Guo Fengyi (b.1942 - d.2010, Xi'an China) is a famous Chinese artist who through her practice of the coordinated movements, breathing, and spiritual meditations and visualizations of qigong created well over six hundred drawings, many of which have been exhibited throughout the world. Central to her creative technique is a visionary remote-viewing which leads to automatic drawing. In her words: "The message comes from heaven." "My works serve as intermediaries towards mystical spaces." "I draw because I do not know, I draw to know."
Guo graduated from high school in 1962 and began working in a factory. She never had any academic training in the arts and became the mother of four children. She began to suffer from attacks of rheumatoid arthritis at the age of thirty-nine and was forced to retire from her job. Western medicine offered little relief to alleviate her pain so she turned to the traditional healing methods of Chinese culture: Buddhism, Daoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and especially spiritual qigong. By the mid-1990s she even had created her own qigong which she called "The Work of the Penguin" (qi'e gong), and was recognized as having special powers to divine fortunes and diagnose illnesses, and gained thousands of followers. By the late 1990s she ended her public qigong work; however, she would privately give certain people her drawings to use for healing purposes.
Guo Fengyi began producing drawings in the spring of 1989. She managed to get hold of a number of large, outdated calendars, using the backs of their pages to record her investigations and discoveries. [...] Her working process took the form of a ritual. She worked without any preliminary sketches or preconceived ideas. As if practicing her Qi-gong, she would begin by entering into a state of contemplation, concentration, vacuosness and intense availability. Seeking out the middle of her roll of paper, she would paint in a few Chinese characters indicating her chosen and convened subject. With that, the spark was ignited, the impetus given. From then on, she confided, she had visions, and the composition would fall into place without her either mastering or controlling it; the forms would be revealed to her at the same time as it came into being. She was wont to paint rapidly, in one and the same gesture, in a single breath, without a qualm. The work would arise, involuntarily, and happen: "It comes true," is how she put it. Her oeuvre comes to around a thousand drawings. [from Collection de l'Art Brut Lausanne. Guo Fengyi.]
Editor's note. Her methods resemble the style and tone of what is called "Outsider Art." See www.britannica.com
Exhibitions 2002-2020. Extensive examples of past worldwide showings of Guo Fengyi's works are at Long March Space.
Sources of this page: Collection de l'Art Brut Lausanne. Guo Fengyi. www.sinoptic.ch
Guo Fengyi: To See from a Distance; essays by Rosario Güiraldes, Laura Hoptman, Kathleen M. Ryor, Xu Tan. New York: The Drawing Center, 2020.) The Drawing Center.
Lu Jie. "Who is Guo Fengyi? Long March Project.
Editor's note. I put her name on this Author's page because the article The Visionary Qigong of Guo Fengyi is about her drawings. The information in the actual article, which I compiled, will most often list its sources and/or authors.