HAN BING

The “Walking the Cabbage” series, 2000-2009  


 

HAN BING (b. in 1974 in Jiangsu, lives in Beijing)

Han Bing is one of the great artists of his generation. Often featuring himself in his work, using self- portraits as a way of affirming his creation, he is a multi-dimensional artist using photography, performance, painting and sculpture to express himself. As a child, he began drawing in the dirt with pieces of broken glass, because his family could not afford art supplies. As Han Bing says of himself: “I have been drawing since I was three years old, so I think I was an artist from the beginning even before knowing there was such a thing called artist.”

Coming to Beijing as one many children of a peasant family, he struggled to find a place in the Beijing art community, one of his first homes shared with a gang of thieves. It is perhaps this proximity to the daily reality of the Chinese peasants and the proletariat, his keen awareness of the drama of the eviction of peasants from their lands, and other societal problems such as environmental pollution and even animal rights that makes him so pertinent and engaging as an artist. After a few years in Beijing, in the Heiqiao art suburb, he got accepted as a mature student at the prestigious Chinese Central Academy of Art.

“I'm deeply influenced by the fringe, where rural and urban meet, where Chinese culture is suffering great changes full of contradictions because of modernization. I am interested in common villagers left by the new modern life style. There is also the issue of people and their relationship with earth, are also been alienated, from their land, their roots.”

In Watermelon series, Han Bing portrays himself as a Chinese coolie with a traditional bamboo hat sitting cross legged on the ground, encircled by the red blood lifeline (string of lights) to the watermelon, one of the main crops of China. In the subsequent shots of the performance, the watermelon has been smashed evoking the end of rural culture and by correlation the end of the Chinese peasantry, now dispatched to the cities and to the factory, where they have lost their rights as landowners and their livelihoods, depending now on the vagaries of city life. Dispossessed, disenfranchised poor and without often the right to education or medical care, they are now the peons of the Chinese industrial state machine.  He has taken his performance “walking the cabbage”, a play on the new culture of walking dogs (urban and frivolous as opposed to the cabbage which evokes a rural culture of subsistence and hardship)  all over the world to LA, NY, Paris, Shanghai, Beijing, Tokyo, San Francisco, Oakland and beyond.

“The reason for “Walking the Cabbage” has been changing year by year. Every Chinese person has a memory related to the cabbage. Since I was a child, I've been working in the fields, sowing and harvesting Chinese cabbages and selling them in the big city. In the big cities, people buy and stock up on cabbages for the winter. The liubaicai can be kept for a long time and it is the cheapest vegetable in China. It is a sort of identity badge for Chinese people. In the beginning of my performances with the cabbage, I didn't use a leash, I used a red thread which I didn’t hold it in my hand. The thread was attached to my clothes, this represented the connection between the cabbage and I. I started walking the cabbage in Beijing where I was a foreigner, a stranger and used this action to relate to people. The presence of the cabbage was a sort of friend or company. Later, this performance developed more complex and varied meanings.”

 

CV
Born in Jiangsu Province,PRC, Lives and works in Beijing and India.
EDUCATION
1996 B.A. Fine Art at Xuzhou Normal University
1999 Advanced Studies at Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
 

2015
The Closing Exhibition 2015.3 Natural Repair Plan, On gallery,Beijing
Don Performance Fashion, Kong Space,Kcaa, Season Gallery,Beijing
Let body to thinking 2015, On gallery,Beijing,Paris

2013
Han Bing: Reversed Dreamscapes. Hua Gallery , London

2010
A cry from the narrow between:Han Bing With Tejal Shah.Espace gallery,New Delhi, India
Forever-Were desecrated in order to be tried:Han Bing, Khoj Space, New Delhi, India

2008
The Walking the Cabbage Project (2000-2008), The International 3, Manchester, UK

2007
Everyday Desire in the Theater of Chinese Modernization, Beursschouwburg Art Center, Brussels, Belgium
The Fatalistic Language of Things: Han Bing, Columbia Museum of Art, USA
Age of Big Construction, Beijing New Art Projects Space , Beijing
On the Stage of Modernization: Han Bing, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA
Theater of Modernization Project, Dali, Yunnan, PRC
The Walking the Cabbage Movement in Paris, Rue Montorgueil, Reflex Gallery, France
Green Peace—The Walking the Cabbage Movement in Columbia, USC Campus, State Capitol Building, Columbia Museum of Art Plaza, Columbia, USA
Age of Big Construction, Beijing New Art Projects Space II, Beijing, PRC
On the Stage of Modernization: Han Bing, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA
Walking the Cabbage across America, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Natchez, Columbia, Baton Rouge, USA

