In its underlying critical negation of propositions of recent art history embraced uncritically by the preceding generation of Chinese contemporary artists, Jia’s work, in its conceptual features, often treats ideas originally developed in Western culture such as text-based conceptual art; and the transposition of the readymade to photography as it derives from the Düsseldorf School. But in its formal aspect, the work most often reinterprets Chinese paradigms, such as compositional patterns in Chinese calligraphy, and projection systems of the traditional Chinese landscape. This general tension of cultures between the work’s formal and conceptual elements serves a more specific critique of conditions in both China and the West. Most often, the artist chooses for the work an outwardly “pretty” aspect in order to address an atrocious reality.

Read more about Jia: a conversation with the art critic and professor Paul Gladston


1979 Born in Beijing.
2001 – 2002 Vice President and co-founder of The Practice Society [of Independent Film].
Until it was closed by the state authorities, this was China’s first independent film movement.
2003 Graduates from the architecture faculty of North China University of Technology (Beijing).
2008 M.A. in Traditional Chinese Drama, Graduate Faculty of the Chinese National Academy of Art (Beijing).
2009 Establishes her studio in Berlin.

Selected Exhibitions

2022 Binding Bodies. Perspektiven auf gebundene Füße, MARKK, Hamburg
2021 New Presentation of the Collections, Ethnologisches Museum and Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin
2019 Chinese Whispers, MAK Museum Wien, Vienna
2019 Touch Me: Strasbourg BiennaleHôtel des Postes, Strasbourg
2018 Language: Art for Leonard Peltier, Los Angeles Water School, Los Angeles
2017 Caution, Children! , Humboldt Box, Berlin
2017 Luther und die Avantgarde, Old Prison, Wittenberg
2017 Lost Highway, Taubert Contemporary, Berlin
2016 SCHNITTMENGEN, Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin
2016 Free Function, Steve Turner, Los Angeles
2016 Between The Worlds, Rohkunstbau, Brandenburg
2016 Art For Art’s Sake, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard
2015 The Chinese Version, Arratia Beer, Berlin
2015 Infosphere, ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe
2015 Macrocosmi: A dialogue between Berlin and BolognaAltes Postfuhramt West, Berlin
2014 Contrasts and Utopias, The 4th edition of the End of the World Biennial, Argentina & Chile
2014 Secret Signs, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg
2014 Environmental Impact, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Los Angeles
2014 Untitled, Collegium Hungaricum, Berlin
2013 Maps and Orientation Part 2, Heldart, Berlin
2012 Perspective, Berlin
2012 路 (lu), one time collateral event of the Berlin Biennale, Berlin
2009 The Road Series I, MIAUHAUS, Los Angeles
2007 Chinoiseries, Galerie Gordon Pym et Fils, Paris
2002 City Boxes, Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai

Selected Publications

ART VALUE “Die Sinnliche Qualitat der Dinge — Zum Werk von Jia” 2017
Museum Catalogue Luther und die Avantgarde (Wienand Verlag, Weyertal, 2017)
Museum Catalogue Jia: The Chinese Version (Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 2015)
Frieze Magazine “SHOWS | Jia,” Nov, 2015
Vonhundert “Die Sprache der Kunst ist universell” Nov, 2015
FLUX FM “Jia. The Chinese Version” Oct, 2015
e-flux “Jia. The Chinese Version” Sep, 2015
WDR “Die Schönheit der Schrift |The Chinese Version von Jia im ZKM” Sep, 2015
CULTURE REPORT “Made In Europe,” May, 2015
Eyeline “Track Changes: Jia in Conversation with Paul Gladston,” April, 2015
TEXT “The Chinese Version,” Jan, 2015
Artinvestor “Das Streben der Anderen,” March, 2012
The Art Economist “Red Dots on the Road Ahead,” March, 2011
The Art Economist “Five Chinese Picks,” January, 2011
Shanghai Artists “Shanghai Biennale ‘Building a Metropolis’ ” June, 2002