Cui Guotai

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Cui Guotai was born on April 4th of the lunar calendar in Liaozhong County, Liaoning Province as the sixth child in the family. He has three elder brothers and sisters.

The eldest brother joined the 3857 army of PLA; The Cultural Revolution reached its climax, and the Red Guards gathered together and moved into top gear. Cui’s parents, worried about the security of their children, did not allow the eldest sister to go to Beijing and participate into the Movement.

Due to the Sino-Soviet border conflict, battles were fought over Zhenbao Island. The unit in which the eldest brother of the artist served was stationed in Heilongjiang Province. His mother lived in fear and couldn’t sleep at night.

At the age of 8, Cui Guotai enrolled in elementary school. The school carried out “criticizing Lin Biao and Confucius” campaign and few classes were taught. At that time, Cui liked drawing aircrafts, tanks, ships, trains, and gradually fell in love with fine arts.

The Tangshan Earthquake occurred. Cui went to art classes in the County Cultural Center and learned sketching, watercolor, perspective from teachers including Song Chengxi, Liu Zhe and Zhao Guorong.

As a junior, he was admitted to Shenyang Normal University and majored in Fine Arts, his professors included Gong Lilong, Zhou Fuxian and Li Lilu. During his studies, he became interested in Western modern art and developed a true passion for Van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso. His 20 classmates are Wang Kai, Jiang Xun, Dai Xiaofeng, Li Dongyang, Zhu Qiujie, Shi Guangren, Yang Dongcai, Tao Hongjie, Qi Hongwei, Xia Fang, Liu Zhigang, Sun Yupeng, Wang Yalin, Chai Yue, Liu Shenli, Li Jun, Li Jingfen, Zhao Ying and Xu Jinrong.

Once graduated from Shenyang Normal University, Cui was assigned to teach art in Shenyang Mining Bureau Children Middle School. Because of the work convenience and the Mining Bureau Unions’ emphasis on art creation, he had the opportunity to visit coal mines, and get in touch with coal miners. Therefore, he drew many sketches and created a series of oil paintings focusing on this topic.

Began to pay attention to China’s “’85 New Wave Art Movement” and gained most of his understanding of the “New Wave Art” from Fine Arts magazine. 
Enrolled into the Fine Arts Department of Northeast Normal University.

Created the works Miners and Lunch of the Class.

Began to think upon issues related to local culture, contemporary art and real life.
Upon his graduation from Northeast Normal University, Cui Guotai started to teach at Guangzhou’s Guangdong Construction Vocational Technology Institute.

His daughter Tutu was born. Cui resigned his job, left Guangzhou, and came to Beijing. Be-friended with Yuanmingyuan artists such as Xu Ruotao and Liu Yan.

Was admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Arts for further studies and entered the 10th Senior Teaching Assistant Class in the Oil Painting Department.

I and 99, his graduation work, completed under the guidance of Professor Yuan Yunsheng, took part in the Graduation Exhibition of the 10th Senior Teaching Assistant Class of the Central Academy of Fine Arts (held at the National Art Museum of China) and was named excellent graduate artwork.

He enrolled as a PHD student in No.4 Oil Painting Studio of the Oil Painting Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He studied under the special guidance of Professor Chen Danqing. His final paper dealt with the comparative study of Western post-modern painting and Chinese literati painting. Meanwhile, he created a series of new figurative paintings inspired by his personal spiritual journey.

Cui Guotai Oil Painting Exhibition was held in National Art Museum of China and sponsored by AVON, and the artwork Inner Madman was collected by National Art Museum of China.

Artwork I and 2001 was selected to participate in the “Art and Science” International Art Exhibition which was held in the National Art Museum of China.
The thesis “On Kieffer and Badashanren – Unbearable Lightness of Being” was published at the International Symposium of Art and Science.
The artwork Inner Madman was chosen to Chinese Centennial Oil Painting Exhibition held in Hunan Provincial Museum.
Started to focus on and think about the fate of Northeast old industry. 
Dedicated to creating the great wreckage series of Industrial Portraits

The Great Remains – Cui Guotai Paintings 2003-2005, White Space Beijing, China
The artwork Victory Motorcycle joined the 2nd Beijing Biennale exhibited in National Art Museum of China, and the piece was published on the cover of Chinese Oil Painting magazine. 
Asia: the Place to Be? ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN I BEIJING, Berlin, Germany.
The piece Winter in the Smelting Plant was included into Nature & Human—the Second Contemporary China Landscape Exhibition, National Art Museum of China, and it got art prize of China Oil Painting Society. 
Body temperature – Invoking the Legacy of Hans Christian Anderson through Chinese Contemporary Art, The China Millennium Monument, Nordjyllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark  
Cui Guotai∣Gao Qiang, Aschaffenurger, Germany
With the invitation by Peter Taeth of 99 Gallery, Cui Guotai traveled to Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherland where he visited many museums, galleries and artist studios. And in Berlin he caught up with Picasso’s major retrospective that impressed him a lot, he felt that western art is constantly changing and innovated, from a genre to another, from a movement to another. Artists have been exploring their languages ceaselessly, and the art styles and forms continue to change as well. 

China Now – Kunst in Zeiten des Umbruchs, Sammlung Essl | Essl Collection, Klosterneuburg, Austria
Invited by Austrian collector ESSL, the artist came to Vienna to attend the opening ceremony of “China Now” ESSL Collection Exhibition. In addition, he traveled to Italy and Vatican with accompanying artists Chi Peng and Zhong Biao, at the same time visited some historical sites and museums. 
Spreading Realism – Oil Painting from China Mainland since 1978, The Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan

Cui Guotai: Deconstruction (?), ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN I BEIJING, Berlin, Germany
Created artworks such as Barrack, Bridgehead, Winter in the Smelting Plant, Abandoned Railway Station in ALEXANDER OCHS’ residency located in Berlin, German
Cui Guotai Oil Painting, White Space Beijing, China
China Today, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Beijng Boogie –woogie, Chinese American Arts Council, New York, American
An open China Art Exhibition, St. Petersburg, Russia
Passion for Art: 35th Anniversary of the Essl Collection, Austria
Cui Guotai∣Li Luming, HILGER ERNST Gallery, Vienna, Austria
Inferno in Paradise– 10 Years, ALEXANDER OCHS GALLERIES BERLIN I BEIJING, Berlin, Germany

Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection, San 
Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the USA.
Thanks to the invitation from American collector Logan couple and curator Jeff Kelley, Cui Guotai went to San Francisco to take part the opening of the exhibition, and toured GAP Contemporary Art Collection with artists like Liu Xiaodong, Yu Hong, Fang Lijun and Sui Jianguo. 
Evidence of a Lost Era –Cui Guotai Solo Exhibition, ChinaSquare, NewYork, the USA.
SEMIOSIS: Six Artist Exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art, ChinaSquare, NewYork, the USA.
Deep Breath–Chinese Contemporary Oil Painting, The Full Angle Gallery, Berlin, Germany

Nature Nation, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Israeli

Reshaping History: Theme Exhibition, China National Convention Center, Beijing, China

The Distant Mountains – Sanqingshan Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition, Enjoy Art 
Museum, Beijing, China

Historical Edges and Corners – Contemporary Art Exhibition, Songzhuang Art Museum, 
Beijing, China