Four Chinese female artists of the 52th Venice Biennale

Updated: 2007-06-08 09:20

Kanxuan! Ai!

Video Time: 1 minute, 22 seconds

Year: 1999

Place: Beijing

Kan Xuan, born in Anhui province in 1972, Kan Xuan studied from 1993 to 1997 in the China Art Academy, in Hangzhou where she could follow the evolution of video art at its very beginning in China. Although she also realizes photographs, installations and performance, she mainly works with video, and is now considered as one of the most important female video artist of China. Her videos point out trivial elements, feelings, sensations of that we live everywhere without sometime noticing them. She reproduces them in their most direct way, with relevance and exactitude, but also with a lot of imagination, playing with the senses: in one video she swallows mouthfuls of condiments, and shoots her reactions. In another she breaks eggs one by one, filming the inner liquid slowly sliding down. More recently she realized a video (Object, 2003) showing small objects or ingredients (coffee, hair, apple...) dropping in the water, accompanied by a voice describing the colors of the object, as the video is shoot in black and white colors remain between white, black and grey. These scenes, all incongruous, have a strong impact on the spectator, smiling as they see two men tickling each other and laughing under a sunray, or feeling anxious as they see Kan Xuan calling and running after herself in the underground's corridors (Kan Xuan, yes! 1999). Would that be a metaphor of an artist searching for its own direction? She has been participating to an artist-in-residence programme from 2002 to 2003 at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, and has been living over there and in China since.