Chinese artists play an important role in the world of contemporary art; their work, often focusing on individual explorations of identity and transformation, influences our understanding of the country’s emergence as a global force. China’s key position in the world economy is increasingly evident, and only the future can reveal how its culture will bear the influence of globalization. The installation of photographs by Chinese artists Xing Danwen and Gu Xiong in St. Patrick subway station, in Toronto’s Chinatown, provocatively explores the collision of cultures. A co-presentation with the Art Gallery of Ontario. In this dual lecture, the artists each present an overview of their work.

Gu Xiong is a Chinese multimedia artist currently living in Vancouver. His work is centred around the creation of a hybrid cultural identity and encompasses sociology, geography, economics, politics and literature. The dynamics of globalization and individual identity are particularly apparent in his work. Xiong received his BFA and MFA from The Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, Chongqing, China. As a result of his participation in the China/Avant Garde Exhibition at the National Fine Arts Gallery in Beijing, and in the Tiananmen Square protests, he fled from China to Canada in 1989. He has exhibited extensively internationally, and his work been collected by the National Gallery of Canada, the National Gallery of China and many other museums. Xiong is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Xing Danwen was born in Xi’an, China, and currently lives and works in Beijing. In addition to the installation of her work in St. Patrick station, an exhibition of her recent work is on view at Gallery TPW, co-presented by CONTACT. Xing’s work is included in major international collections and has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Pompidou Centre, Paris; Rencontres d’Arles; the Yokohama Triennial; the Sydney Biennale; the Guangzhou Triennial and the Millennium Art Museum, Beijing. She holds degrees from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Xing is represented by Kiang Gallery in Atlanta.