Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang have been on the vanguard of contemporary art in China, collaborating on painting, installation, performance, sculpture, photography, and writing since 1985, but it was not until 2003 that they were allowed to leave the PRC, after years on an official blacklist that barred them from receiving external passports. Since 2003, with numerous exhibitions worldwide, their work has begun to circulate around the world, gaining critical accolades for their socially progressive, conceptually anchored and aesthetically diverse art, and been held in private and museum collections, such as Steven Cohen, Charles Saatchi, Ramin Salsali, Centre Georges Pompidou, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Princeton University Art Museum, Kemper Museum Of Contemporary Art, etc. At the 2019 Oslo Freedom Forum, the Gao Brothers performed a rendition of their iconic “Utopia of the Embrace,” a transformative public performance art project rooted in the belief that love can reclaim humanity. The performance gathered 100 strangers in embrace, creating a profound moment of connection and love for the community.”

 

“Though we are usually regarded as dissident artists, we don’t consider ourselves dissidents at all, we never even think about this question. We just use art to express what we want to express, to explore the complex and ever-changing world and our inner lives.That is why our work involves many different types of media, various forms and themes.”

— Gao Brothers