David DIAO

David DIAO David DIAO

Exhibition Period
24 Mar 2016 - 26 Mar 2016
Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre│1 Harbour Road Wan Chai Hong Kong, China│Booth 1D11
Opening Hours
Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 5pm to 9pm

We will dedicate a solo booth to the Chinese American artist David DIAO, highlighting his latest pieces about his life in Hong Kong. DIAO was born in Sichuan, China, in 1943. In 1949, he came to Hong Kong. At 12, he left Hong Kong for New York, where he came to settle down and develop his artistic career for 50 years to date. DIAO's creation has evolved from abstract painting to conceptual and postmodern paintings, often entering into dialectic relation with Western art history and its icons. His recent works turn to deal with his childhood memories in Asia, of which his remembrance begins from his five-year life in Hong Kong. In 2014, he made a series retracing his experience in the city. For example, She Was a Neighbor juxtaposes his image as a boy and that of an actress LI Lihua against the backdrop of a map of Kowloon, Hong Kong. DIAO remembers that he and LI once lived in the same apartment; her lovely image and lingering fragrance became part of his memory about Hong Kong. Unpremeditatedly, their migration trajectories from China, Hong Kong, to the U.S. are similar. Such an experience encapsulates the diaspora of Chinese people in the specific era and their constant struggles for American dream. In Kowloon and Manhattan, DIAO also uses map as a canvas and indicates his previous and present residences in the two cities with two yellow dots, thus stressing the two cities' geographical similarity and cultural disparity with a succinct touch.

David DIAO

David DIAO is deeply influenced by New York's abstract painting trend in the 1960s, and he has been striving to expand the limitations of the abstract forms. He came to create conceptual painting that is emblematized and features intellectual debate and self-reflexive qualities. 
Born in Chengdu, China in 1943, DIAO moved to Hong Kong in 1949, and in 1955, he left for New York, where he came to settle down and obtain his bachelor's degree in philosophy. During the 1960s and 1970s, his works mainly explored the varying possibilities of formal composition and inclined to geometric abstract art. At that time, he was one of the very few Chinese artists having won recognition in the West. However, he gradually learned that abstract art could not satisfy his desire to respond to the surrounding reality and history through painting. In the late 70s, he halted painting, went to Paris for new inspiration, and conducted comprehensive research on the linguistic features of modernist painting. In 1984, DIAO returned to New York art scene with the work Glissement, bringing into his painting his concerns for the surroundings. Thus, he found a way to break through the fossilized formalism in abstract art. Letters and characters, diagrams, and statistics became his painterly languages, and his lines of thinking often developed in the contexts of art history, linguistics, and sociology. He appropriated, simulated, and juxtaposed the symbols of such art giants as Franz Kline and Barnett Newman. Also, he exercised analysis and critique on art history and art market, with his own resume and sales record also becoming the target of self-ridicule. Particular insight and sense of humor scintillate in his work. 
In late 1980s when postcolonial issues became ever more heated, DIAO also began to dissect his own subjectivity as a Chinese immigrant and artist in the West, in the way he analyzed the iconic artists. In the series about Da Hen Li and Hong Kong, he employs the materials and images from his families as well as the celebrity image such as Bruce LEE to trace his childhood memory in Chengdu and Hong Kong. Along the way, the construction of his own culture and ideology is re-examined as well. For David DIAO, his painting is concerned with process art rather than something mysterious. As he said, "If what you're doing can be reconstituted by the viewer, you're dealing the viewer into the image."
1943               Born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
1949               Moved to Hong Kong, China
1955               Moved to New York, USA
1964               B.A., Department of Philosophy, Kenyon College, Gambier, USA
1970-2000      Teaching in the Independent Study Program at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New
                       York, USA
1997-2000      Appointed Visiting Critic to the College of Art, Architecture and Planning at Cornell University,
                       Ithaca, USA
2012               Elected Academician of National Academy of Design, New York, USA
Now lives and works in New York, USA
1995               "The Bitter Tea of General Yen", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1994               ESLITE GALLERY, Taipei, Taiwan
1993               "Barnett Newman: 1 Painting & 5 Prints", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1992               "Vendus", École Nationale d'Art de Dijon, Dijon, France
1991               "Selections 1972-1991", ESLITE GALLERY, Taipei, Taiwan
                       "1969-1991. . . a real allegory", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1990               Galerie Claire Burrus, Paris, France
                       "Het Kruithuis", Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, 's-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
                       Provinciaal Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Oostende, Belgium
1989               Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
                       Galerie Joseph Dutertre, Rennes, France
                       Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint Étienne, France
1988               Galerie Westersingel 8, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
                       Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1986               Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1985               Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1980               Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, USA
1979               Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, USA 
                       Tyler Gallery, Temple University, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, USA
1978               115 Spring Street (Artist's Studio), New York, USA
1975               Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, USA
1974               Jared Sable Gallery, Toronto, Canada
                       Cuningham Ward Gallery, New York, USA
1973               Dunkelman Gallery, Toronto, Canada
1972               Reese Palley Gallery, New York, USA
1971               Dunkelman Gallery, Toronto, Canada
1970               New Gallery, Cleveland, USA
                       Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
1969               Galleria Francoise Lambert, Milan, Italy
                       "Sheetrock", Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA


