Exhibition – My Painting Has No Colour

Poligono Gallery is delighted to invite you to the opening party for our new exhibition: My Painting Has No Colour by Chinese contemporary artist Sheng Qi. This will be the first exhibition in Spain for the well known Chinese artist. The exhibition will present some of his iconic photographic work and oil paintings.

Controversial artist Sheng Qi is engaged in a crusade to turn back the government-propelled tide to cover up and erase what happened in Beijing on June 4, 1989. The artist is a witness and his paintings are his testimony.

In the 1980s, pioneer artist Sheng Qi helped found Concept 21, China’s first performance–art group. In 1989, Sheng Qi participated in the demonstrations that   led to the Tiananmen Square Incident:   the mass murder of thousands of students in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Among the dead were many of his friends. Traumatized by this event, Sheng Qi  famously severed his pinky from his left hand, buried it and left China for  Europe, where he would go on  to graduate from London’s prestigious Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design.

After returning to China, Sheng Qi has used his mutilated hand to create his well-known series of photographic work “Memories”, where he placed a series of family or propaganda photographs in the palm of his mutilated hand, pieces of the disfigured past and memories, which seem both personal and historical,   thus linking the artist’s personal past to a national collective memory.

During the last years Sheng Qi has increasingly turned to painting, focusing on China’s contemporary political history and its effects on the lives of Chinese people. Drippy canvasses of Tiananmen Gate, close-ups of tanks with bleeding and phallic red gun turrets, Chinese political prisoners in various stages of being executed.

His hard-hitting non-academic painting style often seems to drip with ink and blood. The canvases are dripping with paint in an intentionally messy way. The paintings also highlight the artist’s objective to see the world around him as it really is – a profoundly beautiful chaos – as if to say that clear vision is the first step to both personal and artistic freedom.

Sheng Qi stated that although his body drifted abroad, a part of him, his soul, was still deeply rooted in China.  “The process of severing a part of my hand will stay with me through my whole life,” he said.


Sheng QI was born in Hefei, China, in 1965. He Graduated from the Central Academy of Art and Design, Beijing, and completed his MFA at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Being a key figure of Chinese avant-garde, Sheng Qi has been widely exhibited in institutions such as Victoria and Albert Museum – V&A, London and Asia Society and Museum, NY, United States.

His work was  included  the much-hyped “Inside-Out” 1998 exhibition in New York that showcased contemporary Chinese art, as well as the influential  “Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video from China”, where his work made the cover of the exhibition catalogue.  His work has been collected by The Museum of Modern Art, NY, The International Center of Photography, NY and the Smart Museum of Art, Chicago among many others. Sheng Qi lives and works in Beijing.

Opening: Thursday, 22nd July, from 8.00 pm to 11.00 pm
Exhibition Dates: 22nd July to 15th September (only by appointment)
Poligono Gallery Marbella

For further information:  sophie@poligonogallery.com or +34 615 381 119

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