Hong Hao was born in 1965, the year the repressive measures of the Cultural Revolution swept over China. Hong studied print making at the central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, before embarking on a career as a fiercely independent artist. In the 1990s he produced his first major body of work: a series of silk screen prints called Selected Scriptures. Works from the series appear to be double page spreads from an antiquated world atlas but are in fact fictitious creations; subversive geographic and political reconfigurations reflecting the artist's individual view of the world. In the late 1990s Hong turned to photography. The Beijing Tour Guide continues his theme of political and cultural agitation by depicting himself as an uninvited tour guide amidst groups of unsuspecting tourists. Similar in mode to the interventionist pranks of European avant-garde groups such as Dada and the Situationists, the artist is depicted here as a lone figure of dissent at odds with world around him. In the large-format photographic prints produced since 2001, Hong recycles and reassembles everyday objects from contemporary Chinese life. Items are individually scanned into a computer and arranged across the picture plane in a variety of methods. By means of their repetition and composition the depicted objects become totems of the consumer society enveloping China. The visual tension between the individual object and the individual object as a unit of the overall composition reflects Hao's constant awareness of the fate of the individual in a changing, complex society. Although formal affinities recall the accumulations of the nouveaux rialistes like Arman and Daniel Spoerri, Hong's assemblages depart from these precedents by embracing biographical and narrative elements. The artist explains the source of his materials "I sorted out all my personal possessions, including the new, the about to be thrown out and the still being used". As such his conglomeration of artefacts are a visual archive not only of his own life but also the broader cultural context in which he lives.