About Chen Xiaoyun
Chen Xiaoyun grapples with China’s tumultuous recent history and breakneck modernization. A photographer and video artist, Chen stages quotidian scenes that contain an element of strangeness, resulting in images that straddle the mundane and the existential. Nighttime scenes of ambiguity—like shots of submissive, naked men wrestling with branches or otherwise looking anguished—lend much of Chen’s work a disturbing quality, while others have an element of absurdity, like Merry Christmas (2006), which portrays a man dressed as Santa Claus lurking on a dark street corner. Others are more politically charged, commenting on life under the influence of hegemonic America or equating historical tyrants’ abuse of their people to exploitative sex.
Chinese, b. 1971, Hubei Province, China, based in Hangzhou, China