chinese artist

  • Body Calligraphy: The Performance Work of Echo Morgan _ By Luise Guest

    August 10, 2018 | Posted By: | News · Press · reviews |


    Body Calligraphy: The Performance Work of Echo Morgan

    Echo Morgan is the English name of Xie Rong, a Chengdu-born, London-based, multi-disciplinary artist whose work is underpinned by a dark family story. She works with stereotypes of ‘Chineseness’ and femininity in order to subvert them. Morgan has written texts on her skin using red lipstick, black Chinese ink, white ‘ink’ made from jasmine tea, and her own breast milk after giving birth to her second child. She has played with tropes of Chinoiserie, painting her naked body to resemble blue and white porcelain, and then inviting the audience to violently wash the patterns away by hurling water-filled balloons at her. Her work mines her own experiences of childhood, family, marriage and motherhood – and those of her female ancestors. She is a story-teller.

    … …

    Juxtaposing English narration with Chinese traditional songs, Morgan plays with her complex hybrid identity and her difficult childhood. She explores the territory of translation: between two languages, between gesture and stillness, between her Chinese past and English present, between performance and image.

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    Live Action 11 Gothenburg

    September 10, 2016 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance · News |

    Watch Live Performance “Mother” online:

    Since my father passed away two years ago I found impossible to make live art, he was the drive, the inspirations for my action art. My straggled soul found huge peace, hope and happiness in daily life of caring my boys. But I have missed so much of the honesty, vulnerability and power of being the ART and communicate to the world through ACTION. Thank you Jonas Stampe for inviting me to the 11th of Live Action in Gothenburg. I am honored to join with some amazing live artists to explore, experience and express the magic of live art. #Gothenburg#lindamarymontano#performanceart#johncourt#huangrui#echomorgan#carlosmartiel#annerochat#行为艺术#哥德堡

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    October 2, 2013 | Posted By: | Brushing Jade · infraction 9 · Live Performance · News |

    Jade Buddha

    Photography by Roland-von-der-Emden,Yau Wen and Kovács István

    3 hours, 13 . 09 . 2013 @ Sète, outdoor flea market

    During Cultural Revolution red guards cut off Buddha heads from the temple to destroy the tradition, religion and history. My father’s antique passion is collecting jade and Buddha head. Bankrupted and lonely, he brushes his jade days and night. Outdoor flea market, where people are looking for things used, interesting and cheap.

    A place for a lost buddha.

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    Sete Warrior

    October 1, 2013 | Posted By: | blog: film link · infraction 9 · Live Performance · News |

    Sete Warrior Live Performance

    Photography by Roland-von-der-Emden and Yau Wen

    3 Hours Lipsticks, sete traditional water jousting shield and jousting pole, white French girl’s outfit @Sete, Infr’action,14.09.2013 My uncle used to call me the Don Quixote. I was excited to discover the famous sport in Sete: Water Jousting and noticed it’s a game for boys only. I covered my body with red lipsticks to create an image of a very feminine modern water jousting warrior. During the three hours performance I began unexpectedly crying.



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    Chicken Soup

    September 23, 2013 | Posted By: | infraction 9 · Live Performance · News |

    Chicken Soup Live Performance

    30 min, Photography by Roland-von-der-Emden, Joachim Axelsson and Yau Wen

    Live chicken, tent, soup, knife, and 10 min film projection @Sete, Infr’action12.09.2013

    My mum was born at the Chinese year of rooster, she has a scar like the shape of a rooster. She always describes herself as the elegant proud animal. Born in 1957, her childhood was during The Three Years of Great Chinese Famine. In her memory, killing and eating a rooster was a family celebration, a joyful experience that only comes once a year and often shared by the whole street. Invited by me, my mum killed, de-feathered, de-gutted, cooked and finally ate a rooster. Recorded from my mobile phone through Chinese social media, this footage was projected in the background. In contrast I was holding and comforting a live chicken, later audiences were invited to drink chicken soup with me.

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    Taped morning exercise

    September 20, 2013 | Posted By: | infraction 9 · Live Performance · News |

    Taped morning exercise

    Photography by Roland-von-der-Emden, Vincent Campos and Bjorn Veno

    2 hours, 11 . 09 . 2013 @ Sète, outdoor market

    Be persistent in training! Strengthen our bodies! Study diligently! Serve our motherland!

