Originally from China, Wang Gongyi studied woodcuts in Hangzhou in the 1970s. She was invited to Paris by both the French Culture and Education Ministries in the 1980s and early 1990s to pursue art. Ironically, this European exchange strengthened her Chinese identity. Through foreign exposure to traditional forms of Chinese art, she discovered her own heritage and a Zen-like routine of artistic practice. Here she was drawn to repetitive patterning, creating a daily diary of images that led to a keener understanding of process. By approaching similar yet varying elements over and over she became empowered by the immediacy of experience and physical perceptions. She pushed through a strenuous pursuit of etching and lithography, the rigor of experimentation blossomed into self-discovery. By 2000, Wang Gongyi moved to the United States, and having to make her own way, increased her self-awareness through Buddhist scriptures by keeping an open heart and a focused sensibility about her work.
Wang Gongyi graduated from the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in 1980 with a MA in printmaking and then taught there. She has exhibited her prints and works on paper since 1980 including one-person exhibits in France, China, Canada and the United States. Group shows include the 4th International Ink Painting Biennial of Shenzhen, China; Jose Martinez Gallery, Lyon, France; Art Basel, Switzerland; the Exhibition of 15 Famous Chinese Artists, Munich, Germany; and the International Print Exhibition, Portland Art Museum, Oregon.