Urban Fiction

Danwen Xing


Xing Danwen looks at globalization and the homogenization of the urban landscape through her series of monumental photographs Urban Fiction. Xing’s images of architectural structures are photographed from corporate maquettes created to promote real-estate developments being planned in China today. Trying to imagine life in such spaces, Xing inserts a cast of characters, all of which she plays herself, creating both playful and poignant vignettes of social drama.

As Xing says, “The models of these new living spaces are perfect and clean and beautiful but they are also so empty and detached of human drama. When you take these models and begin to add real life – even a single drop of it – so much changes. The figures act out totally imaginative roles as part of different plots and in different spaces that I visualize when I look at these models. For example, ‘I’ am sometimes a whitecollar office worker brought to despair by job pressures and spiritual emptiness. Sometimes ‘I’ am a materialistic woman enjoying a life of pleasure and dissipation. Or ‘I’ am a young girl who has accidentally killed her lover in a mood of anger. Together the resulting pictures compose the episodes of the urban fiction.”

Exhibition co-presented with CONTACT, in conjunction with the public installation of Xing’s photographs in the St. Patrick subway station - see Public Installations.

Lecture Thursday May 11 – see lectures.