Xiao Lu

b. 1962, Hangzhou
Multi-media artist
Xiao Lu and her male partner Tang Song (b. 1960, Hangzhou), both graduates of the Zhejiang Academy of Art (now China Academy of Art, see art academies), rose to international prominence when Xiao Lu unexpectedly fired two bullets into her installation at the China National Gallery on 5 February 1989. The installation, entitled Dialogue (Duihua), was comprised of two telephone booths, separated by mirror glass, and was part of the ‘China Avant-Garde’ exhibition. Conceived as action art, the event had far-reaching repercussions. The exhibition was closed, and the couple were taken into custody.
According to the critic Li Xianting, Xiao Lu’s gunshots signalled the close of the ten year period of ‘New Wave Art’ (Xinchao meishu). After the 4 June Massacre, Xiao Lu and Tang Song left China. From December 1989 until 1997 Xiao Lu lived in Sydney, Australia. Tang Song was held in a refugee camp in Hong Kong from 1989 until May 1991 when he fled by ship to Sydney. In Sydney he was held in detention until November 1991. Since then, Xiao Lu and Tang Song have continued to collaborate, creating confrontational works that reflect upon the surreality of life. Us in New York (Women zai Niuyüe), dating from June 2002, is a performance piece that documents Xiao Lu, accompanied by a fibreglass cast of Tang Song, visiting key sights in New York, including the former site of the World Trade Center, Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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