Born in 1977 in Shanghai, China.
Born in 1977, Xu graduated from a technical college (Shanghai Art & Design Academy) in 1996, turned his back on the traditional art education system and moved to Beijing to immerse himself in its flourishing art scene. He returned to Shanghai after a year of living in Beijing, and in 1998, he co-founded the “bizarre”, not-for-profit, BizArt Centre, selling works to fund other non-marketable art projects. The first of its kind in China, BizArt instantly became a hub for emerging artists; in Xu’s continuing parody of corporate identity and business ethos, all marketing and PR materials were deliberately glossy and “commercial”. At the age of 24, Xu became the youngest-ever Chinese artist to participate in the Venice Biennale (2001). In the ensuing years leading up to the Beijing Olympics (2008) when the Chinese cultural system saw its most dizzying acceleration, Xu’s projects became ever more flamboyant and astounding. MadeIn Company was launched in 2009 when Xu Zhen, the artist, became the company’s CEO. This deliberate departure from his personal artistic identity could be seen as a rejection of the persona-driven contemporary art world; at the same time, it acknowledges his constant principle that his art has always been a collaborative effort. Taking his concept of creation to even newer heights, MadeIn Company launched the “Xu Zhen” brand in late 2013. Several of these new works were produced for the mid-career retrospective currently at Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, aptly entitled Xu Zhen: A MadeIn Company Production (19 January – 20 April 2014).