Xu Guanyu

Temporary Censored Home


The Dining Room - Xu GuanyuIn Temporarily Censored Home, Guanyu Xu secretly placed photographs in his parent’s home in Beijing to ‘queer’ his parents’ heterosexual space. Using photographs he had taken of himself and gay men from his project One Land to Another; photographs of landscape and the built environment taken in America, Europe, and China; torn pages from film and fashion magazines he had collected as a teenager and images from his family albums, Xu made elaborate installations in the house creating a temporary space of freedom and protest.

The queering process was hidden from his parents as Xu removed all the evidence of his art before they returned home from work. His mother’s floral interior design and father’s extremely organised space were reinstated with their heterosexual identity. This intervention into his parent’s home, a place Xu had lived as a closeted gay teenager confronted the discrimination he felt both in China and his new home of America. Even in this world of globalisation his free expression of sexuality remains compromised by the racism of American and the patriarchy of China that still dominate the individual. Temporarily Censored Home disrupts the cultural hegemony of his parents’ society through creating space of difference, comparisons, and contradictions from his transnational perspective.

Xu Guanyu (b.1993, Beijing, China)

Xu Guanyu was born in Beijing but lives and works in Chicago. He studied at the Beijing Film Academy and earned his MFA from the School of Art Institute of Chicago. He received a number of fellowships and awards including the FOAM talent award last year. His photographic interventions offer an exploration of his complex personal history and identity bridging the gap between the personal and political, highlighting the disparities and connections between China and the US.

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