Gong Jian was born in 1978 in Hubei Province, China and graduated from Hubei Institute of Fine Arts in 2001. Jian has a diverse painting practice, from the original "bad painting" style to the later conceptualist abstraction attempts, in order to find inspirations for a series of fundamental problems in painting. Unlike those artists who tend to keep a sustained style in the art market, Jian has always been exploring new possibilities and putting his exploration into the research of the history of painting. In addition to that, he has also tried to bring historical reflections and geopolitical observations into painting practice in recent years.

Images of various incidents are the key resources and motivations in Gong Jian's recent paintings, such as the Hong Kong’s ruthless gangster—Yip Kai Foon, Iran ’s Queen—Farah Pahlavi, the first elected Prime Minister of the Pahlavi dynasty—Mossadegh, the Romanian Revolution in the film Videogramme einer Revolution by Harun Farocki and much more. In the meantime, he also actively makes references to the art history template in his painting, applying the technique languages and image materials from artists like Bruegel, Manet, Cezanne, Baselitz, Hockney, Lauder Dufy, Picasso, Kia, and Matthew Wong. Gong Jian found a revolutionary stitching between those two elements and was able to find or separate a new self, which Hegel's called “the second self” in The Phenomenology of Spirit. Unlike the "first self" (the personality) and the "third self" (the conscience), the "second self" refers to the spiritual stage of self-alienation, which is the externalization of self-consciousness, while the identity experience of the objectified world turning back to self-consciousness. For Gong Jian, those images and classic texts in the art history are not only the objects of his self-conscious projection, but they also return to his self-consciousness. The revolution of his self-conscious which consists of the projection and its return constitutes his “Second Self”. The new work of the same name on display is undoubtedly the best interpretation of this series of new works.

Gong Jian’s work has been exhibited in solo shows, including From Byzantine Community to East Lake Park, Athena Space Gallery, Shanghai, China (2016); Nothing Is Important, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2012); You Should Learn to Wait, Fine Arts Literature Art Center, Wuhan, China (2009); People’s Park, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2008); Unhappy, Fine Arts Literature Art Center, Wuhan, China (2007).

Gong Jian’s work has been the subject of group exhibitions, including The Farm, chi K11 Art Space, Shenyang, China (2020); Force Majeure, Eli Klein Gallery, New York, NY (2020); Hic Sunt Leones, Surplus Space, Wuhan, China (2019); Hic Sunt Leones, 798 Art Centre, Beijing, China (2019); The Variable and The Generating, Made In Gallery, Shanghai, China (2019); Open Islands, Tang contemporary art Center, Bangkok, Thailand (2019); River Glowing Without a Beacon 1979, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2019); Corner Square Montage, Surplus Space, Wuhan, China (2019); Painting Mapping, National Agricultural Center, Beijing, China (2018); Fantasy Creator, Chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, China (2017); Among Friends, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China; Urban Constellation, K11 Art Village, Wuhan, China (2017); Simul Taneous Eidos—Guangzhou Image Triennial, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China (2017); Exotic Stranger, Galerie Paris Beijing, Gallery, Paris, France (2016); Our painting, YAM Museum, Beijing, China (2016); Drawing—Apperceive of Liberation, Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2016); No Apple No Show, We gallery, Shanghai, China (2015); Text Pause, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2015); Base, UCCA Store, Beijing, China (2015); Southern Wind, Antenna Space, Shanghai, China (2015); Fat Choi, A307 Space / Gland Space, Beijing, China (2015); Notes on paintings, Blue roof museum of Chengdu, Chengdu, China (2015); Wuhan-An Urban History Linked, The Annual Exhibition of Wuhan, Art Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2015); The Being of Nonbeing, A Kind of Personal Expression on Meta-Painting, Linda Gallery, Beijing, China (2014); Memo II, White space gallery, Beijing, China (2014); Summer 2014: Friends, Pool and Waves, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2014); Uneasy Trip in Asia, Star Gallery, Beijing, China (2014); You Can Only Think About Something / If You Think of Something Else, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2014); Given, NUO Art Gallery, Beijing, China (2014); Re-Modernization, The 3rd Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts of Wuhan, Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China (2014); Conscious: Twelve Views on Painting, Tang contemporary art Center, Beijing, China (2014); Wormhole—Geo-attraction, Lin & Lin Gallery, Taipei, China (2014); Boredom is the Beginning of Action, L-Art Gallery, Chengdu, China (2014); On | Off: China’s Yoing Artists in Concept and Practice, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2013); Re-Painting, Platform China, Beijing, China (2012); Painting Lesson II—Negative and Positive Style, Yang Gallery, Beijing, China (2012); Pulse Reaction, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China (2012); The Wedding Banquet, Para/Site Art Space, Hong Kong, China (2011); 15 Days: A Collaborative Work, White Box Museum, Beijing, China (2011); Breaking Away, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2011); The Burden of Representation: Abstraction in Asia Today, Osage Gallery, Hong Kong, China (2010); Du-Crossover, Around Space, Shanghai, China (2010); Hubei and Hunan Chinese Contemporary Art 1985-2009, Guangdong museum of art, Guangzhou, China (2009); Pawnshop, The Shop Of Vitamin Creative Space, Beijing, China (2009); Nomality: 2009 New Artworks Show, Fine Arts Literature Art Center, Wuhan, China (2009); Deutschland und China—Gemeinsam in Bewegung, Wuhan Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2009); Backtracking and exploration, Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan, China (2009); Time-Lag, Magee Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain (2008); Poorism, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2008); Notes of Conception: A Local Narrative of Chinese Contemporary Painting, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2008); Winter Group Show, Boers-Li Gallery, Beijing, China (2008); Forms of Concepts—The 2nd Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts of Wuhan, Hubei Museum Of Art, Wuhan, China (2007) Wuhan! Wuhan!, Nanjing Square Museum Of Contemporary Art, Nanjing, China (2007); Visual Experiences, China National Art Museum, Beijing, China (2007); Twelve, Chinese Contemporary Art Awards, Zendai MoMA, Shanghai (2006); DFOTO, San Sebastian International Contemporary Photography and Video-Art Fair, San Sebastian, Spain (2006); Young Artists' Paintings Exhibition, HANMO Arts Gallery, Beijing, China (2006); Limited & Freedom, Fine Arts Literature Art Center, Wuhan, China (2006); Happy New Year–Young Artists' Paintings Exhibition, Wuhan, China (2006);  WHS+8—Siemens art project, China Construction Bank, Wuhan, China (2005); Congratulations on Become Riches-Fish Eye Passes As Pear-A Bully With A Coward, Red City Art Center, Wuhan, China (2004); Slow Down, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Wuhan, China (2004); Plug and Play, Byzantium Residential Community, Wuhan, China (2004); The 5th System: Public Art in the Age of Post–Planning, Shenzhen Distance, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China (2003); The Minority Subordinate to the Majority, BIZART Art Center, Shanghai, China (2003); Chinart—The Contemporary Art from China, Kuppersmuhle Museum, Germany / MACRO, Rome, Italy / Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, Hungary / Municipal Gallery in Bydgoszcz, Poland (2002); New Urbanism, Guangdong Art Museum, Guangzhou, China (2002); Welcome, Jingsha Center, Wuhan, China (2001); Outside of the Site–Water, Pingu, Beijing, China (2000).

Gong Jian now lives and works in Wuhan, China.