The New School
American painter, media artist, actor born on terra nullius in the South Pacific, 1969. Former art professor in China and later research fellow for a socially progressive NGO. Left China in 2008 after the massive earthquake in Sichuan destroyed his studio. In his paintings, autonomic mixed-media installations and video works, Nu'a Bön's art journeys through the intangible landscapes of imagination, dreams and memories. Bön has had recent monographic and group exhibitions in Beijing (Red Gate, Songzhang), Shanghai (Eastlink), Bologna (Arte Fiera), Chiang Mai (Chobi Mela International Festival of Photography), Pärnu (International Documentary Film Festival), Memefest, Milano (MiArt), London (Brunei Gallery–School of Oriental and African Studies, Hayward Gallery), Munich and Paris.
Nu'a Bön works in response to the kind of theory and practice he has encountered in a few short years of solo art practice. His images act as records of visitation, biographies, remembering, and wanderings through the city. In Bön's imagery, modern, rationalist architecture has been set adrift in the urban landscape of modern China, his home for over a decade largely spent teaching. The images feature physical structures, rhythms composed of complicated architectural projections, excessive pixel data and overlaid paint disfiguring the original image. The images help to translate the pathways through the city into the pathways of the brain, into streams of information, and into cultural flows. These translations give the power to hypothetically divide towns, produce children, educate students, and sanction an artist's creation. It is a cultural flow that has evolved from nature. Bön's imagery is an architecture of nature mimicking its own deconstruction. What is important is that this process repeats as the site or the location, and is therefore the primary force in Bön's output. His work is not a parody of the city nor in the series "The Politics of the Divine–Thangka numérique" a parody of the thangka, a Tibetan painting form that emulates the heavens. It is instead an optimistic use of architecture, photography, and walking, and living life as technically precise instruments for mapping the city.