Xiong Gu is a multi-media artist who was born and raised in Sichuan, China. He works in a wide variety of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, video, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and has had more than 35 solo exhibitions as well as three public art commissions.
Gu's family was swept up in China's oppressive Cultural Revolution, his father disgraced for his western leanings. As the son of a so-called "Capitalist Roader," Gu was forbidden by Maoist authorities to attend school and was sentenced to years of forced "re-education" in a rural work camp. He survived that experience, teaching himself to draw at night, by the light of a kerosene lamp.
After the Cultural Revolution, Gu studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, earning a master's degree in fine arts. In 1989, he fled China as a result of his participation in the dissident China/Avant Garde show and in the Tiananmen Square demonstration. In the fall of 2004, Gu returned to China for the Shanghai Biennale, where he was a featured artist. The biennale is China's foremost showcase for contemporary art.
Gu has twice been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts. He is now an associate professor and teaches painting, drawing and contemporary art theory at the University of British Columbia.