    Radio gymnastic exercise (Guangbo Ticao ????) is part of the school curriculum in most primary (age 6-11) and secondary (age 12-17) schools in China. Every morning at 6:10am. As a communist child I was a monitor since the age of 4. One of my daily duties was lend the morning exercise. In this performance follow the Chinese Radio gymnastic exercise music. I will begin to practice morning exercise, during Two-hour session, I gradually wrap brown tapes around my body until I can’t move.

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    Brushing Jade_Father’s Jade

    September 19, 2013 | Posted By: | Brushing Jade · Live Performance · News |

    Performance by Echo Morgan, 17. 09 . 2013 @ Sumarria Lunn Gallery, Live Performance: 1 Hours

    waxed huddha head and bodysuit, tight rope, toothbrushes, 10 min film projection on loop @Sumarria Lunn Gallery, 17.09.2013.

    At the Closing evening of Tightrope, I performed the final part of my performance: Brushing Jade: Father’s Jade. I wore a waxed Buddha head and bodysuit, my body was covered with green clay and audiences were invited to brush the clay off my body. A film of me brushing jade and my father was projected at the background wall.

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    Jade Buddha

    September 8, 2013 | Posted By: | Brushing Jade · Live Performance · News |

    Brushing Jade: Jade Buddha Live Performance

    3 Hours, Photography by Paul Neave

    Scaffolding, safety net,waxed buddha head, brush, body

    @Sumarria Lunn Gallery, 05.09.2013

    At the private view of Tightrope, I performed the first part of my performance: Brushing Jade: Jade Buddha I wore a waxed buddha head, stood silently inside a scaffolding structure. My body was covered with green clay, left audience wondering what will happen in the second part of the Brushing Jade performance. Please come and join me on the 17th of September to complete my Brushing Jade performance as a whole.

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    Echo’s Infr’Action

    August 21, 2013 | Posted By: | News |

    Entering its ninth year of existence Infr’Action will take place from September 11th to 15th in the public space of Sète and at the city’s own beautiful Musée Paul Valéry. Five days, five performances. It’s all about action.

    Follow me on instagram for all my working in progress : )


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    Changing Face

    August 19, 2013 | Posted By: | blog: film link |

    Changing Face  (2013)

    Changing face??

    15 min presentation for my final exam at Royal College of Art

    I borrowed the gesture and name of Changing face?? which is an ancient Chinese dramatic art that is part of the Sichuan opera. Performers wear vividly coloured masks, typically depicting well known characters from the opera, which they change from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head, or wave of the hand.

    However, My changing face is a slower act, through the mediums of live spoken words, film projection and showing photographies from previous performances. I invite you to share my performative journey of last two year.
    All the fragments act as a mechanical reproduction circle based on my Buddism philosophy of Samsara.

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    A New Memorial-film

    August 18, 2013 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · News |



     A New Memorial The politics of the family tree

    Multimedia Installation
    Scaffolding, open frame industrial monitors, films
    2meter x 2meter
    Royal College of Art Show RCA2013

    A Pai Fang ?? is a traditional style of Chinese arch,
    a historically popular monument that celebrates important family members and achievements. The most famous are “Virgin Pai Fangs” which memorialise the chastity of wives who never remarried after the death of their husbands.

    Family Tree stands a new kind of Pai Fang, a multimedia monumental arch constructed by skeletal scaffolding poles. Eight open-frame industrial monitors hang on the structure on multiple planes, showing films, some sound tracked, some not, whose 3D construction offers the viewer multi-layered experiences of family in imagery, interviews and my own reminiscences. A new memorial.

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    Be the Inside of the Vase_Live Performance

    April 24, 2013 | Posted By: | Live Performance · News |

    Be the Inside of the Vase

    Photography by Jamie Baker

    Live Performance, 4 hours @Royal College of Art 25.04.2012

    Clay, body paint, Chinese tissue paper, willow sculpture, audio

    In China, people give a life size Vase as a gift for the opening of a new building, a new business. 25th of April 2012, At the opening of the new Dyson building I transformed my body into a blue and white porcelain vase. My body drifted inside the fresh and empty space, I breath with this new landmark of the Royal College of Art. Story began with my father’s attempt to commit suicide. The performance revealed my uneasy childhood and difficult relationship with my father. I was still and silent whilst my voice revealed the narrative using a pre-recorded audiotape.