Selected 2-Person and 3-Person Exhibitions

2014               "Christian Bjone + David Diao", The Glass House, New Canaan, USA
2012               "Walid Raad & David Diao", Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, USA
2011               "One Suitcase Per Person: David Diao / Ken Lum / Hiram To", 1aSpace, Hong Kong, China
2005               "David Diao / Gang Zhao", Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, China
2003               "David Diao / Gang Zhao: at Mid Career", Asian American Arts Center, New York, USA
1988               "Michael Corris, David Diao, Olivier Mosset", Shafrazi Gallery, New York, USA
1972               "David Diao and Cy Twombly", Hampshire College, Amherst, USA
1969               "Scenic Landmarks of New York Presents a Scenic Landmark for Toronto", David Diao and Brice
                       Marden, Carmen Lamanna Gallery, Toronto, Canada
                       "David Diao and Peter Young", Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, USA


Selected Group Exhibitions

2015               "Museum Studies", Berman Museum of Art, Ursinus College, Collegeville, USA
2014               "Some Artists", Minus Space, Brooklyn, USA
                       "Whitney Biennial 2014", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
                       "David Diao / Two Generations of Color Painting (1970) in ICA@50", Institute of Contemporary
                       Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
                       "What Is to Come Has Already Arrived", Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain
2013               "Swing State", Jane Kim Gallery, New York, USA
2012               "Conceptual Abstraction", Hunter College / Times Square Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Context Message", Zach Feuer Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Richteriana", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Open::Closed", 601Artspace, New York, USA
                       "Painters Panting", Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, USA
                       "The Annual: 2012", National Academy Museum, New York, USA
2011-12          "The Indiscipline of Painting: International Abstraction from the 1960s to Now", Tate St. Ives,
                       Cornwall; Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
2011               "Art / Système / Poésie", In Situ / Fabienne Leclerc, Paris, France
                       "The Horizon Behind Us", The Kaleidoscope Project Space, Milan, Italy
2010               "Lonely at the Top: Modern Dialect", Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
                       "Matthew Brannon, Mathew Cerletty, David Diao, Daniel Sinsel", Office Baroque, Antwerp,
2009               "Images & (Re)Présentations", Magasin-CNAC, Grenoble, France
2008               "Unnamable Name", Københavns Hovedbibliothek, Copenhagen, Denmark
2008-2006      "High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975", ZKM | Museum of Contemporary
                       Art, Karlsruhe, Germany; Neue Galerie Graz, Graz, Austria; Museo de Arte Rufino Tamayo,
                       Mexico City, Mexico; National Academy Museum, New York; American University Museum,
                       Washington DC; Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, USA 
2007               "Dialogues", Le Quartier, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Quimper, Quimper, France
                       "Stripes", The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College,
                       Saratoga Springs, USA
2005               "Dreaming of a More Better Future", Reinberger Galleries, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland,
                       "Beyond: An Extraordinary Space of Experimentation for Modernization", The Second
                       Guangzhou Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
                       "Design for Living", Islip Art Museum, East Islip, USA
                       "Les apparencees sont souvent trompeuses", CAPC Musée D’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux,
                       "Open ! Kuandu Extravaganza", Kuandu Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
2004               "About Painting", The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore
                       College, Saratoga Springs, USA
2003-04          "Black Belt", The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Santa Monica Museum of Art, Los
                       Angeles, USA
2003               "The Inverse Mirror", Chambers Fine Art, New York, USA
                       "Temporal Surfaces", Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2001               "The Sensibility of the 80s", Thomas Ammann Fine Art AG, Zurich, Switzerland
2000               "Personal Space: The Domesticated Long Island Landscape", Parrish Art Museum,
                       Southampton, USA
1999               Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
1998               "Dijon / le consortium.coll, Tout contre l'art contemporain", Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris,
                       Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, USA
1997               "After the Fall: Aspects of Abstract Painting since 1970", Snug Harbor Cultural Center &
                       Botanical Garden , Staten Island, USA
1996               "Landscape Reclaimed", The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA
                       "Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980-95", The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
                       "Time Wise", Swiss Institute, New York, USA
1995               "Raw", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1994               "Die Orte der Kunst", Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany
                       "East / West, Cross Cultural Influences in Painting", E.S. Vandam, New York, USA
                       "About Time, Testwall", TZ'Art & Co., New York, USA
                       "Crash", Thread Waxing Space, New York, USA
1993               "Neither East nor West: Seven Contemporary New York Artists", Taipei Gallery, New York, USA
1992               "Gegen den Strich—Against the Grain", Galerie Theuretzbacher, Vienna, Austria
                       "C'est pas la fin du monde—un point de vue des annees 80", La Cour d'Or, Musée de Metz,
                       "Génériques, le Visuel et l'Ecrit", Hôtel des Arts, Fondation Nationale des Arts, Paris, France
                       "Oeuvres Americaines, Autour de la Collection", FRAC, Dijon, France 
