Gu Xiong is a Vancouver-based mixed media and installation artist originally from Chongqing, Sichuan, China. During the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s, Gu Xiong was sent to the remote countryside for re-education. In 1989, he fled China as a result of involvement in Beijing's China/Avant Garde show and the Tiananmen Square demonstration. Now an Associate Professor in Fine Art at UBC, Gu Xiong has shown extensively and internationally and has received numerous awards in Canada and the U.S. The Diane Farris Gallery has promoted Gu Xiong's work in Canada since 1991.
Friday, September 30, noon
Free docent tours from 1-2 pm on Saturday, October 22 and November 19
As a former refugee, Gu Xiong addresses questions of identity and has a special interest in the kinds of mixed-culture paradoxes generated by globalization. His Nanaimo Art Gallery installation, Waterscapes: Migration along the Vancouver Island, Fraser and Yangzi Rivers, combines a metaphorical fleet of hundreds of small paper boats hung from the museum ceiling.
Previously shown as Waterscapes at the Richmond Art Gallery (2010), the Nanaimo version includes new electronic images of historic Chinese cemeteries on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo exhibit also shares conceptual and physical similarities with Gu Xiongs previous 1998 exhibitions: You and I at Artspeak Gallery in Vancouver and The River at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. These exhibits serve as metaphors for the journey of immigrants to Canada from China and the paradoxes of cultural colonization.
Also on view and closing on November 5 is an exhibition of 14 works from the gallery's permanent collection entitled the Huxian Collection. The paintings from the Huxian region of China were part of a travelling exhibition, Visions of Rural China, organized by the gallery in 1984.