Sense of Space

The Gao Brothers, Zhen and Qiang, are two Chinese artists born in 1956 and 1962, in Jinan, in the province of Shandong located in the north east of China.Nowadays, they work in the artists district called 798 Art Zone in the Dashanzi Art District.Committed and socially engaged artists, they approach arts as a mean of political expression. The image of Mao is a recurring image of their iconography. It takes its source in their experience of a childhood trauma. Gao Zhen, the elder brother, explained through an interpreter that "1968 was a crucial moment in the Cultural revolution, where many political "cleanings" took place. Our father, a simple laborer was thrown into jail. We still don’t know if he actually committed suicide as the authorities told us or if he was killed during his incarceration". At that time, Gao Zhen was 12 years old and Gao Qiang was 6.Today, the Gao Brothers have reached international acclaim. A retrospective of their work, "Gao Brothers : Grandeur and Catharsis", was organized by the Kemper Museum from September 17, 2010, to 2011, January 2. A brief presentation of their work shows the multifaceted nature of their art: the brothers combine diverse mediums such as painting, sculpture, performance, and photography.

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