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Mount Gui: Mao Xuhui and His Students

Mount Gui: Mao Xuhui and His Students

Artists: Chen Chuan, Li Rui, Liu Renxian, Liu Yu, Liu Chunliu, Guan Saimei, Ma Dan, Mao Xuhui, Su Bin, Tao Fa, Wang Rui, Xun Guipin

Curator: Dai Zhuoqun

Exhibition Dates: July 11 – August 15, 2020

Venue: Tang Contemporary Art Bangkok

Tang Contemporary Art Bangkok is proud to present “Mount Gui: Mao Xuhui and His Students,” a group exhibition featuring iconic artist in Chinese contemporary art history, Mao Xuhui, and his eleven students. Curated by Dai Zhuoqun, the exhibition showcases more than 20 artworks created between 2006 to 2020; these pieces were inspired by Mount Gui (Guishan), located on the Yunnan Plateau. 

Mao Xuhui has earned a crucial position in Chinese contemporary art history, recognized as the leader of the avant-garde community in southwest China in the 1980s and is also one of the figures in China Art Power 100.  Often experimenting with the use of symbolism and metaphor, Mao Xuhui reflects on the social reality and the existential value of an individual’s life.  He uses everyday objects, such as scissors and chairs, as recurring motifs, which originally was a metaphor for the central authority or paternal power, in response to the historical and cultural context in the 1980’s.

Mao Xuhui
Dreaming of the Red Earth: Upright Scissors (2010)
Oil on canvas
180 x 150 cm

Due to its artistic value and unique atmosphere, Nuohei village, at the foot of Mount Gui, comprised of stone houses built by the Sani people, is often visited by many artists. Art professionals have ventured to these rural communities as early as the 1970’s, and Mao Xuhui, as a young student, also made his way to Mount Gui for this reason in the late 1970’s.  On Mount Gui, Mao Xuhui savored their reverence for a simple life surrounded by nature, which greatly impacted him as an artist in the years to come. 

Mao Xuhui’s visit to Nuohei village in Mount Gui in February – March 1986.

Since the establishment of the painting major at Yunnan University in 2004, Mao Xuhui continued to bring his students from the university to Mount Gui year after year to allow his students to explore their creative voices and artistic processes; these trips to Mount Gui have become an integral part of his teaching method.

Mao Xuhui and his students from Studio No. 2, Yunnan University, in Nuohei village during the harvest time in 2007.

“Mount Gui: Mao Xuhui and His Students” will highlight pieces from not only Mao Xuhui, but also Chen Chuan, Li Rui, Liu Renxian, Liu Yu, Liu Chunliu, Guan Saimei, Ma Dan, Su Bin, Tao Fa, Wang Rui, and Xun Guipin. Each piece will reflect each artist’s insight into Mount Gui, while also expressing one common observation, as curator Dai Zhuoqun states, “Time on Mount Gui is frozen time, repetitive time, reflective time, and as a result, it has become eternal time. There, the painters, like the villagers, set out early and return late; they paint dawn and dusk, the cornfields at high noon, cattle and sheep returning from the pastures, and dreamscapes of the land and village houses. Because Mount Gui had been frozen in paintings, it had gradually come to represent a spirit, a punctual, independent, and solitary artistic attitude. It is a diligent approach to the language of painting – perhaps art can only be so calm in a place, where nothing changes.”

Tao Fa
The Secret World of Mount Gui: Shadow of a Butterfly (2017)
Oil on canvas
140 x 150 cm


Graduated in 1982 from the Yunnan Art Academy, Mao Xuhui is an iconic artist in Chinese contemporary art history. He is one of the figures in China Art Power 100 and the leader of the avant-garde community in southwest China in the 1980s. He also formed the Southwest Art Research Group with several artists in the following year. These achievements have earned him a crucial position in Chinese contemporary art history.

Mao Xuhui has widely exhibited in Euro-pan-Asian cities, including Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Bologne, Paris, and London. His artworks are included in influential exhibitions, such as the milestone exhibition in Chinese contemporary art history, Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998) co-organized by Asia Society New York, Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco and Hong Kong Museum of Art.


Dai Zhuoqun is an independent curator and art critic. In 2007, he founded Contemporary Art magazine, where he served as chief editor and art director. He was also the executive director of White Box Museum of Art. In 2009, he launched and jointly curated the “Warm Winter” protest project in Beijing, one of the most important art events in recent years. He has since planned exhibitions and lectures with numerous art institutions, art academies, and museums.

He has also published articles in international art magazines and other publications. He has curated exhibitions such as “Games” and “The Awakening of Things” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2011), “Superfluous Things” (Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2013), “Old Bloke” (Gallery Yang, Beijing, 2013), “Conscious: Twelve Views on Painting” (Tang Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2014), and “Civilization” (White Box Museum of Art, Beijing, 2013; OCAT, Xi’an, 2014; Hubei Institute of Fine Arts Museum, Wuhan, 2015).                                                       


Tang Contemporary Art was established in 1997 in Bangkok, later establishing galleries in Beijing and Hong Kong. Tang Contemporary Art is fully committed to producing critical projects and exhibitions to promote Contemporary Chinese art regionally and worldwide, and encourage a dynamic exchange between Chinese artists and those abroad.

Acting as one of the most progressive and critically driven exhibition spaces in China, the gallery strives to initiate dialogue between artists, curators, collectors and institutions working both locally and internationally. A roster of groundbreaking exhibitions has earned Tang Contemporary Art internationally renowned recognition, establishing its status as a pioneer of the contemporary art scene in Asia. 

Tang Contemporary Art represents leading figures in Chinese art including Ai Weiwei, Huang Yongping, Shen Yuan, Wang Du, Liu Xiaodong, Yang Jiechang, Xia Xiaowan, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Yan Lei, Wang Yin, Wang Yuping, Yangjiang Group, Guo Wei, Zheng Guogu, Lin Yilin, He An, Zhao Zhao, Wang Yuyang, Weng Fen, Yang Yong, Xu Qu, Xu Xiaoguo, Ji Zhou, Cai Lei, Ling Jian, Liu Yujia, Zhu Jinshi, Qin Qi, Chen Yujun, Chen Yufan and Chen Wenbo, and collaborating with international artists such as H.H.Lim, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Sakarin Krue-On, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Adel Abdessemed, Dinh Q.Le, Michael Zelehoski, Jennifer Wen Ma, Rodel Tapaya, Natee Utarit and Heri Dono.                                  

Location: Room. 201 – 206, River City Bangkok, 23 Soi Charoenkrung 24, Talad Noi, Sampantawong, Bangkok,10100, Thailand


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Kullaya Kassakul
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