1942 - 2010
Guo Fengyi has drawn a spectacular amount of attention since her art came to light in recent years. She was born in Xi’an, central China, in 1942. She obtained her high school diploma in 1962 and found work in a rubber factory. However, severe bouts of arthritis forced her to give up her career at the age of thirty-nine. She turned to alternative medicine in the hope of alleviating her symptoms, and found a new spiritual path in Qi Gong. She started experiencing visions in 1989, as a result of which she produced large numbers of drawings, first on the backs of pages from calendars, then later on rice paper. She worked with Indian ink and brushes, producing works up to five metres long, drawn with no initial plan in mind, discovering her own creation as she worked. The multitude of delicate lines form ghostly figures, dragons, phoenixes, and faces, sometimes interwoven, smiling and serene or terrifying and monstrous. Guo’s fascinating and highly original work has the power to take the viewer to an imaginary land where serenity is calm to the point of becoming disquieting and where monstrosity is strangely familiar. Her works already feature in the Collection d'Art Brut in Lausanne and the Museum of Everything in London, and was shown at the Galerie Christian Berst and Drawing Now Paris in 2010. Guo Fengyi is now being hailed as a major figure in the history of Art Brut.