The Gao Brothers, Zhen and Qiang, are two Chinese artists born in 1956 and 1962, in Jinan, in the province of Shandong located in the north east of China.

The image of Mao is a recurring image in the iconography of the politically and socially engaged artists. It takes its source in their experience of a childhood trauma. In 1968, their father, a simple laborer, was arrested as a counter revolutionary during the Cultural Revolution. Days later he died while in custody. Up to the present day, they still don’t know if he actually committed suicide, as the authorities claimed, or if he was killed during his incarceration.

In  their art, the Gao Brothers seek to understand China’s complicated history and government that has moved from Communism to a form of State Capitalism controlled by the Communist Party. While their works always carry a political component, they mainly seek to forgive and understand. They convey the idea of ‘brotherhood’, inspired by their own relationship, as a message for all humanity.

Today, the Gao Brothers work in the art district 798 Art Zone in Beijing. They combine diverse mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography and performance and have received critical acclaim for their work.