Jian Guo Xu (1951- ) - 1987-90 Waiting Room (Private Collection)
54 x 54 in.
Born in Shanghai in 1951, Xu studied traditional brush painting in his early childhood and was trained by Chinese painting master Ye Zhihao. Before he entered college, the "cultural revolution" (1966-76) began in China, and he was asked to work on a farm on Chongming Island in Shanghai. Despite hardships, he never stopped drawing. In 1973, Xu began to study at the Shanghai Theater Academy. In 1984, Xu received a scholarship and fellowship from the Bard College in the United States, where he received his MFA in 1987.
Xu has had numerous solo painting exhibitions worldwide. His works have also been featured in both Christie's and Sotheby's Important Contemporary Chinese Art Sales.
When the two versions of Shanghai: A New Vista were completed last year, they drew wide attention from art critics, collectors and auction houses. A British collector wanted to add the scrolls to his collection and display them at the British Museum, but Xu rejected the offer. "I felt the painting is for his two homes, China and the United States," Xu said. Before the exhibition in Beijing, the work was displayed in the VIP lounge of the Theme Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.