Born in 1958 in Sichuan, Wang Jianwei began his art career in the 1990s and is regarded as a pioneer in Chinese contemporary art. Wang read a lot of books related to existentialist philosophy and Chinese history during his study of painting in Zhejiang Academy of Art (now China Academy of Art). Influenced by these experiences, his early painting-based creations featured strong experimental and complex concepts. Since the 1990s, he has continued to explore the impact of knowledge synthesis and interdisciplinary on contemporary art, and tried to use the methodology of different disciplines to create new artistic languages, that is, the possibility of developing and establishing a new subject from the knowledge level in many relationships. In the context of knowledge synthesis, he practices an interdisciplinary way of viewing the world through philosophical inquiry and endows these practices with forms. For this reason, his art works show multiple styles, spanning the fields of video recording, drama, multimedia, installation, painting and text.
Wang Jianwei has participated on invitation in many international and domestic film festivals, theatre festivals, art exhibitions and important academic activities. He has shown works internationally in many exhibitions including the famous Kassel Documenta, Venice Biennial, Kwangju Art Biennial and São Paulo Art Biennial. His recent solo exhibitions include "Dirty Substance" at Long March Space in Beijing, "Time Temple" at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, “…event matured, accomplished in sight of all non-existent human outcomes” at Long March Space in Beijing, "Yellow Lantern" at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing. His group exhibitions include "Art of Change: New Directions from China" at Hayward Gallery, London, UK, "Modern China" at Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), "Moving City" at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, U.S., and Hayward Gallery, London, UK,
In 2008, Wang Jianwei won the 2008 Annual Artist Award from Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA).
It can be understood as a re-examination of the “anthropocene”, a geological era with all human activities as its focus. The Will of Geography brings us a new look that we may try to establish a new way of understanding ourselves and nature. In such a perspective, nature, technology, and people become partners and form a new relationship. In this process, natural elements cross themselves through new techniques. Then, new forms are imprinted on materials.