2006
Other Modernities: Han Bing Solo Exhibition, Bamboo Lane Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
The Other Shore of Desire, UCLA Center for Chinese Studies, Los Angeles, USA
Love in the Age of Big Construction, IEAS Center, University of California, Berkeley, USA
Han Bing—Quotidian Iconic & Orimoto Tatsumi—Quotidian Holy Mother, Tokyo Jing Art Gallery, Shanghai, PRC
Walking the Cabbage in Tokyo, Ginza, Harajuku, Akihabara, Shinjuku, Tokyo subway lines, Shin Tokorazawa, Shibuya, Japan

2002
Strolling Bones II, Guangzhou Art Museum, PRC

2000
Fixed in Place, Beijing Train Station, Dianmen, Bell Drum Tower, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, PRC
Walking the Cabbage Projects(2000-2008), Beijing Film Studios, Beijing Subway, Jiaoshan, Shanhaiguan, Jinshaling Great Wall, Beijing Subways and bus-lines, Military Museum, Wangfujing, Tiananmen Square, Beijing ,Dali and Shanghai locales, PRC
 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
 

2011
10th Korea Performance Art Spirit (Kopas), Korea Experimental Arts Festival (KEAF) ,Seoul,Korea
Homologous the actual and virtual ——Beijing New Media Arts Exhibition 2011 ,Shong Zhuang Art Center
Excrescence exhibition ,Guilt Gallery, Mumbai, India NEW AGE:Australia-China International New Media Arts Exhibition,
Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Yuanboyuan International Exhibition Center ,Hangzhou Art Expo. Sichuan Art Academy, Chongqing. Songzhuang Art Museum. The Art Yard, Lhasa. Beijing, PRC
The Document Exhibition of Chinese Performance Art——1985-2010 , Shong Zhuang Art Center

2010
Pot Luck:food and art, PM Gallery & House, London, UK
The 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice , Detour International Exhibition
Some place else, LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Pot Luck: food and art, Aberystwyth Art Centre, Wales, UK
Detour-ShangHai, Bund 18, Zhongshan Dong Yi Road,ShangHai

2009
The 10th Open International Performance Art Festival, Open Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, PRC
Proyecto Género III, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Detour -Tokyo , MoMA ,Tokyo
Pot Luck: food and art, , New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK
Made in China, Museum of New Art (MONA), Art Channel Gallery, Beijing
Journey to the End of the Night , Yan Club Arts Center 798 Art Factory, Beijing, PRC
China Avant-Garde--Landscape in Transit, LIMN Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Action—Camera: Beijing Performance Photography, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, The University of British Columbia,Vancouver, Canada
Made in China—Five Year Anniversary Exhibition, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain

2008
Asia Triennial Manchester 2008 (ATM 08), Manchester, England, UK
Texas Collects Asia: Contemporary Art, The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art Museum, Dallas, USA
China…Forward!!! Tsum , Moscow, Galerie Albert Benamou, Paris, France
Memory, Red Star Gallery, 798, Beijing, PRC
Proyecto Género II, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Multiple Realities, F2 Gallery, Beijing PRC
Interval of Silence, Red Star Gallery, 798, Beijing, PRC
Kitai Vperiod!!! China, Forward!!!, Tsum, Moscow, Russia
Detour Paris, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
China Under Construction II, Fotofest 12th Photography Biennial, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA

2007
Rencontres D'Arles Photography Festival, China—Chai-na Exhibition, Arles, France
Third Annual Sino-Japanese International Performance Art Exchange, Beijing, PRC
Performance Festival Pasage de la Paz, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Love Expo, OFF *Ample, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
China Under Construction I, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA
Dragon's Evolution: Chinese Contemporary Photography, China Square, NYC, USA
Detour Exhibition, Director's Art Club, New York City, USA
Night and Day Contemporary Art Exhibition, AKA Gallery, Rome, Italy
China's Performance Art Photography, Inter Arts Center, Beijing
The First Exhibition of Art Documents, Shangshang Art Museum, Beijing, PRC
Barcelona—Paris—Pekin, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Three Dimensions, Front Line Contemporary, Beijing, PRC
Mortal Worlds Contemporary Art Exhibition, Reflex Gallery, Paris, France
Dragon's Evolution, 798 International Art Festival, Beijing, PRC
Fractured Visions: Chinese Video Art, Center for Asian Studies, University of South Carolina, USA
The Fragmented Gaze: Video Art from the PRC, Deborah Colton Gallery, Houston, USA