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    Root Print 根印

    April 11, 2013 | Posted By: | News |


    oot Print by Echo Morgan ( ???

    Lecture at Sichuan Art Academy

    28th of March 2013

    First time gave presentation about my work in Chinese! very exciting and memorable experience , presentation details will be follow in future post : )

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    Notes to Self

    February 7, 2013 | Posted By: | News |

    ? ? ?

    ? ? ?

    “Inscription – The Crude House”
    by Liu Yu Xi

    ? ? ? ??? ? ? ??

    It matters not the height; if an immortal resides in a mountain it becomes famous.

    ? ? ? ??? ? ? ??

    It matters not the depth; if a dragon lives in a body of water it becomes magical.

    ? ? ? ??? ? ? ??

    This is a crude house; only I appreciate its fragrance.

    ? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ??

    Moss ascends the steps, turning them green,
    grass’ color enters the blinds, turning them blue.

    ? ? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ??

    In talk and laughter there are scholars with profound knowledge,
    and among those coming andgoing there are no illiterate men.

    ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??
    One can play the lute and read the golden scriptures.

    ? ? ? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ? ??

    There is no string or wind instruments to confuse the ear,
    and no desk paper work to strain the body.

    ? ? ? ? ??? ? ? ? ??

    It’s Zhu Ge’s thatched house in Nanyang; it’s Zi Yun’s gazebo in West Shu.

    ? ? ??? ? ? ??

    Confucius says, “What crudeness is there?”


    As Minister of Rites at the imperial court, Liu Yu Xi (772 – 842 C.E.) took part in the Yong Zhen Reform, which attempted to limit the power of the palace eunuchs and the provincial governors. When the Reform failed he was demoted to be a mere county administrative officer out in one of the provinces.Upon seeing that he continued to openly espouse the Reform Movement, the county head placed Liu’s living quarters in the crudest little house with only one room, contrary to existing remuneration regulations for his rank, which called for three chambers and three living rooms. Unbowed, Liu wrote this piece and had it inscribed in stone and erected outside the little house.

    John Berger points out the sexual inequality in western art. Here, I couldn’t help but notice that there is no nudity  at all in the culture I grew up with: in China. I studied paintings from ancient China, including major figurative paintings, bird-and-flower paintings. However. Chinese art’s greatest strength is in its landscape paintings. The landscape embodies the ideals of the Confucian[1] scholar and of Taoism[2]. The concept of withdrawal into the natural world always had been the major thematic focus of Chinese poets and painters. Faced with the failure of the human order, learned men sought permanence within the natural world, retreating into the mountains to find a sanctuary from the chaos of dynastic collapse. In picture art I see single figures drifting in the glorious landscape, or set in a tiny boat, flowing; or walking through gardens, searching; or disappearing in the cloudy mountains, waiting. They are often alone, never facing the viewer. Even the most figurative painting reminds us of spiritual distance from reality; the folds of their clothes embodied with the human figure; they become a metaphor for rocks, wind and water, emblems of the artist’s own character and spirit. I learned the traditional techniques of Chinese painting, Bimo, “brush and ink” at early age, which gave tangible substance to shape and surface. I was told that figures in Chinese art should dispersed with metaphor. In the ideal natural world.“GuiZhen” means the return to real. The art of mark-making embodied the cosmic human reality of Qi, the energy. The body is spirited away. Ancient Chinese artists believe a man’s studio or garden could be viewed as an extension of himself.  Paintings of such places often served to express the values of their owner. So painting was no longer about the description of the visible world but became a means of conveying the inner landscape of the artist’s heart and mind.

