GUAN WEI was born 1957, Beijing, China. In 1989, three years after graduating from the Department of Fine Arts at Beijing Capital University, Guan Wei came to Australia to take up an artist-in-residence at the Tasmanian School of Art. He was invited to undertake two further residencies: one at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (1992), the other at the Canberra School of Art, Australian National University (1993). Since then he obtained many grants, including Australia Council’s grant for Greene St New York studio in 2003, Cite International des Arts Paris in 2007 & Fellowship in 2008-2009. In 2008 he set up a studio in Beijing. Now he lives and works in both Beijing and Sydney.
Guan Wei’s work has a profoundly felt, if implicitly ironic, moral dimension. In their complex symbolic form, his subjects potently embody current social and environmental dilemmas. They are equally the product of his rich cultural repertory of symbols and his informed socio-political awareness and art-historical knowledge.
Guan Wei has held 50 solo exhibitions, including, The Enchantment, Arc One Gallery, 2012; Spellbound Guan Wei 2011 at He Xiang Ning OCT Contemporary Art Centre Shenzhen; Cloud in the sky, Water in the bottle Shumu Art Space, Beijing 2010; Other Histories: Guan Wei’s Fable for a Contemporary World at Powerhouse Museum, Sydney 2006-2007; A Distant Land at Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide in 2006; Looking for home, Earllu Gallery, Singapore in 2000; also, Nesting, or Art of Idleness Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney in 1999.
Guan Wei has been included in numerous important contemporary exhibitions internationally, such as Shanghai Biennial 2010; 10thHavana Biennial Cuba in 2009; Handle with Care Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, at Art Gallery of South Australia in 2008; Face Up: Contemporary Art from Australia, Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin 2003; Osaka Triennial Contemporary Art space Osaka Japan 2001. Man and Space, Kwangju Biennale 2000; and Third Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery Australia 1999.
Craftsman House has published Guan Wei’s monograph in 2006. Guan Wei has won several awards, including the 2002 Sir John Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. His work has been held in major public collections and numerous university, corporate and private collections internationally.