Professor LaoZhu was born in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, in 1957. He is President of the ComitéInternational d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA) and Professor at Peking University. Professor LaoZhu is an art historian, art critic, and artist. Professor LaoZhu directs the Center for Visual Studies (CVS) and the Han Art Institute at Peking University, and the World Art-history Institute at Shanghai International Studies University. He is the chief editor of the Annual of Contemporary Art of China.
Professor LaoZhu received his undergraduate degree in painting from the Art Department of Nanjing Normal University in 1982 and then immediately entered the China Central Academy of Fine Arts to research art history and participated in the rising modern art movement. He received his Master’s degree in 1985 and remained at the same school as a teacher. He became one of the leading figures of the “85 New Wave Movement”. In 1986, he began to take charge of the Chinese Modern Art Archive (CMAA), which he has been doing until today. In 1987, he was transferred to Peking University and launched a course on “Modern Art.” He also explored many pioneering ideas on promoting Chinese experimental and performance art. Later, he studied at Heidelberg University in Germany and received his Ph.D. in 1995.
Since the mid-1990s, LaoZhu has been devoted to promoting the development of modern art. He has generated theoretical explanations on how art broke free from its dilemmas both in Western and in China, on the indispensable role of modern art in China’s modernization process. He has been persistent in combining academic research, practical creation, events, and exhibitions and placing these in the frontline of world art, curating exhibitions, planning and promoting activities, researching art history, and experimenting with artistic creation. In 2016, he co-chaired the 34th World Congress of Art History and was elected the president of the Comité International d’Histoire de l’Art (CIHA). He chaired and edited 57 volumes (43 volumes published) of the Catalogue Raisonné of Pictures in Han Dynasty 206 B.C-220 A.D., 5 volumes of the journal Art of the Han Dynasty, established the database of images and research articles at Peking University. Since 1986, LaoZhu has been in charge of documenting and organizing the “Chinese Modern Art Archive” (CMAA). Since 2005, he has edited the Annual of Contemporary Art ofChina based on exhibitions, events, art creations, and theories every year. The Annual has been published annually for the last 15 years, and since 2015, six exhibitions have been held based on the contents of the Annuals.