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  • Cut Piece 2022

    May 22, 2022 | Posted By: | Art Protest · blog: film link · Live Performance · News |

    The Outfits 🕊

    I choose to wear white because it’s world peace sentiment and most importantly I was imaging as the performance goes, the energy and the shift of missing piece creates abstract clouds just like the exhibition title: This room moves at the same speed as the clouds. I wanted to in-body the cloud. ☁️

    My outfit was combined with newly bought items: tights, underwear and jacket and my own loved designer clothes: shirt, skirts and shoes but this time I made a decision not to wear European Union heritage brands. I didn’t want to have the concept of “cutting” related to them because of the Russian-Ukraine war and Brexit. Still I wanted to offer my best outfit also most recognisable classic brands that has their own social identity and global expansion and influence. Here are some of my thinkings:

    Jacket: Ralph Lauren ( one of the oldest American luxury brand based in New York, many people would considered it as the icon of American/Western lifestyle.) 

    Shirt: Vivienne Westwood, UK brand ( “The mother of punk” Vivienne Westwood is also an Eco fashion campaigner, social injustice activist, consumerism ideologist. ) 

    Skirt: Alexander McQueen, UK brand: ( This was a vintage piece designed by Lee McQueen himself, who has a vision to “create armor for women”. To wear that to cover my bottom because both myself and Lee has experienced abuse from childhood. ) for me, Lee’s proud queer identity, HIV positive status, drugs use and tragic suicide makes him one of the most complex icon of our time. 

    Underwear: Calvin Klein ( one of the most iconic cultural symbol of body and branding. In 2020, Calvin Klein made a statement to cut ties with any factories or mills that produce fabric or use cotton from Xinjiang by 2021 due to human rights Al campaigners say, the cotton are produced by Xinjiang’s Uighur minority forced labour. ) 

    Tights: Wolford ( This was the only European brand I used for it’s second skin feel and intimate last protection concept ) 

    Shoes: Manolo Blahniks: ( It’s a pair of very classic heel. Many used as symbol of modern femininity, often used as feminist statement in  soap opera such as: Sex and The City. 

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    Gifts for the River Film Festival

    March 26, 2022 | Posted By: | Academic Research · Art Protest · blog: film link · Eco Art |

    Journey with Water, Betsy Damon in China

    Film screening on the March 25th, 2022 at Central Michigan University

    Gifts For The River Film Festival seeks to celebrate our relationship with the land and waterways that sustain us. To celebrate the artists and filmmakers who are in intentional relationship with the natural world and utilize their medium to create awareness about the issues that threaten Mother Earth as well as celebrate the ongoing resilience of Turtle Island and the peoples who care for it.

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    The Radical Outdoors

    March 4, 2022 | Posted By: | Academic Research |

    Betsy Damon’s feminist performances and eco-justice collaborations in the U.S. and China

    • Friday, March 4, 2022
    • 12:00 PM  1:30 PM

    Session The Radical Outdoors: Betsy Damon’s feminist performances and eco-justice collaborations in the U.S. and China
    Chairs: Monika Fabijanska, Independent Art Historian and Curator
    Dr. Christine A. Filippone, Millersville University
    2022 College Art Association Annual Conference
    Friday, March 4, 2022, 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (online only)

    Presenters:

    Monika Fabijanska, Independent Curator
    Out In the Open: Betsy Damon’s Street Performances and Transnational Social Practice
    Petra Poelzl, Independent Researcher, Vienna, Austria
    The reception and impact of Betsy Damon’s Keepers of the Waters in China (1995) and Tibet (1996)
    Dr. Christina Filippone, Millersville University, US
    From Social Justice to Eco-Justice: Feminist Collaboration in the Work of Betsy Damon
    Rong Xie, Independent Artist, London UK
    A Journey with Water: Betsy Damon in China

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    Harbinger Exhibition

    November 1, 2021 | Posted By: | Art Protest · blog: film link · body-politics · Exhibitions · Live Performance · Press |

    Film screening at Harbinger

    Harbinger – create a physical and digital exhibition about marginalised communities dealing with the climate crisis in line with COP26 which is on the 1st -12th November 2021.

