Promote your event / Contact MCB

email us anytime



Saturday, September 13

Meet the Artists @ Opening Reception: 6-10pm


@ Midtown MONA, Suite C

4130 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI  48201



@ Midtown MONA


Evading Chinese censorship, the Gao Brothers challenge authority through sculpture, painting, performance, and photography.

Beijing-based artists Gao Qiang and Gao Zhen are known as the Gao Brothers. They have collaborated on projects in a wide variety of media including sculpture, painting, performance, and photography since 1985. Much of their work is inspired by their family's experience during China's 1966-1967 Cultural Revolution. In 1968, brothers' father was arrested as a counter-revolutionary, and days later, died mysteriously in custody.

The Gao Brothers' work ranges from the political and satirical to questions of material and spiritual spaces, and takes a humanitarian stance that questions the role government and the individual play within contemporary Chinese society. They are not afraid to create controversial and contextually loaded works, such as "Arresting Prostitute" - now on view at MONA North.

The Chinese authorities frequently censor their exhibitions because they portray the wrongdoings of China's both current and past. The Gao Brothers are in a constant game of cat and mouse to exhibit and show their art.


Dissident and controversial, the Beijing-based Gao Brothers are some of those artists who personally experienced the events of the Cultural Revolution, by which they have been deeply affected. Their art develops in the post-Mao era and questions the role of the individual within society, bringing to light social issues and delving into the complex nature of human beings.


Leading the viewer to reflect about the notion of "social responsibility" their artistic creations also become an "allegory of human emotions". Their art is not only a social commentary but it also presents itself as a manifestation of romantic spiritualism and intense human values. Their wide body of work covers a large spectrum of media, which includes photography, oil painting, installation, sculpture and performance

Among the innumerable figures present in these photographic creations the nude plays a major role. Despite Chinese cultural taboos of nudity, the Gao Brothers' work often makes use of bodies completely or partially revealed. In works such as Echo, Lonely Summer and Black Space the bodies are far from being a flaunting of the nude; rather they are a "laying bare of humanity itself."


Embraced by urban environments and emerging from dark backgrounds these bodies evoke pure and uncontaminated states of mind, leading the viewer to penetrate the vulnerability of human beings and to explore between spiritual and material spaces.


The Museum of New Art (MONA) would like to thank Adnan Charara and all the staff at Galerie Camille for their continued support.


The Exhibition runs: Saturday, September 13 to Friday, October 17

@ Midtown MONA, Suite C,

4130 Cass Ave, Detroit, MI  48201