Gu Xiong

Press Release

September 15 - October 1, 2005
Opening reception Thursday, September 15, 6-8 pm

In Shifting, Sichuan-born Gu Xiong confronts us with the immediacy of global change and ever-shifting cultural and economic influences on architecture, urban design, community, nationality and individuality.

In this astonishing new series of photographs, Xiong captures the impact of globalization on China as her people emerge into the 21st Century. These works are complemented by recent images from North America that depict stark physical and visual changes on this side of the world.

Accompanying the photographs are portraits of Chinese-Canadians. These works continue themes Xiong began developing for the Shanghai Biennale in 2004, where his large-scale photographs and text, transferred onto massive canvasses, were mounted on the exterior walls of the immense Shanghai Art Museum. The Biennale showcased art by more than 120 artists from Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America and Europe.

Gu Xiong is a multimedia artist originally from Chongquing, Sichuan in the People's Republic of China. In 1972, during the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the countryside where he laboured in the fields under extremely primitive conditions for four years. After being allowed to return to the city, he earned a BFA and MFA at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute. His first link with Canada came in 1986 when he was invited to take part in an exchange program at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

In 1989, Gu Xiong had to flee China as a result of his participation in Beijing's China/Avant Garde show and in the Tiananmen Square demonstration. He moved to Vancouver in 1990 and taught at the Emily Carr Institute between 1992-2000. He was among five artists in Here not There, a 1995 exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery that explored issues of artists born and educated in China and re-established in Vancouver.

The Diane Farris Gallery has promoted Gu Xiong's work since 1991. In the summer of 1998, he returned to China with his family for the first time in ten years. The photos, videos and drawings from this trip were exhibited in China Diary, 2001. In June, 2005, Xiong began photographing visual paradoxes found in the culture of China as her people begin to adopt Westernized practices and products. Xiong currently is an Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of British Columbia.

  • Press Release
  • C-Prints
  • Portraits
  • Artist Statement
  • Georgia Straight
  • Event Photos
  • Installation Views

Undergo, 2005, C-print

I am Chinese-Canadian 2005

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