Beijing-based artists Gao Qiang and Gao Zhen (born in the Shandong province of China) are known as the Gao Brothers. They have collaborated on projects in a wide variety of media including sculpture, painting, performance, and photography since 1985. Much of their work is inspired by their family’s experience during China’s 1966-1967 Cultural Revolution. In 1968, brothers’ father was arrested as a counter-revolutionary, and days later, died in custody.
The Gao Brothers’ work ranges from the political and satirical to questions of material and spiritual spaces, and takes a humanitarian stance that questions the role government and the individual play within contemporary Chinese society. They are not afraid to create controversial and contextually loaded works, such as “Arresting Prostitute.” Depicting Mao has played a central role in their career. The Chinese authorities frequently censor their exhibitions because they portray the wrongdoings of China’s past, in works like “Mao’s Guilt.” The Gao Brothers are in a constant game of cat and mouse to exhibit and show their art.
—Samuel Jablon for Guernica