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.