This interview was conducted at the UC Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley on 7 April 2011. For more information please visit the Materials of the Future website.



Wang Gongyi (b. 1946) is an artist who lives in Portland, Oregon, in the United States.

Wang Gongyi graduated in 1962 from the Affiliated High School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She joined the Tianjin People’s Fine Arts Publishing House as an editor the following year. In 1978, she entered the Printmaking Department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now the China Academy of Fine Arts), and after receiving her degree there she remained as a teacher. In 1980, Wang was awarded the grand prize for her Qiu Jin series of woodcut prints at the ‘Second National Youth Art Exhibition’. Six years later, she set out to France on a cultural exchange programme. By 2001, the artist had moved to the United States.

In 1992, Wang was awarded a scholarship from the French Ministry of Education. She met and worked with artists at L’école supérieure d’art d’Aix-en-Provence, and subsequently worked and studied at URDLA – Centre International Estampes & Livres (International Centre for Prints and Books) and ALMA Printmaking Studio in Lyon, France.

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In 2006, Asia Art Archive began a focused archiving project called 'Materials of the Future: Documenting Contemporary Chinese Art from 1980-1990'. This project aimed at developing a comprehensive collection of primary research materials including books, periodicals, newspapers, exhibition brochures, invitations, video recordings, correspondence, and other relevant documents. 

As part of this project, AAA digitised more than 80,000 items of material from personal archives to include artists Mao Xuhui, Wu Shanzhuan, Zhang Xiaogang, and Zhang Peili; curators and critics Fei Dawei, Lu Peng, and Zheng Shengtian; as well as the archives of Tokyo Art Gallery. As part of the research process over 75 in-depth interviews with key artists, curators, and critics were conducted. From a portion of these interviews, AAA created a documentary film about experimental art in South China (Guangzhou) in the 1980s entitled From Jean-Paul Sartre to Teresa Teng: Contemporary Cantonese Art in the 1980s.

AAA’s 1980s archiving project culminated with the launch of a comprehensive website portal called www.china1980s.org in September 2010.

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Interview with Wang Gongyi (Transcript, Simplified Chinese), 訪問:王公懿(抄本, 簡體中文)