                       "Slow Art: Painting in New York Now", Museum of Modern Art P.S.1, New York, USA
                       "then & NOW", Philippe Staib Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Quotations", The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, USA
                       "En Noir et Blanc", Galerie du TNB, Rennes, France
1991               "Conceptual Abstraction", Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Schwerelos", Grossen Orangerie, Charlottenberg Castle, Berlin, Germany
                       "Le Consortium Collectionne", Chateau d’Oiron, Oiron, France
                       "Words & #s", Museum of Contemporary Art, Wright State University, Dayton, USA
                       Marta Cervera Gallery, New York, USA
                       "The Construction of Knowledge", Diane Brown Gallery, New York, USA
                       "La Peinture abstraite dans la collection du FRAC Bretagne", La Quartier, Centre d'Art
                       Contemporain de Quimper, Quimper, France
1990-91          "PASTFUTURETENSE", Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver,
1990               "The Charade of Mastery: Deciphering Modernism in Contemporary Art", Whitney Museum of
                       American Art, Downtown at Federal Reserve Plaza, New York, USA
                       "Abstract Painting: the Late Eighties", Lawrence Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia, USA
                       "All Quiet on the Western Front?" Espace Dieu, Paris, France
1989               "Une Autre Affaire", Le Consortium, Dijon, France
                       Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Jet Lag", Turon Travel, Inc., New York, USA
                       "Mind and Matter: New American Abstraction", United States Information Agency,
                       Washington, D.C., USA; National Museum of Singapore, Singapore; Taipei Fine Arts
                       Museum, Taipei, Taiwan; National Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila Art
                       Museum, Manila, Philippines
                       "Diagrams and Surrogates", Shea and Beker Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Diao, Dona, Goldstein, and Ladda", Krygier / Landau Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, USA
1988-90          "Hybrid Neutral: Mode of Abstraction and the Social", traveling exhibition, Independent
                       Curators, Inc., New York, USA
1988               "Art at the End of the Social", Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Malmö, Sweden
                       "Discreet Formalities", Greg Kucera Gallery, Seattle, USA
                       "Meaningful Geometry", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
1987               "Generations of Geometry: Abstract Painting in America since 1930", Whitney Museum of
                       American Art at Equitable Center, New York, USA
                       "Post-Abstract Abstraction", The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, USA
                       "Geometry", Islip Art Museum, East Islip, USA
                       "Michael Corris, David Diao, IFP", Le Consortium, Dijon, France
                       "Avant-Garde in the 80's", Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, USA
1986               "Tableaux Abstraits", Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Villa Arson, Nice, France
                       "Ultrasurd", S.L Simpson Gallery, Toronto, Canada
                       "Painting and Objects", Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Geometry in the 80's", Robert and Elaine Stein Galleries, Wright State University, Dayton,
                       "Paravision", Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
                       "Red", Massimo Audiello Gallery, New York, USA
                       "Abstract Appropriations", Grey Art Gallery, New York University, New York, USA
                       "Spiritual America", CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, USA
1985               "Cult and Decorum", Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, USA
                       "The Non-Objective World", Kamikaze Club, New York, USA
1983               "The Terminal Show", Brooklyn, New York, USA
1982               "The Chinese Response: Paintings by Leading Overseas Artists", Hong Kong Museum of Art,
                       Hong Kong, China
1981               "Geometric Abstraction: A New Generation", Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA
1979               "Mind Set: An Ongoing Involvement with the Rational Tradition", John Weber Gallery, New
                       York, USA
1977               "The New York School: The State of the Art", New York State Museum, Albany, USA
1973               "Prospect 73: Maler, Painters, Peintres", Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany
                       "1st Whitney Biennial", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
1972               "8 New York Painters", Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, USA
1971               "White on White: The White Monochrome in 20th Century", Museum of Contemporary Art
                       Chicago, Chicago, USA
1970               "Two Generations of Color Painting", Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Philadelphia,
                       Philadelphia, USA
                       "Using Walls", Jewish Museum, New York, USA
1969               "Annual Exhibition", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
                       "The Albert Pilavin Collection: 20th Century American Art", Rhode Island School of Design
                       Museum, Providence, USA
1967               Park Place Gallery, New York, USA
2015               Grants to Artists (Visual Arts), Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, USA
2012               National Academy Award for Excellence, New York, USA
1973               Guggenheim Fellowship (Creative Arts), John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, USA &


Public Collections

Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
M+ Collection, Hong Kong, China
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Akron Art Museum, Akron, USA
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA 
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, USA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, USA
Fédération nationale d’Achat des Cadres (FNAC), France
Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint Étienne, France
Fonds régional d’art contemporain (FRAC), France
Ontario Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada

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