2006
Proyecto Género, Espace Cultural Ample, Barcelona, Spain
Misalignments: Chinese Performance Art Documenta, University of California, Berkeley, Institute of East Asian Studies, USA
Engagements and Estrangements, Contemporary Chinese Exchange, Toronto, Canada
The Nekromantics, Temporary Contemporary, London, UK
Open International Performance Art Festival, Must Be Contemporary Art Center, 798, PRC
Beyond Experience: The New China, Arario Beijing, PRC
UNESCO's Together with Migrants Festival, SOHO, Beijing, PRC
China—Chai-na Exhibition, Dashanzi International Art Festival, 798 Factory, Beijing, PRC

2005
Tian An Men-Gate to Heaven, Fotografiemuseum (FOAM) Amsterdam, Netherlands
China Action 1: Video Art Exhibition, Centre Chorégraphique National de Tours, France
Ambiguity: Hide Dimly, Zero Field Art Center, 798 Factory, Beijing, PRC
Transborder Language Performance Art Exhibition: DIAF & Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing, PRC
Vehicle and Mirror Exhibition, Beijing New Art Projects, 798 Factory, Beijing, PRC

2004
Performance Art in 798: Photographic Memory, Thinking Hands Projects, Beijing, PRC
Tian An-Men, Chinese-Eyes Gallery, Paris, France
Sense of Fragility Exhibition, Italian Embassy, Beijing, PRC

2003
The First Dadao Live Art Festival, 798 Factory, Beijing, PRC
I'm China—China Photography and Video 2003, SOHO, Beijing, PRC
The Beautiful Life Exhibition, SOHO, Beijing, PRC
DNA Visual Exhibition, Nanxincang, Beijing, PRC

2002
Pingyao International Photography Festival: New Chinese Photography, Shanxi, PRC
Act of Flying Live Art Performance Exhibition, Red Square Art Center, Beijing, PRC
Post-Revolutionary Era Video Exhibition, China New Media Art Space, Beijing, PRC
Red Square Contemporary Art Exhibition, Red Square Art Center, Beijing, PRC
To Each His Own Contemporary Art Exhibition, Guangzhou University, PRC
Sino-Japanese Performance Art Exhibition, Waterside Space, Guangzhou, PRC

2001
Knowledge is Power Exhibition, Beijing Book Building, PRC
Zero Degrees Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing Bridge Art Factory, PRC
Healing Contemporary Art Exhibition, Damu Space, Beijing, PRC
Dang Dot Com Performance Art Exhibition, Kaixin Leyuan, Beijing, PRC

2000
Man and Animal Performance Art Exhibition, Nanjing, PRC

1999
Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts Oil Painting Advanced Studies Program Graduate Exhibition, Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing, PRC
 

SELECTED E BIBLIOGRAPHY
Theater of Modernization: Han Bing, artist monograph (Futurista Art, 2008)
"Theater of Modernization: Possible Futures and Shifting Alliances," 2008 Chinese Contemporary Art Guide, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, 2008
Asian Triennial Manchester ,ART iT, May 2008,Maya Kovskaya, , ,
Texas Collects Asia, (Texas: The Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, 2008)
Interval of Silence: Contemporary Art From Asia, (Beijing: Red Star Gallery, 2008)
China…Forward!!! (Paris: Galerie Albert Benamou, 2008)
"Asian Art Triennial Launches in Manchester," Eliza Gluckman, Asia Art Pacific, No. 57, March/April,

2008
"Han Bing's Unfinished Road to Modernization," Evan Garza, Theater of Modernization, (Futurista Art, 2008)
"Quotidian Amor Mundi: Orimoto Tatsumi and Han Bing, " Maya Kóvskaya, 《Flash Art》2007,1
"China's Art Factory," Jessica Au, Newsweek International, 20 November, 2006
"Critical Mass: Six artists and art industry experts select their favourite exhibitions of 2006," David Teh, Art & Australia, Vol. 44, No. 2, December 2006
"Han Bing: Quotidian Iconic, Orimoto Tatsumi: Quotidian Holy Mother," Maya Kóvskaya, Art Picks Art iT, Fall/Winter Issue, 2006
"Field of Vision: Center Stage," David Drakeford, Beijing Today, 15 September, 2006
"Together with Migrants—Chinese Contemporary Art and Social Criticism," Nathaniel M. Stevens, NY Arts Magazine, September/October, 2006
"Beyond Experience," Luna Fenichel, NY Arts Magazine, September/October, 2006
"Arario Brings The New China," Maya Kóvskaya, Art Picks Art iT, Summer/Fall Issue, 2006
"China's Happiness and Pain Exhibition at the UNESCO "Together with Migrants" Festival," Maya Kóvskaya, ArtPost, 19 June, 2006
"Eroticizing the Everyday: Han Bing, the Power of Desire and the Drama of Modernization, " Eyemazing International Contemporary Photography Magazine, August, 2007
"Seeing What Is To Be Forgotten: The Photography, Video and Performance Art of Han Bing," Shannon May, Yishu: Journal of Chinese Contemporary Art, Summer, 2007
"Han Bing: A Profile," Update Art Magazine, 2007
"China Under Construction: Chinese Contemporary Art of the Everyday Comes of Age," Maya Kóvskaya, China Under Construction: Contemporary Art From the People's Republic, Futurista Art,

