CHINAME by XIAO KE × ZI HAN
The Shanghai-based artist duo XIAO KE × ZI HAN attempt to create a temporary contact zone for ‘Chinese’ identity by researching different regions and presenting on-location documentary portraits of common people.
“Our name is given, yet we try to explain who we are.”
How is Chineseness defined? Its significance shifts upon its context, and its impact on contemporary geopolitics is felt on an everyday level. How does the young generation in China perceive Chineseness? What about the diasporic Chinese outside of China? In this entangled web of perceptions, the artists broach the question: ‘What is Chinese—is it an imagined community or is it real?’
Chinese的身份该怎样来定义？基于不同的背景，它的意义也不尽相同；而在当代国际政治中， “中国”被标签化的影响已体现在日常的方方面面。生活在中国大陆的年轻一代是怎样理解Chinese身份的？而海外华人呢——他们对自己Chinese的身份又有着怎样的认知？在这个错综复杂的感知网络中，艺术家们提出了这个问题：“什么是Chinese? Chinese是一个想象的共同体，还是一个真实的存在？”
About XIAO KE × ZI HAN
After twelve years of dance training and education, Xiao Ke started her own artistic practice while she was studying at Fudan University of Shanghai. She graduated in journalism in 2000 and has been a professional performer and choreographer since then. She has expanded her practice into visual arts and other art forms since 2002, setting up different collectives to pursue her artistic ventures. Zi Han’s professional background lies in photography and audiovisual production, but has since broadened up his artistic horizon to include endeavours in visual and performance arts.
Together, XIAO KE × ZI HAN have produced and directed five stage projects through a strong interdisciplinary process, and have been performing internationally quite regularly since. Their work is resolutely conceptual and often features a clear social—sometimes documentary— dimension, often involving local artists in their projects, and/or taking the projects to the public space. In 2018, they embarked on CHINAME, a three-year research project that will convey them throughout Asia and beyond and will generate various artistic outcomes during the process.
Besides their own artistic practice, XIAO KE × ZI HAN deploy an important ‘artivist’ activity to support the independent performing arts community in China. They have been organising various festivals and artistic events, and have also founded the iPanda network to bring artists together and bridge them to potential partners abroad.
除了自身的艺术实践，小珂与子涵为支持中国的独立表演艺术社区而开展了一项重要的 “艺术积极分子”活动。他们长期以来组织了各种节庆和艺术活动， 同时创建了iPanda网络平台以汇聚艺术家们、并为他们连结潜在的海外合作伙伴。