Exhibition Beijing

The Great DarknessーFrom GAO BO to GB A Multimedia Photography Exhibition
2015.Dec.17 - 2016.Feb.28

This year's TOKYOGALLERY +BTAP closing exhibition entitled The Great Darkness: From Gao Bo to GB - Video Installation Exhibition will be held from December 17, 2015 until February 28, 2016. The exhibition will be split up into 4 different phases:

Expo 1: December 17th, 2015 - January 30, 2016
Expo 2: January 3rd, 2016 - January 19, 2016
Expo 3: January 20th, 2016 - January 30, 2016
Expo4: January 1st, 2016 - February 28, 2016
(Spring Festival closing dates: Feb 6th - Feb 23th)

GB (short for Gao Bo) was born in 1964 in Deyang (Sichuan province) to a family of workers who had migrated there from their home province of Harbin. After having graduated in 1983 from the middle school affiliated to the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (SFAI), Gao Bo tried out for a seven day stint at the Central Academy of Drama (Beijing), ultimately deciding to study at the Institute of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University in Beijing (originally called the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts). After graduation in 1987, he settled in the vicinity of Yuanmingyuan to embark on an independent artist's life "adrift in Beijing" (beipiao). This area then gradually developed into the so-called "Yuanmingyuan Painter's Village" (Yuanmingyuan huajiacun). The documentary Bumming in Beijing gives a telling account of GB's former "bumming days". During this period, the artist completed an acclaimed series of black and white photographs, which he shot in Tibet. During a short stay in France in 1990, the artist found representation with the Parisian Agence Vu & Galerie Vu, which acted as platforms for the distribution of his photos. In 2000, he wrote as follows: "Since art was the only thing left for me to believe in, I decided I wouldn't let sell my works at bargain prices anymore". As a result, during those years he chose not to "pursue the art thing" any longer.

In 2009, GB concluded a 6-year period of working at an architecture firm (BoArchi) to return to his so-called “The Garden of a Hundred Roots”, the art studio he himself had started to build in 1998 and ended up rebuilding in 2007 in Shangyuan, in the north of Beijing. From that moment on he started to adopt video, mixed media and new media as the prime elements of his artistic creation, which resulted in his “Organic Art" (youji yishu) and "Theatrical Ready-made” (xiju xianchengpin) works.

In his artistic creations as well as in life, the artist started to put into practice his self-coined doctrine of "Laostism". He started to call himself a so-called luosizhe (裸思者). Simply put, luosi (裸思) - literally signifying “naked thinking" - is the Chinese transliteration of the English word “lost” or even "loser". It also relates sonically to the name of philosopher “Laozi” or even so-called "Lostism". The artist took the term a step further and made it into a neologism. In the words of the artist: "'Laostist' refers to Laozi himself being lost and exposed. 'Laostism' constitutes a vacuous, anti-ism '-ism' that prioritizes beauty above all else. It's a kind of nudist thinking on the level of aesthetics and philosophy, if you will."

In 2015, Gao Bo started to undersign his works with the pseudonym GB. The current exhibition will be the first solo-exhibition to be held after having reverted to this moniker. More accurately put, for this exhibit the artist will move his studio into TOKYOGALLERY +BTAP, marking a fresh start for a kind of Organic Art. During the running time of the exhibition, GB will engage in an ongoing, live re-creation of the TOKYOGALLERY exhibition space, which will result in a ready-made condition that is contrary to the ready-made condition that characterizes most exhibitions. Hence, this will be an exhibition without an official opening ceremony. Perhaps the closing ceremony will serve as a final nodal point for the work of GB. The entire timeframe and space of the exhibition will form part of the work. Everyone who enters the space will be a participant who completes the work in concert with the artist.

In recent years, the artist has based his entire system on the idea "Laostism". It acts as a foundation for the creation of his video installation works, which he conceives as "Black Period, i.e. an ongoing process which is ever-fluctuating". In early 2015 the artist was invited by the Parisian photo museum LA MEP (La Maison Européenne De La Photographie) to become the first Chinese artist working with "moving images" to organize a solo-show on their premises. Also, he is the first artist to set up an outdoor-exhibition at LA MEP as well as the first "non-traditional, non-classic" artist photography-based artist to be granted three of the venue's five exhibition spaces for showcasing his works. Also, during the exhibition, shooting will commence on GRANDS NOIRS, a co-production between La Maison Européenne De La Photographie, the Studio National des Arts Contemporains (Le Fresnoy) and China Canada Gateway for Film, which will be directed and scripted by renowned French director, producer, author, photographer and critic Alain Fleischer. The film will take GB as its subject, utilizing the cinematographic language of both "subjective realism" and "objective realism", and combining stylistic traits of "cinéma d'auteur/author films" and the personal biographical style of GB. Upon its completion it will enter the official competition of the 2017 International Film Festival on Art (FIFA) held in Montreal, Canada.

This is the first time TOKYOGALLERY +BTAP will organize 4 back-to-back solo-exhibitions over the course of two months for a single artist.

Furthermore, from February 7, 2017, the works completed by GB during his "sojourn" at TOKYOGALLERY +BTAP will be showcased in their entirety at LA MEP, Paris.

TOKYOGALLERY +BTAP welcomes everyone to come and participate in this exhibition!