Guan Xiao


    Guan Xiao (b. 1983 Chongqing) lives and works in Beijing. Her practice focuses primarily on sculpture, video, and installation. Combining a wide array of visual references, Guan Xiao continuously reinvents her biographical details such as identity, personal history, geographical background and the experience of her daily life by inscribing them into her exuberant works. Guan Xiao takes her sculpture and installations as virtual characters or “species” which she imbues with a new, literalized identity. The artist attempts to emphasize the importance of difference by creating purposeful contradictions between the materiality and the concept.

    Guan Xiao graduated from the Communication University of China and has exhibited internationally. Her work has been featured at MUDAM (2021); the 34th Bienial de Sao Paulo (2021); Belgrade Biennial (2021); Antenna Space, Shanghai (solo; 2020); Skulpturenpark Cologne (2020); X Museum Triennial (2020); Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen (2020); Sharjah Art Foundation (2020); Bonner Kunstverein (solo; 2019); Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis (solo; 2019); Fellbach Triennial, Fellbach (2019); Honolulu Biennial (2019); Migros Museum, Zürich (2019); Anyang Public Art Project, Anyang (2019); Kunsthalle Winterthur (solo; 2018); High Line, New York (2017); the 57th Venice Biennale, Venice (2017); Julia Stoschek Collection, Berlin (2017); M HKA Museum of Contemporary Art, Antwerp (2017); 9th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2016); Jeu de Paume, Paris (solo; 2016); the K11 Art Foundation, Shanghai (2016, solo); ICA, London (solo; 2016); ZKM, Karlsruhe (2016); Shortlist for Hugo Boss Asia Art Award at Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2015); the 13th Biennale de Lyon: La vie modern, Lyon (2015); Antenna Space, Shanghai (solo; 2015); 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience, New Museum, New York (2015); Daimler Contemporary Berlin (2015); Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2015); M HKA Museum, Antwerp (2014); Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (solo; 2014); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen (2012) and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (2007).

    Her work is in the collections of Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; Boros Collection, Berlin; Daimler Collection, Stuttgart; Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf; Rubell Family Collection, Miami among others.





    • Rhythm Of Singularity | Lai Fei

      To be honest, I don’t know how Guan Xiao does it. Looking at the ways she grabs and synthesizes materials in her work, it’s a bit like watching a contestant on The Brain1 microscopically examining a thousand goldfish. This isn’t a totally apt analogy, for today it’s nearly impossible to quantify—and to describe, even—just how much visual information we receive on a daily basis, via networks both visible and intangible. In this imploding society, everyone is caught in the constant flow of data, always susceptible to some form of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. What makes Guan’s work unique is her ability to maintain an extremely high level of concentration while pulling content and motifs from the massive material bank of the internet. In her process, she stays true to an internal worldview that is neither culturally specific nor general. In this dazzling world of data, she finds her own “basic logic” to connect forms.

    • Everyday Transformations: Guan Xiao | Ying Tan

      “In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora (I intend to speak of forms changed into new entities)”—Ovid, Metamorphoses


      Ovid opens the Metamorphoses (AD 8) with an explicit statement of intent. In the 250 myths that follow, the Roman poet chronicles the subject of transformation—sometimes in an arbitrary fashion, sometimes retelling well-known Greek fables, and sometimes straying in other, unexpected directions. One of these stories, which entered our collective consciousness, can be seen at Rome’s Galleria Borghese, where Giovanni Bernini’s famous sculpture tells the tale of the nymph Daphne in mid-metamor­phosis—her limbs turning into the twines of a laurel tree as she escapes from the love-stricken Apollo. Transformations occur in our everyday lives, too; we experience this in cinema, as film scores transport audiences sonically through visual imagery…

    • Be Here, Now: An Introduction to an Introduction | Stephanie Bailey


      “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”


      In autumn, 2000, New Literary History published an issue asking if there was life after identity politics, to which Marlon B. Ross responded: “Which ‘identity?’ What ‘politics?’ ‘After’ when and where?” Ross’s point was this: Before “identity politics” there was already a politics of identity—and “wherever there is identity, there is a struggle for power.” In the same issue, Eric Lott located this struggle within a “politics of participatory discrepancy,” created when emergent social movements collide and collude to form a dissonant social fabric composed of rampant intersections and interactions between groups. It is in this fabric that Lott located a potential for a unified, anti-normative politics, in which no one is represented by one movement, and no movement is expected to represent the entirety of a human being.

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