Xi'an Conversations

    • Date
      2015.04.23 19:00-21:00
    • Guest
      Zhuang Hui
    • Moderator
      Mia Yu
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Zhuang Hui talks about his solo exhibition project

Zhuang Hui is an important figure in Chinese contemporary artists who has been active from the early 1990s until the present. He is widely known for his photography-based conceptual works which present the polemic tension between individual experience and collective identity, between personal memory and historical narrative. However, what is lesser known to the public is the role of Zhuang Hui's earlier life experience in the shaping of his artistic practice. When Zhuang Hui was a child, he travelled extensively with his father to take photos for PLA troupes in China's hinterland. He dropped out of high school to focus on painting at a young age. He worked as a manual labour for over ten years at a local foundry, and he frequently wandered across China on a bicycle for an extended period. Such life experiences not only nurture Zhuang Hui's personal growth but also give him unique perspectives on what art is and what means to be an artist. Still regarding himself as a humble art labour, Zhuang Hui deliberately maintains the position as an amateur artist and keeps a critical distance to the art system and the art market. "Zhuang Hui Solo Exhibition Project" at OCAT Xi'an re-enacts his two latest works that he permanently placed in the Gobi desert and in an abandoned town in Xinjiang. On April 23, Zhuang Hui and art historian Mia Yu will hold public conversation at OCAT Xi'an. They will trace the intertwined threads linking Zhuang Hui's earlier experience to his artistic practice today and make connections between his environment-based works in the 1990s to his most recent project at OCAT Xi'an.
Mia Yu is a Canadian researcher on Chinese modern and contemporary art and visual culture. She holds a Master’s degree in art history at McGill University and is currently completing her Ph.D. dissertation on Chinese contemporary art.  She is the author of the book Imaging and Inventing Shanghai: The Courtesan Illustrations, the City, and Early Modern Identity (1884-1898). Writing in both English and Chinese, she is a frequent contributor to LEAP, Randian and Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art.


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