Sheng Qi (1965)

Chinese painter Sheng Qi was born in 1965 in HefeiAnhui Province, China. Qi is best known for his act of personal defiance following the events in Tiananmen Square in June 1989: he cut off the little finger of his left hand and buried it in a flowerpot.

Available Sheng Qi works:

Educated in Beijing and London

In 1988 Sheng Qi graduated from Beijing Academy of Art and DesignIn 1989 he started to study at the Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London where he graduated with an MFA. Sheng Qi led one of Chinese contemporary art's earliest performance art group: Concept 21. This group was formed in 1986 in Beijing by five students Sheng Qi, Zheng Yuke, Zhao Jianhai, Kang Mu, and Xi Jianjun.


Body and culture

For the past 20 years, Sheng Qi has been creating remarkable works of art in diverse media,  A frequent theme in his work has been the study of the body, body language and its culture. Since he returned to China after completing his artistic studies in London, he has been selected to participate in the Nippon International Performance Festival, and the recent International Center of Photography exhibition, Between Past and Future, where his photographic work was selected for the cover of the exhibition catalogue. He is also one of the few artists in China to concern himself with AIDS and to become involved in local awareness campaigns.


Rising sun

Socially engaged artist Sheng Qi is always busy with current events and he expresses himself through his paintings. As an example the subject of the national stadium of China in Beijing 'Bird's nest', in this painting Qi shows the achievement - the construction of this immense stadium - of the Chinese people. The stadium rises like a rising sun over the people.


Red phenix

The Chinese people are a recurring theme in Sheng Qi's work, often depicted as a crowd in a square as in the monumental painting 'Red Mao' from 2008 where the great leader emerges from the crowd like a red phenix. Another fine example is the painting 'Grey square' where the artist depicts the grey mass of people as far as the eye can see, infinite, with the message that the individual person is in fact nothing more than a number, other Chinese artists such as Wang Guangyi have this theme as a person as a number also implemented in their work.