Wu Jian’an was born in Beijing in 1980. He currently lives and works in Beijing as a professor, Vice President and M.A. student Supervisor at the School of Experimental Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, he is also a researcher at the Chinese Arts and Crafts Institute, and a Member of Academic Committee of Prince Gung’s Palace Museum, under the China Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Vice Director of Collaborative Innovation Committee of Traditional Technology of China National Arts & Crafts Society, and sits on the academic board of Beijing Zoo.
As Professor Wu Hong from the University of Chicago said, “Wu Jian’an’s imagination has always operated simultaneously in multiple dimensions. Likewise, his works simultaneously expand the viewer’s artistic imagination in various directions. He travels between words and images while adding a layer of storytelling above figuration and abstraction. He introduces sound and performance to break away from mere visuals and viewing. He freely traverses temporal divides, instantaneously taking viewers from today’s world back to mysterious primeval times. His art spans various media and styles: painting, sculpture, paper cut, and installation, all of which provide him with a varied vocabulary yet also arouse his desire to cross boundaries – to integrate, transgress and disarrange.”
In 2017, Wu Jian’an represented China in the 57th Venice Biennale. In recent years, Wu’s art works have attended Glasstress: Window to the Future (The State Hermitage Museum, Russia, 2021), KAIWU: Art et design en Chine (Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse, France, 2021), The Endless Life—the Narrative of the Yellow River (The Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, Ningxia, China, 2020), Art and Archaeology (Naples National Archaeological Museum, Italy, 2019), The 7th Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial 2018 (Echigo-Tsumari, Japan, 2018), Serpenti Form (Art Science Museum, Singapore, Singapore; Mori Art Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, 2017),Lunar New Year: The Year of the Monkey (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA, 2016), The Carolyn Hsu and René Balcer Collection: Exploring Three Decades of Contemporary Chinese Art (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA, 2015), Cosmos (Shanghai 21st Century Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China, 2014), ALLES UNTER DEM HIMMEL GEHORT ALLEN, Chinese Public Art in Kassel (Brüder Grimm-Museum Kassel, Germany, 2012), Mind in Landscape (The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC, USA, 2011), Live and Let Live: Creators of Tomorrow—The 4th Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale (Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan, 2009), etc. He had held several solo exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and New York City.
Wu’s art works are in the permeant collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Berkley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Cornell University Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Oscar Niemeyer Museum, Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Guardian Art Center, Epoch Art Museum, Asia Art Archives, Modern Art Media, HSBC Jade Center in Beijing, Fidelity Investments Art Collection, White Rabbit Foundation, Chenyidan Charity Foundation, Bridging Hope Charity Foundation, etc.
Credited for the far-reaching impact of his artistic practice, Wu received The Asian Cultural Council 2021 Grants, which made him the only visual artist in China to receive this award that year. In recent years, he has also received 2020 Robb Report Best of the Best Awards for Artist and the 2018 Perspective 40 Under 40 Awards for Artist, and several other art awards bestowed by influential medias and institutes.