Zhu Fadong, b.1960, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Date of birth
Place Of birth
Kunming, Yunnan, China
Painter, performance and conceptual artist Zhu Fadong was born in 1960 in Dongchuan Village, Yunnan (a northernmost district of Kunming). He studied at the Yunnan Academy of Fine Arts, graduating in 1985, following which he worked briefly as an editor before travelling to look for new opportunities in Hainan, part of the mass economic migration taking place across China as a result of the Reform and Opening policies. His experiences of this internal diaspora inspired his 1994 work ‘This Person is For Sale’, in which his collaborator Zhang Xuejun filmed him walking around Beijing dressed in a Mao jacket with a sign on the back reading ‘This Person is for Sale – Price Negotiable’, a reminder of the plight of rural migrant workers in the capital city. Zhu’s work has featured in significant exhibitions in China, Japan and the United States. Zhu’s work has dealt with social issues in the avalanche of social change that has taken place at the end of the twentieth century and the start of the twenty-first as China transitioned from a planned economy and a largely rural society to a form of hyper-capitalism termed ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’.