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    Films showing at The Royal Standard

    November 12, 2012 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · News |



    The Royal Standard in collaboration with Drawing Paper and Liverpool Biennial present a one-day experimental event exploring the relationship between sound, performance and drawing. It will screening my films:

    Be the Inside of the Vase (2012)

    I Am a Brush (2012)

    Little Red Flower (2012)



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    Balls of Steel_Live Performance

    October 3, 2012 | Posted By: | Live Performance · News |

    Balls of Steel

    Live Performance, 4 hours

    Photography by Jamie Baker

    04.10. 2012 @ Blackall Studios

    People always say that I have balls. I am a tiny Chinese girl, hair doesn’t even grow much on me. But apparently I have balls. Big heavy balls. The empire of china cut off the male servant’s balls so he remains the only man in the Forbidding City; Priest cut off the choir boy’s balls so they have better sweeter voice. My balls are my thoughts, my balls are my emotions, my balls are my baggage of memory, my ball are filled with air, my balls are light as feather… Ball of steel… Come to tingle my rusty bell, I will sing for you, I will tell you a story…

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    You Are My Mirror

    July 2, 2012 | Posted By: | News |

    July 1st, 2012

    Song Dong said to me, “You and your art are now embodied, I can not separated you from your art, let your personal story grow, use your individual voice to tell the larger history. It’s moving and powerful, you are my mirror.”

     I met SongDong in 2006 when I was working for Selfridge’s 3D Creative team, that year Selfridges invited two Chinese contemporary artists, SongDong and WangQingSong, to create large installations for a Chinese themed window display.

     SongDong is the artist who performed Stamping The Water in 1996. For me one of the most direct, poetic and emotional performances that challenged the subject of time, ownershippolitics, body and nature.

     Waste not in 2012 at the London Barbican Center and Writing Diary with Water exhibits at the Hayward Gallery made SongDong a very visible figure in the contemporary art world. 

     Song Dong remains incredibly kind, modest, sincere and encouraging. He is a pure Chinese intellectual and a true gentleman.

     What is the mirror? Talking to the mirror in the heart.

     Song Dong lead a performance workshop inspired by the question ‘What is the mirror?’ at the Hayward Gallery. I was his student for five days.

     Song Dong said “The class not only exists in school hours it is also wherever and whenever you decide to learn.”

    He divided the lesson into three days in the classroom and two days of outside homework.                                                                                                

      Day one: Facing

     Our instruction was to face a wall for 10 minutes, then face one classmate for 10 minutes. Our homework was to face an object for 10 minutes.

     Day two: Homework day

    I traveled back to 10 places that i had called home over the last 10 years. I stood outside each door for 10 minutes. I faced the doors for which I no longer have keys, I faced my past, I faced the changes.


    Day three: You Are My Mirror

     Two people were connected by three single strings: one between their mouths and one between each of their opposite hands. One person was designated to lead slow movements and the other one to follow whilst keeping his or her eyes closed. The goal was to keep each string taut as the movements became more exaggerated.

     Day four: Homework day

     Follow a stranger on the street, mirror every single movement he or she does for 10 minutes.

     Day five: Who is Leader and My Mirror


    1. Who is the leader

    This is a repeat of the string exercise only now there are four people involved. One person (the follower) is controlled by three people (the leaders) each with their own string.

    I was being led, but in reality it transpired that the leaders felt more like the followers.

     I sat in front of a ball of black string for five minutes. I then unraveled the string quickly whilst wrapping it around my face. I moved faster and faster as the ball of string became smaller and smaller. My face gradually disappeared as my breathing became more and more erratic form the physical effort. Finally I transformed into the black ball that was originaly in front of me. 

     The gesture of facing the object and the use of string are my continuation of SongDong’s theme. My mirror is my past, my mirror is my memory, my mirror is the self-tangling, my mirror is the helpless controlling.

     This performance was inspired by Nigel Rolfe’s performance The Rope.





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    Sleeping Russia

    January 23, 2012 | Posted By: | Live Performance · News |

    Sleeping Russia

    Live Performance 10 min

    Photography by Jamie Baker

    2011 @ St Petersburg

    A land not mine, still forever memorable, the waters of its ocean chill and fresh. Sand on the bottom whiter than chalk, and the air drunk, like wine, late sun lays bare the rosy limbs of the pinetrees. Sunset in the ethereal waves: I can not tell if the day is ending, or the world, or if the secret of secrets is inside me again.

    Anna Akhmatova




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