Gu Xiong

Gu Xiong exhibits @ MultipleCity.Arte - Panamá 2003

MultipleCity.Arte - Panamá 2003
March 20 through April 20

Curated by Gerardo Mosque and Adrienne Samos and organized by arpa , MultipleCity. Arte - Panama 2003 will constitute the most important international event in the field of the arts throughout the entire history of Panama.

From March 20 through April 20, MultipleCity will gather artists of various countries and have them react to the city so as to work with it as passersby, while a smaller group of Panamanians will do the same as natives. Every artist has been invited to create an individual piece in the streets and with the streets.

Whether the artwork is to be ephemeral or not, the intention is not simply to create "public art" in a traditional sense. The key issue here is that the artworks must respond to physical, social, and cultural aspects of the city. At the same time, the artists should actively relate to the city, and struggle with its myriad seductions and pressing problems. It is intended that the processes and final works (without necessarily being interactive) involve the various urban communities, and have some sort of impact upon them.

The artists : Brooke Alfaro, Francis Alys, Ghada Amer, Ghada Amer, Gustavo Artigas, artway of thinking, Yoan Capote, Cildo Meireles, Juan andres Milanes, Jesus Palomino, Humberto Velez, Gu Xiong.

Gu Xiong (China/Canada)

Gu Xiong worked closely with the Chinese-Panamanian community in an installation that fuses personal experiences with public art: near Chinatown big banners and multicoloured ribbons hang from one side to the other of a populous street (recalling the Chinese festive tradition). Each one of these banners display a photograph of a person, accompanied by words that speak about an aspect of his or her identity, repeated in Spanish, Chinese and English.

Location: Avenida B, near Salsipuedes

Born in Chongquing, China, 1953, Xiong lived and taught traditional woodcut printmaking at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute before moving to Canada. In 1986 he participated in an exchange program at the Banff Centre for the Arts, and in 1989 he returned there after being forced to flee China as a result of his participation in the China/Avant-Garde show in Beijing and the Tiananmen Square demonstration.

In 1990 Gu Xiong moved to Vancouver and he is currently teaching in the Fine Arts Department of British Columbia University. Alvin Balkind wrote that Gu Xiong is " classic example of an artist straddling two cultures, both of which provide sustenance and pain and find their way into his work in an amalgamation of early Chinese influences and Western expression and daring."

For MultipleCity, Gu Xiong will create a public piece in Panama City's Chinatown, engaging the people who live and work in this populous and important district. Big banners and multicoloured ribbons will be hung from one side of the main street to the other (recalling the Chinese festive tradition). Each one of these banners will display a photograph of a person, accompanied by words that speak about an aspect of his or her identity, repeated in Spanish, Cantonese and English.

Selected solo exhibitions: 2001 Yellow water/Blue Culture Kamloops Art Gallery, BC, Canada; 2001 China Diary, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver; 2000 Drowning, Richmond Art Gallery, Canada; 1999 The Mountains, Chinese Culture Centre Museum & Archives, Vancouver; 1998 The River, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada; 1996 Behold the Silence, Diane Farris Gallery, Vancouver; 1990 Enclosure, The Banff Centre For The Arts, Canada. Selected group exhibitions: 2001 Le Mois de la Photo, Montreal, Canada; 2001 Arquetipos, Museo de Arte y Dise–o Contempor‡neo, San Jose, Costa Rica; 2000 Montreal Biennial; 1995 Kwangju International Biennial, Korea; 1989 China/Avant-Garde, The National Fine Arts Gallery of China, Beijing; 1988 Contemporary Chinese Art, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. Selected bibliography: Gu, Xiong, 1997. The Yellow Pear, Arsenal Pulp Press Burnaby, 2000; Sullivan, Michael, Art and Artists of Twentieth Century China, University of California, Berkeley; 1996; Several authors, China Avant-Garde, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 1993.

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