Born in 1972 in Xinjiang Uyghur (East Turk Islamic) Autonomous Region, Xia Guo (Xia Jianguo) grew up in a social environment marked by ethnic diversity and social conflicts. After graduating from the Art Institute of Xinjiang Normal University, Xia moved from the west hinterland of China to Beijing to pursue a career as professional artist. His personal background and cutting-edge artistic vision quickly caught the attention of the art community in Beijing. An irreverent concept artist, Xia adopts a wide spectrum of mediums and approaches to his work, ranging from video art, installations, photography to oil paintings.
Each of the four large scale paintings on view depicts an incident that took place in China’s recent social history and left an indelible imprint on the nation’s collective memory. The artist drew upon and reworked images found in news reports or snapshots posted on the Internet by witnesses of the events. Xia lays the canvas on the ground, using a medical syringe and gravity to deploy thousands of oil droplets onto the canvas. The highly innovative and eccentric technique translates into a visual effect alluding to television's degrading effect, which often results in the loss of the sense of reality. Painstakingly re-inventing this quasi-pointillist approach, Xia was able to create a series of pixelated yet striking images, paradoxically with such social clarity and incisiveness.
Xia Guo has been invited to exhibit internationally at various prestigious art spaces and institutions. His works were specially featured in Ai Wei Wei solo exhibition at Ghent, Belgium, 2008 and in “Interrogation” curated by Ai Wei Wei at China Art Archive & Warehouse, 2003; Photography exhibition at ICA, London, UK, 2004; The traveling photography exhibition "Berlin Kreuzberg SO36“, Goethe Institute, 2009; “The John Moores Contemporary Painting Prize” finalist exhibition at Shanghai Gallery of Art, 2010; “Break on Through to the Other Side...” curated by Malcolm Ferris, at YBCA in 2011.