SHANGHAI— Guan Xiao, born in 1983, currently works and lives in Beijing. The art practice of Guan Xiao mainly focuses on sculpture, video and installations. She uses her own identity, history and geographical background as material, to collage world decomposition in the current high-speed arena. She creates contradictions, expressing her understanding of differences through various themes.
Guan Xiao’s solo exhibition entitled 8 Stories held at the Antenna Space, employs characters with undefinable appearances and exhaustive rhetoric. In terms of image references and textual descriptions of the works–movies, paintings, literature, symbols, customs, fairy tales, the everyday–all have provided inspirations to the content of the works. Industrial, handcrafted, readymade and natural objects constitute the final aesthetics in terms of material and form.
All kinds of elements roll towards an abstract metric. None of these elements is more important than the others, and there isn’t a first or a last one. There’s no dualism or separation, nor dominance or subordination. The artist breaks down these elements then pieces them together to occupy one room peacefully.
If something is tender, then harden it with materials; if something is beautiful, then dress it down with kitsch; if something is real, then make it fictive through artificiality; if something is flat, then texture it with craftsmanship; if something is natural, then make it industrial using technology; if something is concrete, give it abstraction by removing it from its original context, achieve a balanced state free of conflicts.
In the exhibition the group of human forms are three-dimensional collages in a post-image age as well as anthropomorphic totems of early modernism. They not only follow the logic of sculpture but also an aura of the readymade; yet presented as concrete individual human forms while being defined as an abstract collective identity.
Text by Luan Xiao and photographs, courtesy Antenna Space