The China/Avant-garde Exhibition and Xiao Lu: 30 Years On

A female-presenting figure in a black coat with hair tied back in a ponytail reaching her hips, firing a pistol at a plinth.


Thursday, 31 January 2019, 11:00pm


4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

181-187 Hay St, Haymarket

10am – 5pm

Free, book here

Thirty years on, what is the significance of the China/ Avant-Garde exhibition which opened at the China National Art Gallery (National Art Museum of China), Beijing on 5 February 1989. Since the forced closure of the exhibition, after Xiao Lu fired a gun at her installation Dialogue and a subsequent ‘bomb threat’, no comparable exhibitions of Chinese experimental art have been held at China’s premier art gallery. What impact did the exhibition have on artists, the art scene in China generally, and the writing of art history within China and beyond? This day-long international workshop, coinciding with the exhibition Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue, brings together a diverse group of speakers, including participating artists and individuals who viewed the exhibition, as well as art historians and informed commentators, to reflect on the exhibition and its legacy and the work of Xiao Lu during the period from 1989 to 2019.

Featuring speakers: John Clark, Paul Gladston, Nicholas Jose, Olivier Krischer, Li Yu-jieh, Archibald McKenzie, Claire Roberts, Sang Ye, Shao Yiyang, Mikala Tai, Xu Hong.


Top image: Xiao Lu, Dialogue (对话
), 1989, documentation of installation and performance: 11.10am, 5 February 1989, China/Avant-Garde exhibition, National Art Gallery, Beijing; reproduced courtesy Wen Pulin Archive of Chinese Avant-Garde Art and Xiao Lu.