Born in Shanghai in 1961, Yuan Gong obtained a PhD degree at the Chinese National Academy of Arts in 2012, but has immersed himself in different aspects of Chinese contemporary art since the 1990s. Being both creator and researcher, designer and planner, Yuan Gong is a multiple facets artist playing at the interface of conceptual art, performance and fine arts. Using a large variety of media, his artworks address many philosophical questions, reflecting his concerns about the Chinese society and the art system.
Yuan Gong held his first solo exhibition at the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 1997 and has participated in many group exhibitions around the world. He has hold solo exhibitions in main art spaces in China such as the Hubei Museum of Art, Tianjin Art Museum, Xi’an Art Museum, MOCA Shijiazhuang, the Guangdong Museum of Art, the Zendai Contemporary Art Space, Bund18 Gallery of the Ailing Foundation in Shanghai. He has participated to major national exhibitions including “West says – East says” opening exhibition of the United Art Museum, the 12th National Art Exhibition at the Today Art Museum, the 2014 Xinjiang International Arts Biennale, the inaugural Beijing 798 Biennale, the 4th China Songzhuang Culture and Art Festival and the 4th Chengdu Biennale.
Major international exhibitions in which he has participated in recent years include “Belle Haleine – The Scent of Art” at Museum Tinguely in Basel, “Secret Signs” at the Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg, the 3rd Asia Manchester Triennial, the FIAC 2014 outdoor projects in the Jardin des Plantes, “Voice of the Unseen” Collateral Event of the 55th Venice Biennale, the 6th Prague Contemporary Art Festival and in 2011, he was chosen to represent China at the thematic exhibition of the China Pavilion of 54th Venice Biennale.
In 2006, he launched the New Power China Biennale as a curator in order to promote young emerging Chinese artists. In 2007 he initiated the Tibet Art Project “Transparent Scene” and organized artist residencies in Tibet for several months. In 2008, he was volunteered researcher for one year in the Sichuan province in the Wenchuan earthquake disaster area, from which he produced some of his most iconic and controversial artworks. In May 2009, after his stay at the Department of Archaeology of Peking University, he was involved as an artist in the archaeological excavation of Duke of Zhou Temple in Shanxi province. Once again breaking rules of conventional thinking, he collected the soil dug from the excavations and launched the Duke of Zhou Soil Collection Plan.
In 2007, Yuan Gong was awarded the Culture China Person of the Year Award. He received the ICS City Beat EDGE Artist of the Year Award in 2009. The same year, his work “Sound off 512” was included in the book “60 Years of New China Art Interview 1949-2009” edited by Chinese art theorist Shao Dazhen. His artworks have been collected by the Guangdong Museum of Art, the Hubei Museum of Art, the Arthur Sackler Museum of Peking University, White Rabbit Collection and are part of the Sigg’s collection of Chinese contemporary art.
原弓自90年代以来，一直涉足中国当代文化的各个层面，1997年在香港个展之后，其工作混杂性的个人状态与今日中国当代艺术之乱象暗合。原弓选择 再次以艺术家的身份，于2007年4月历时八个月组织并参与了西藏系列艺术活动《透明之局》。2008年5月汶川大地震，以志愿者身份进入灾区参与救助， 并实施一系列艺术项目，历时一年。2009年5月以艺术家的身份再度参与陕西省岐山县周公庙遗址的发掘现场。
2007年9月获《文化中国·年度人物大奖》。作品《与声5.12－－东风》作为2009年代表作品被邵大箴收录其主编的《万山红遍:新中国美术 60年访谈录1949-2009》。作品《空香》于2011年参加威尼斯双年展“中国国家馆主题展”，同年12月原弓获《ICS城市节拍》年度EDGE艺 术家奖。