Featured Artist: Han Bing


Han Bing
Born in Jiangsu in 1974, Han Bing now lives and works in Beijing. After attaining a B.A. in Art from Xuzhou Normal University, Bing showed in several galleries and Museums. Solo Exhibitions & Selected Performances include: 2006 China + Japan Dual Solo Exhibition: Han Bing “Quotidian Iconic ” and Orimoto Tatsumi “Quotidian Holy Mother”; Jing Art, Shanghai Love in the Age of Big Construction: Han Bing; Center for Chinese Studies and IEAS Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, Other Modernities: HanBing Solo Exhibition; Bamboo Lane Gallery, Los Angeles, The Other Shore of Desire: Han Bing; UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, Los Angeles, The Fatalistic Language of Things: Han Bing; University of Southern Carolina, Center for Asian Studies Local Geographic, Site Specific Performance Installation, Echigo Tsumari, Japan and Hanhu Village, Jiangsu; and Walking the Cabbage, an ongoing performance commenced in 2000. Walking the Cabbage is a Social Intervention Performance that has taken place across the world, including Beijing, Yunnan, Shandong, Guangzhou, Jiangsu, Hebei (PRC), Harajuku, Shinjuku, Ginza, Shin Tokurazawa, Ikebukuro, and Miami, FL. Han Bing is a good example of someone born in 1970s China. As a member of the “postrevolutionary” generation, he experienced personally China’s drastic social transformation throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Born in a small and impoverished village, Han Bing helped his parents farm the land when he was a child. He was the only student in his class who had the opportunity to attend university. After studying oil painting at Xuzhou Normal University, he pursued advanced studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. He is one of many Chinese artists who have encountered a series of awkward contrasts brought by China’s national initiatives to modernize and urbanize. He is also one among many who seriously reflects on the multitude of social problems that have resulted from the emergence of a consumer society and capitalistic market system, which were introduced to resolve the former problems embedded in China’s socialist modernization project. Han Bing employs various artistic languages and media such as performance, multimedia installations, and photography to investigate and problematize modernization in China today. In his talk for the Center, Han described how his artistic impetus and his philosophical and ethical speculations are the subjects of his work. His memories of the small rural town where he grew up and of his early days as an artist in Beijing fluidly interweave with his anxiety about the rapid changes in China’s cities as they undergo the wrenching processes of modernization, urbanization, and globalization. His artistic pieces often capture the most poignant and paradoxical moments of the Chinese common people, both rural migrants and urbanites alike, as they are inextricably involved in the “Chinese dream” and the dramatic, if not devastating, urban transformation of the nation. The walking “happenings” on the UCLA campus echoed Han’s performance art series Walking the Cabbage, in which he has crossed several regions of China, “from his home village in rural Jiangsu to Tiananmen Square, from the Yunnanese minority village in China’s Southwest to the Westernized Bund in Shanghai.” Part of the purpose of Han’s series is to encourage both the performer and spectators to redefine the meaning of “performance.”

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