Xie (b. 1983 Chengdu, PRC) assumes the role of director, performer, narrator and filmmaker in her multi-faceted practice. Her broad oeuvre consists of films, performance, paintings, prints, small publications, short stories and audio pieces.
A prismatic and textured family history often sits at the core of Xie’s narrative, yet her collection of personal accounts and anecdotes provide a glimpse of China’s complex society – one that has undergone a series of philosophical, ideological and political transformations. Xie’s performances emerge from her exploration of the parallels, drawing on the intrinsic and complex relationship between the two. She examines how these antipodal constructs impact ideas of the ‘self’ and the body.
A dual citizen, Xie collects and collages encounters, voices, texts and images from her cultural roots in PRC and daily life in the UK, which she transcribes to the surface of her body through the medium of ink. Xie manipulates familiar Chinese imagery such as the Chinese national flag, blue and white porcelain, gold fish and Chinese landscape, creating contemporary motifs from traditional iconography.
The exhibition ’家Home’ will consist of large ink paintings that were made during Xie’s inaugural performance ‘I Am A Brush’ in 2011. Appropriating her hair as the brush, and adhering to the calligraphy tradition of writing on a roll of paper, Xie applied broad abstract gestures and marks to a roll that was 11 meters long. The performance lasted three and a half hours until the end of the roll had been reached. This year, the artist has decided to curate the long ‘expression’ into individual pieces. As a metaphor for endings and beginnings, Xie deems the act of cutting the paper as akin to cutting one’s hair. The first ever-made screen for screen-printing was made from the hair of a Chinese female, ‘I Am A Brush’, the performance and paintings commemorate this, extending a symbolic gesture to Xie’s cultural roots and identity as an artist.
To open the exhibition on the 17th March, the artist will perform a new piece also titled ‘家 Home’ as a sequel to ‘I Am A Brush’.
‘家 Home’ opens on the 18th March 2017 and runs through to 20th April 2017.