Matt Hope

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Matt Hope
Matt Hope, Beijing, Nov 2008.jpg
Beijing, 2008
Matthew Hope

Alma materChelsea School of Art, BFA, Winchester School of Art, Mfa, University of California, San Diego[1]
Known forHorn Massive, Breathing Bike

Matt Hope (born 1976, Hammersmith, London) is a British artist who lives and works in Caochangdi, an arts district in Beijing, China. He is known for elaborate kinetic art and sound art constructions made in large-scale fabrication factories in Mainland China.


Matt Hope grew up in London. He studied at Chelsea School of Art, London in 1994–96. Hope received his BFA at the Winchester School of Art, Hampshire, U.K. in 1999, and earned his MFA at University of California, San Diego in 2004.[1]

He is represented by ACE Gallery, Los Angeles.


Hope's work uses industrial objects often designed to his specifications and fabricated in Chinese factories that he works with on an interpersonal level. Common materials include speakers systems, solar panels, vehicles and shipping containers, all of which Hope combines into electromechanical sculptures that invite environmental input and flirt with the human scale .[2]

Recent work includes "Spectrum Divide", a solo show at Saamlung Gallery,[3][4] "Sonic Furnace" featured in the Get It Louder Biennial, Shanghai in 2010,[5] "People's Power Station" at the Chengdu Biennale in 2011[6][7] and "Laoban Soundsystem: Infinite Baffle" at a cargo container storage bay in Hong Kong.[8]

Previous work includes Horn Massive and Microscopic Perfect Cube (2005).[9]


Matt's first solo show at Ace Gallery in Los Angeles, featured sketches, drawings and a set of 10 Towers made of parts bought from the now defunct, Sun Dragon Hardare market in the outskirts of Beijing.[10]

The Towers series consists of ten sculptures built from Chinese-made hardware: switches, motors, and structural elements. These skeletal frames serve as chassis to which components are attached that perform a variety of bizarre functions, kinetic, sonic, or other.[11]

The Los Angeles Times described the Towers:

Each is a sturdy jumble of rods and plates, plastic zip-ties, solar panels, battery packs, timers, audio and electrical components, standing human-height and higher. Most rotate, buzz, pop or make a frightful clatter as they do their ostensible jobs: converting light, heat, sound or one form of power into another.[12]


"Breath" is bike built by Hope that combines various found objects, including an electromechanical filtration system, that filters air while pedalling. Although technically operable, it is more of an artistic and theoretical response,[13] rather than practical solution, to Beijing's pollution problem.[14][15][16] "Breath" was exhibited in 2012 at Get It Louder, a contemporary art biennial in China. It is regularly mentioned in International news in connection with China's Pollution Crisis[17] and was the inspiration behind Ofo's Smog Free Bicycle.[18]

The Fatality of Lightness[edit]

Matt made a large sculpture of a steel I-beam with sections machined out of the beam to the point where it became weak in the middle. This 2016 piece was part of the group show at Long March Space in 798 in Beijing.[1]

Sum of the Parts[edit]

In this 2018 June solo show Matt took over the Galerie XC Hua and replaced two columns, building supports that support the second building, with his own steel construction forever altering the space. The show also featured several pieces including Blind Infinity and Closed Loop and Noise Section.[19]


More recently, Matt has been making hyper detailed pen and ink sketches as part of his day. [20]


  1. ^ a b c "Matt Hope Biography". Long March Space Website. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Matt Hope: Making Things Work".
  3. ^ Matt Hope (solo show), Saamlung Gallery
  4. ^ Vernissage: Matt Hope, Randian Online
  5. ^ "Get It Louder, Shanghai 2010".[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Chengdu Biennale 2011".
  7. ^ "The Solutions International Design Exhibition of the 2011 Chengdu Biennale".
  8. ^ "Laoban Soundsystem".
  9. ^ "Microscopic Perfect Cube". Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  10. ^ Ace Gallery (13 November 2015). "Interview with Matt Hope Ace Gallery Beverly Hills- Sundragon Hardware (Towers)". Vimeo. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  11. ^ ERIC MINH SWENSON (31 July 2015). "MATT HOPE : SUN DRAGON HARDWARE". Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  12. ^ OLLMAN, LEAH (19 August 2015). "Daunting power of the hand, mind and machine by Matt Hope at Ace Gallery". Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Laowai Not: Breathing Bike". China Daily. 13 March 2013.
  14. ^ "Pedal-Powered Purifier Clears the Air in China". Bloomberg Television. 4 February 2013.
  15. ^ "More Next-Level IKEA Hacking: Matt Hope's Air-Filtering Beijing Bicycle". core77. 31 January 2013.
  16. ^ "Beijing Bike-Sculpture Filters the City's Pollution". Hyperallergic. 31 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Pollution in China: Precious art from toxic waste". BBC. 31 January 2013.
  18. ^ "A Smog-Eating Bike May Soon Cruise Beijing's Streets". Hyperallergic. 24 July 2017.
  19. ^ Mouna, Tom (2 June 2018). "Sum of the Parts - Matt Hope". Galerie XChua. Retrieved 1 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Matt HOPE ARTIST - at work on his drawing 'Made in the USA'". Cirrus Films. 16 October 2017. Retrieved 1 September 2018.

External links[edit]