Gu Xiong and Helga Pakasaar in conversation

In conversation with Gu Xiong runs in conjuction with current exhibition, Zhang Yaxin: Model Operas

In conjunction with Presentation House Gallery’s current exhibition, Zhang Yaxin: Model Operas, the Gallery will host a conversation with Vancouver mutlimedia artist, Gu Xiong, and Presentation House Gallery curator, Helga Pakasaar.

Gu Xiong, who began to make art during the Cultural Revolution in China, will introduce his art practice, followed by a discussion about the impact of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. During the Cultural Revolution Gu Xiong was sent to the remote countryside with millions of other youths and forced to labour in the fields under tyrannous conditions for four years and began to draw the people and objects that surrounded him.

After his return to the city, Gu Xiong received his BFA and MFA from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute (Chongqing, China). In 1989, Gu Xiong fled China as a result of his participation in the Beijing exhibition China/Avant Garde and in the Tiananmen Square demonstration.

Gu Xiong has exhibited widely nationally and internationally including Voice of the Unseen: Chinese Independent Art 1979/Today at the 55th Venice Biennale, Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, (2010) and the Shanghai Biennale (2004). In 2000 Gu Xiong collaborated with Andrew Hunter for the exhibition Ding Ho/Group of 7, an investigation into the cross cultural dialogue between China and Canada that recontexualized several model opera images, at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory at the University of British Columbia.

Photo: Gu Xiong, Up to the mountains, Down to the villages – Sketches from the Cultural Revolution, 1972-1975, pencil on paper, 20 x 20 cm. Collection of the artist.