2007
"Space City Looks Eastward: Contemporary Asian Art in Houston, Arts Houston, August, 2007
"Deconstruction Workers: Deborah Colton Gallery presents China sans pop," Kelly Klaasmeyer, Houston Press, August 9, 2007
"Asian Invasion," Patricia Johnson, Houston Chronicle, 7/28/2007
"Dragon's Evolution," Art Picks, Maya Kóvskaya, Art IT, Spring/Summer, 2007
"The Other Shore of Desire: Han Bing," Zhuang Jia, Dragon's Evolution: Chinese Contemporary Photography, New York, 2007
"Quotidian Amor Mundi: Orimoto Tatsumi and Han Bing, " Maya Kóvskaya, Flash Art, January, 2007
"China's Art Factory," Jessica Au, Newsweek International, 20 November, 2006
"Critical Mass: Six artists and art industry experts select their favourite exhibitions of 2006," David Teh, Art & Australia, Vol. 44, No. 2, December 2006
"Bittersweet: Han Bing's Meditations on the Humble Cabbage," Lisa Movius, That's Shanghai, December, 2006
"All You Knead is Loaf, Say Cabbage Patch Kids," Lisa Movius, South China Morning Post, 12 November, 2006
"Beyond Experience: The New China and the Landscape and Forms of its Selfhood," Zhu Qi, Arario Beijing Press, 2006
"Han Bing: Quotidian Iconic, Orimoto Tatsumi: Quotidian Holy Mother" Art Picks , Maya Kóvskaya, Art iT, Fall/Winter Issue, 2006
"Field of Vision: Center Stage," David Drakeford, Beijing Today, 15 September, 2006
"Together with Migrants—Chinese Contemporary Art and Social Criticism," Nathaniel M. Stevens, NY Arts Magazine, September/October, 2006
"Beyond Experience," Luna Fenichel, NY Arts Magazine, September/October, 2006
"Arario Brings The New China" Art Picks, Maya Kóvskaya, Art iT, Summer/Fall Issue, 2006
"China's Happiness and Pain Exhibition at the UNESCO "Together with Migrants" Festival," Maya Kóvskaya, ArtPost, 19 June, 2006
The "China--Chai-Na (Demolish There);" Exhibition Rocks the DIAF's Soldiers at the Gate Forum," Maya Kóvskaya, ArtPost, 15 May, 2006
"Tectonic Shifts in the Beijing Art Scene," Maya Kóvskaya, Art iT, Spring/Summer Issue, 2006
"Modulating Space: Negotiating the Aesthetic and the Semantic, Maya Kóvskaya, Artpost, Feb 2-11,

2006
"Engaging the Everyday," Luna Fenichel, City Weekend, Issue 4, February 09, 2006
"Han Bing: Chinese Performance Art Engaging Life on the Margins," Maya Kóvskaya, NY Arts Magazine, November-December, 2005
"Indeterminate Expression—Ambiguity Exhibition Preview," Maya Kóvskaya, Art iT, Fall/Winter 2005
"The Raw and the Reel," He Chang, City Weekend, Issue 15, August 1, 2005
"China Witnesses a Boom in Performance Arts," Lev, Micheal, Taiwan News, June, 12, 2005
"Artistic Revolution Emerges in China: From Torpedo-in-a-Cart to a Pet Cabbage, the Ultra Avant-Garde Movement Pushes the Changing Societal Limits," Lev, Micheal, Chicago Tribune, June 5, 2005
"Beyond Shock Value: Chinese Performance Art Make the Ordinary Extraordinary, " Hao Chong, City Weekend, Issue 10, May 24, 2005
"Starving Artist Pet Theory: Han Bing Asks Pet Owners: Who’s Really in Charge?" Ching, Dixie, That's Beijing, January 01, 2001