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Gu Wenda challenged the sacred power of the word

July 21, 2017

Wenda Gu is considered a pioneer for building upon and appropriating traditional Chinese traditional ink painting and calligraphy in his conceptual projects.

GU WENDA

Untitled (Pseudo Character)

Ink on paper

 

Gu, who has a background in classical ink painting, has explored the radical possibilities of the medium through series of environmental installations and large-scale semi-abstract works.

GU WENDA

Metamorphosis, Chinese Series A7, E11 & C4, 2000-2005

Human hair, glue, and rope


A member of the post-Revolution Chinese diaspora, Gu is concerned with themes of regionalism, national identity, universality, and the gaps between language and culture. The most famous of his projects includes the “United Nations” (begun 1993), in which Gu collected human hair from countries around the world, and wove them into banners with text in invented languages; Gu’s goal was to have one piece in the series in every country in the world.
 

GU WENDA

United Nations - Man and Space, 1999-2000

Human hair, white glue, burlap

 

GU WENDA

Untitled (Pseudo Characters)

Ink on paper

GU WENDA

Mythos of Lost Dynasties - K Series #1 - #10, 2011

Ink on paper

 

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