During the Cultural Revolution, Chengdu, Sichuan artist, He Gong was sent to the countryside for seven years to do manual labor. That experience, he says, “made me realize the true condition of China” and ignited his hatred of ideology and political control.
He Gong’s Gulag Summer has been removed from three Chinese exhibitions, due to the political messaging in this artwork, which depicts gulags throughout Asia and Europe’s history. The artist felt deeply wounded and disappointed in his country each time Gulag Summer was removed. As curator of Bad Exhibition: Value in Art, I begged He Gong to ship this artwork to us here at Art City Gallery, where his work would join a long tradition of civil disobedience alongside artistic experimentation.
He Gong, Gulag Summer, Mixed-Media on Yak Skin, 5′ x 3 ‘, 2016, $3800