Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿 is the first retrospective of leading contemporary Chinese artist Xiao Lu. The exhibition is anchored by Xiao Lu’s performance work Dialogue from the landmark China/Avant-Garde exhibition at the National Art Gallery, Beijing, in February 1989. This work, in which the artist fires a gun at her own art installation, is a milestone in the development of contemporary art in China. It has also has been read as a critical turning point in China’s recent history. While Dialogue remains an iconic work of that era, it is also one of the most misunderstood pieces of contemporary Chinese art. Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue 肖鲁:语嘿 examines Xiao Lu’s creative interest in deep emotion, extreme action, and chance. Spanning a period of 30 years, the exhibition presents significant performance works by Xiao Lu including a new commission that explores the artist’s ongoing connection to Australia.
Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue is produced and presented by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. This exhibition and associated programming are supported by the Australian Government through the Australia-China Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship project led by Dr Claire Roberts Reconfiguring the World: China. Art. Agency. 1900s to Now(FT140100743), and the Faculty of Arts, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne.
Curator Mikala Tai ( left 1), Claire Roberts (left 2), Xu Hong ( right 1)
Exhibition: Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue
Location: 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia
Exhibition period: 19th Jan. - 24th March, 2019
Curator: Claire Roberts, Mikala Tai, Xu Hong
Xiao Lu (born 1962, Hangzhou) works with performance and installation. She is a graduate of the Subsidiary School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing and Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (China Academy of Art), Hangzhou. Her graduation work Dialogue was included in the China/Avant-Garde exhibition in Beijing in 1989 and became famous after she fired a gun at it, which led to her temporary arrest and an extended period of residence in Sydney. Xiao Lu’s fictional memoir Dialogue《对话》, published in Chinese and English in 2010, exposed powerful forces affecting women artists in contemporary China. Xiao Lu’s work has been included in important international exhibitions, most recently Performer and Participant, Tate, London (2018) and Art and China After 1989: Theatre of the World, Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017), and been collected by public and private institutions including the Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Taikang Insurance Group Art Collection, Beijing; and White Rabbit Collection, Sydney. Xiao Lu lives and works in Beijing and Australia.
Above photography by Yu Mo
On 18th Jan. 2019, Xiao Lu did performance "Tides" in Sydney. Photography by Jacquie Manning.
About “ Tides”
From 1989 to 2019, from China to Australia, a history of 30 years. On a beach in Sydney, facing the incoming tide, Xiao Lu plants 30 bamboo poles, one by one, into the sand at first light. The performance landscape created by Xiao Lu’s action and the waves refers to the past and the future, resistance and letting go, the individual and history.
Xiao Lu / Translator by Claire Roberts