Gu Xiong: Drowning

A 17-page catalogue published by the Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond, BC, featuring Gu Xiong’s solo exhibition.

In Drowning, an expanded version of the exhibition, The Mirror; A Return to China (Yukon Art Centre, 1999), Gu Xiong poetically links the personal trauma of this boating accident, in particular the near drowning of his daughter Gu Yu, with his sense that his hometown, and by extension the China he grew up in, is being “drowned,” obliterated by the mammoth construction projects and the country’s colonization by Western culture and business. In thirty-six framed photo works and two photo murals that make up the bulk of the installation, he documents and reflects on this transformation, presenting such potent views as workers among piles of rubble, a Marlboro cigarette billboard stretched across a Chongqing pedestrian overpass, hovering above dense traffic, and a classic tourist snapshot of himself before a miniature version of Mount Rushmore (from a theme park in Chongqing which also housed a model of the Titanic). His images also include such charged scenes as Gu Xiong standing before a monument and soldier in Tiananmen Square.

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