted US dollars on the wall of old bricks from the Forbidden City and then reinstalled them. In another work, Fighting the Flood - Red Flag Canal (1994), he dyed a river red using grounded stones.

As his artistic style matured, Wang’s sense of social critique was charged with private emotion, leading to images that have evocative presences, rather than explicit messages. His most well-known photograph, To Marry a Mule (1995) , which features himself and his mule-bride, in hat and stockings, is a sardonic, absurdist reflection of the artist’s bureaucratic nightmare of being rejected eight consecutive times for a visa to the United States; this rejection resulted in him having to divorce his wife, who was studying in the United States at the time. This work was included in the 1999 Venice Biennale.

Since then, Wang ’s work has been increasingly present in international exhibitions. He was introduced to New York audiences in 2004, in Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, and traveled to five venues in the United States and abroad. Wang currently lives and works in Beijing.

Timeline

1962
Born in Datong, Liaoning Province, China
1987
Graduated from Chinese Academy of Fine Arts

Exhibitions

2009–2010
The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) Maastricht 2010, Maastricht, Netherlands
2009
My Tooth, Shandong, China.
Take Part – Zeitgenössische Chinesische Kunst, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland 2000
EXPO 2000 Hannover - My Bone, Hannover, Germany.
Our Chinese Friends, ACC Galerie; Galerie der Bauhaus-Universitat, Weimar, Germany.
Inside, Out: New Chinese Art, SFMoMA, San Francisco, U.S.A. Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico.
2008
Wang Jin: Dream of China. Designer's Gallery, Köln, Germany
Food and Shelter, Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China
Spring Training: Beijing 2008, Pekin Fine Arts, Beijing, China
2007
Wang Jin, Friedman Benda, New York, U.S.A (solo)
The Quiet Gesture: Recent Chinese Art, Newark Art Museum, Newark, NJ
2006
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany
2005
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
The Wall: Reshaping Contemporary Chinese Art, The Albright Knox Art Gallery, University of Buffalo Art Galleries, and the Millennium Art Museum, Beijing, China
Mahjong: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Sigg Collection, Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, U.S.A
Xianfeng! Chinese Avant-Garde Sculpture, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague, The Netherlands
2004
Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China, International Center of Photography, New York, U.S.A
Le Printemps de Chine, CRAC ALSAC, Altkirch, France
Chinese Object: Dreams & Obsessions, Salvatore Ferragamo Gallery, New York, U.S.A
2003
Together with Migrants, Today Art Gallery, Beijing, China
2002
Paris-Pékin, Place Cardin, Paris, France
The Long March - A Walking Visual Display - On the Wall Hang the Swords, Which are Upside Down, Jing Gang Shan, China
Triennale of Chinese Art - The Landscape Here is Beyond Compare, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Guangzhou Triennale, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
2001
My Tooth, Shandong, China
2000
EXPO 2000 - My Tooth, Hannover, Germany
Our Chinese Friends, ACC Galerie/Galerie der Bauhaus-Universität, Weimar, Germany
1999
Inside Out: New Chinese Art, SF MoMA, San Francisco, U.S.A., Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico
Art 30 Basel, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
TRANSIENCE: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, Smart Museum of Art; University of Chicago, Illinois; University of Oregon Museum of Art; The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, U.S.A
100%, Performance in Beijing, China
POLYPHENOLRENE, Bow Gallery, Beijing, China
APERTO over ALL: The 48th Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy
1998
Ink Art Released, National Gallery of Art, Beijing, China
A Chinese Dream, Shen Lu, The site of the Ming Imperial Tombs, Beijing, China
Museum City Fukuoka 1998 - Forward to the Victory, Memorealism, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
Inside Out: New Chinese Art, Asia Society, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, U.S.A.; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico; Tacoma Art Museum; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, U.S.A
Eight Chinese Artists. Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
1997
Chinese Contemporary Art 1997, Watari Museum, Tokyo, Japan
W2.Z2: Multimedia Slide Art, CIFA Gallery of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
A Chinese Dream, The Long Corridor in the Imperial Summer Palace, Beijing, China
1996
Ice, 96 Central China (Performance), Zhengzhou, Henan, China
Reality: Present and Future. International Art Palace, Beijing, China
Chinese Art Festival (Performance), Munich, Germany
1995
Quick Stir-frying RMB (Performance), Jianxin Hotel, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
Fried Land, The Dong'AnMen Night Market (Performance) Wangfujing Dajie, Beijing
1994
Beijing-Kowloon (Performance) Beijing-Kowloon Railroad, Daxing County, Beijing, China
Fighting the Flood - Red Flag Canal (Performance) Lin Xian, Henan Province, China
1993
Knocking at the Door (drawing US dollars on the Bricks of the Wall of the Forbidden City) (Performance), Site-specific work, Beijing, China
1992
100 Straw Portraits, Works: March 1992. The Beijing Youle Amusement, Beijing, China
1986
Trend - Ink Body. The Beijing International Art Center, Beijing, China
1985
Advanced Chinese Youth Art - Pure Brightness. The National Gallery, Beijing, China