Shu Yang

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Shu Yang, born 1969, China, A Chinese painter, performance artist, photographer and curator.[1] After studying at Xian Academy of Fine Art, he moved to Beijing where, in collaboration with Chinese artist Zhu Ming and Chen Jin, he set up the first performance art festival in China known as the Open Art Festival in 2000.

In 2001 they curated the notorious festival of performance art in Cheng Du which was reported on Chinese television and in the press. It attracted the unwelcome attentions of the Chinese authorities.

Amongst the artists to have performed there were Chinese artists, Zhu Yu, whose work involved killing a pig, Zhu Ming who works mainly with bubbles and Dai Guangyu, Singapore artist Lee Wen, Slovakia artist Jozsef Juhosz, a member of the performance art group Black Market International, American artist Skip Arnold, British artist Lennie Lee, Canadian artist André Éric Létourneau and Japanese artist Arai Shinichi.

In 2002 he co-curated the 3rd Open Arts Festival in Xian, China with Chen Jin and Xiang Xishi. Many important performance artists took part including Ai Weiwei, Lennie Lee, Seiji Shimoda, Huang Rui, Yue Luping and Wang Mai.

After a split with Chen Jin he went on to set up the largest performance art festival in Asia featuring works by Wang Chuyu, Liang Tao. Yang Zhichao, Lennie Lee, Cai Juan and JJ Xi, Lee Wen, Michael Mayhew, Hayley Newman, Kira O' Reilly, and Andre Stitt. In 2006 the festival took place in the 798 Art Zone in Beijing.

In 2004 Shu Yang organised a tour of the UK with a number of well known Chinese performance artists exhibiting in 8 major galleries including the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham, the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, the Chapter art centre in Cardiff and the Victoria and Albert museum.

In addition to curating performance art festivals, Shu Yang is a well-known performer in his own right, has worked as an editor for Chinese art magazines and numerous catalogues. He is currently setting up the first archive of contemporary performance art in China. He has also curated numerous shows of photography, painting, video and movie in China, Germany, Italy and the UK.


  1. ^ "China Live 2005". Live Art UK.