“Xie’s work is so dynamic, and grandiose, while also maintaining experiences of intimacy, regarding family, memory, statehood and desire. She is very deserving of this award, and I look forward to witnessing how she continues to cultivate community and encounter in the wake of forced simulation.” – Juror Taylor Renee Aldridge, Visual Arts Curator, California African American Museum
“I was awe-struck by Sichong. Her collaborative spirit, workmanship and storytelling were incredibly moving to me. Her projects weave narratives that are, at once, poignantly singular and wholly universal — a seemingly impossible feat.” – Juror Beth Malone, Independent Curator and Executive Director, Dashboard
Sichong Xie combines movement and material in body-based sculptural forms, including masks, costumes, and other objects. By placing traditional sculptural forms within new sites, materials, and social constructs, Xie investigates these forms and movements within global communities to re-consider and re-envision shared spaces and performative practices. She raises questions about identity, politics, cross-culturalism, and the surreal characteristics of her body in the ever-changing environment. Xie received her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Her most recent multi-media installation “Memory Structure, Scaffold Series” is currently on view at the Wende Museum in Los Angeles. She was a fellowship artist at MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The Studios at MASS MoCA, The Watermill Center, Fine Arts Work Center, and Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture. In 2017, Xie was chosen to participate at Hauser & Wirth Somerset exchange residency in Bath, UK where she created a four-hour durational performance/installation “Walking With The Disappeared”. Recent exhibitions include the USC Pacific Asia Museum, Los Angeles, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, OCAT Art Museum in Xi’An, China, LACE Gallery, Los Angeles, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, Automata Arts, Los Angeles, Chashama Gallery, New York, Eli Klein Gallery, New York, and Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik in Berlin, Germany.
“My practice combines movement and material in body-based sculptural forms, including masks, costumes, and other objects. By placing traditional sculptural forms within new sites, materials, and social constructs, I investigate these forms and movements within global communities to reconsider and re-envision shared spaces and performative practices. My practice raises questions about identity, politics, cross-culturalism, and the surreal characteristics of my body in the ever-changing environment. My most recent installation, “Memory Structure, Scaffold Series”, at the Wende Museum in Los Angeles, features objects and arrangements emblematic of memory and temporality: bamboo scaffolding, embroidery on industrial mesh, and a set of laser-engraved drawings that will fade from continual exposure to light, through which I reimagine architectural drawings created by my grandfather in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This installation brings the materiality of the natural bamboo into direct conversation with the mass-produced nature of the scaffold and its role in development.
As Trinh T. Minh-ha says, the personal becomes political. To reflect the patriarchal society in China, I imitate historical monuments, such as statues of Chairman Mao, while taking multiple photos of myself jumping in the air with a handmade fake Louis Vuitton Communist suit. I want to create something absurd to question reality: Which one is more real, the sculpture of the patriarchal figure or the person jumping? Is the surreal man-made landscape more real or the ghostly jumping figure? There is humor in my work, but I want people to realize the gravity and profundity of the issues behind the absurdity.
I want to employ aesthetic re-purposing and cause social reactions within communities. Through my work with a diverse range of media, my practice blurs the lines between reverence and popular culture aesthetics. Beginning with the personal and cultural, I navigate my work toward the public and the political.”