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Painting (MA)

Hengzhi Gong

Born in 1995, Hengzhi Gong is an artist and violinist based in London and Chongqing.


2020 Final, not Over, Unit 1 Gallery, London, UK  

2020 Snapshot, Hockney Gallery, London, UK  

2019 IMARA Art Auction, Nottingham High School, Nottingham, UK  

2019 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK  

2019 Get It for Cheap, Soil Gallery, Seattle, US 

2019 Get It for Cheap, Western Exhibitions, Chicago, US  

2019 RCA WIP Show, Sackler Building, London, UK  

2018 Graduation Show, Gallery of Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China  

2018 Absurdity, Echo Space, Beijing, China 

2016 What a Joke, Fruit Space, Chongqing, China 

Honour & Prize 

2017 Second-prize Academic Scholarship, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China 

2014 Third-prize Academic Scholarship, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China  

2010 The Second Prize of National Computer Contest, China  




Instagram: @hengzhi_gong

Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

I am a reticent Chinese who seldom speaks much. My personality conveys itself implicitly, which does not so much exist in my daily behaviour but surfaces in paintings where my thoughts and emotions reside. Beneath the whimsical story floating on the surface, my painting always has a deeper expression and explanation folded in. 

The figures in my paintings come from my personal experience and dreams. These add an absurd and humorous narrative that connect one figure to another. The narrative, always stemming from contemporary social and political issues, might lend these figures allegorical meaning and content. In this way, these quotidian images do not just speak for themselves, but also represent something else–a surplus. This process is a critical element that helps me conduct political allegory in my work. Besides their absurd and humorous qualities, my paintings also reflect an element of self-mockery aimed at my powerlessness towards self-censorship as a Chinese artist. This, I find, brings an immense sadness that is hidden in their happiness to my paintings. Overall, I do not merely want to document my experiences, dreams and imagination through my paintings, but also utilise forces as another voice to express my identity, political opinions and others thoughts which I could hardly speak out loud in my real life. 

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The Barber — 120x150cm Oil on canvas 2020

The Fisherman — 120x150cm Oil on canvas 2020

Since the lockdown began, I have been isolating myself and almost had a relationship with my sofa. In this recent series of paintings, I began to think about how this pandemic might change us and what we could do to adapt to the alienation the virus creates in the future.


Oil on canvas


See in description of each work.
absurdallegoryblack humourcolourcoronavirusfantasynarrative paintingoil paintingpainting

We Were About to Have Sex When Her Father Came in — 40x30cm Oil on canvas 2018

Summer Night — 150x120cm Oil on canvas 2019

Bald Man s Love — 120x150cm Oil on canvas 2019

Love and pain are eternal themes. We met, we joyed, we lost. Afterall, we are all born alone and die alone.


Oil on canvas


See in description of each work.

Mouse King — 150x170cm Oil on canvas 2020

Peeing Dog In Front Of The Dyson Building — 50x60cm Oil on canvas 2018

Fish Lover — 150x120cm Oil on canvas 2019

Fish Catcher — 170x150cm Oil on canvas 2019

Not like humans, animals do not have so many restrictions in their society. Lack of rules might make them look ‘mad’, and such 'being mad' could be regarded as an allegory of the abnormal behaviours of human beings. In this series, animals are not only representing themselves but also gain a political meaning to refer to those who behave without any rules like crazy animals.


Oil on canvas


See in description of each work.

Peeing Exorcist — 120x150cm Oil on canvas 2020

Swimming Murder — 120x150cm Oil on canvas 2018

Pumpkin Head — 150x170cm Oil on canvas 2019

Detective Yellow — 40x50cm Oil on canvas 2020

I am fascinated by the urban legends for their whimsical and ambiguous narrative. After reading numerous urban legend stories, I created this series to explore the possibility of narrative and build my own utopia with strange creatures.


Oil on canvas


See in descrption of each work.

Sha Yang & Shi Gong


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