    The exhibition also showcases the stories of artists and how they and their art have been affected, as a result. These stories are married with recorded interviews with a leading dermatologist consultant explaining the effects of chemical treatments on the hair and skin, and parallel recorded interviews with soil scientists from renowned international universities showing the effects of chemical treatments on the soil, wildlife, plants, and the effect as these chemicals make their way down through the earth to the water table. This is an integral part of the exhibition and a curatorial decision to marry the emotional and scientific elements to powerfully show the impact on marginalised women’s skin and hair and the impact on the earth’s skin.

    There will be photographic examples of biodiversity due to hair chemical treatments being invested within the soil. Finally, archival materials showcasing historical evidence of the creation of mass chemical treatments because of profit from white cis man-made industries.

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    Reframing Narrative

    October 19, 2021 | Posted By: | Art Protest · covid19 · Press |

    What not to miss during Frieze Week 2021

    Bazaar presents the ultimate guide to London’s annual celebration of art

    Rewriting the narrative

    Join Helena Lee, acting deputy editor of Harper’s Bazaar and founder of East Side Voices, in conversation with three of the brightest East Asian artists working in Britain today: Xie Rong, Vivien Zhang and Kristy Chan. They will cover everything from finding strength in their artistic voice during the pandemic, to breaking boundaries with their cultural vision. Expect an evening of frank conversation about staying true to yourself and to your art form.

    Rewriting the narrative: British East Asian artists, Shoreditch House, 7pm on 14 October. Non-member link: https://www.sohohouse.com

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    STORM CHASER: A STUDIO VISIT WITH XIE RONG

    July 10, 2021 | Posted By: | Uncategorized |

    Fearless performance artist Xie Rong (also known as Echo Morgan) puts herself in vulnerable, uncomfortable positions to communicate strong political messages. Using her own body as a canvas, she invites her audience to bury her with stones, throw water on her and touch her pregnant stomach. Xie’s arresting performances infuse personal experiences growing up in China with broader political points about race, gender and cultural attitudes. She draws strength from the audience’s uneasiness and plays on relationships of control. With these unforgettable performances, coupled with strong photography by Jamie Baker, Xie is poised to make her mark in a big way. Today she tells us why she has dramatically pivoted her practice towards a deep concern for the environment.

    Text by Kate Neave

    Xie Rong, Light, photo Jamie Baker, Asian Culture Center, Gwangju, 2019

    ON HER LIGHT BULB MOMENT

    In 2019, I flew to Sydney and back for a single performance. I spent 48 hours in the air and only 30 hours on the ground. The trip prompted me to look into my carbon footprint and I discovered that flying from London to Sydney produces the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that a resident of India produces over the course of an entire year. My performance in Australia had been connected to the sea, examining it as a border and addressing political policies towards refugees. But I felt so guilty about flying so far to perform a work about nature that I rewrote the entire script in my hotel room the night before. I performed a work about environmentalism that day and the experience made me step back and rethink my entire practice.

    Xie Rong, Sea 海, photo by Anna Kucera, Sydney Art Space, 2019

    ON SUNRISE

    When I admitted my regret, the curator told me to she wanted to meet me at 5am the next morning. She took me to her favourite spot on the beach to watch the sunrise. She told me that sometimes you have to remember moments, that experiences are important too. She told me how important it was for me to share my message and how much it meant for me to be there spreading it. She reminded me that as an artist you have to produce things. After doing all this research I wanted to find something I could do to counteract the environmental damage of travelling so I have adopted a plant-based diet. I feel like I’m contributing to the movement of changing. People have to realise that it’s down to individual action rather than system change. There are small efforts we can make in our daily life that will make a change.

    Xie Rong, Delete, photo by Jamie Baker, Toynbee Studio, London, 2017

    ON THE POWER OF NATURE

    The whole experience led me to deeply research environmentalism. I’ve spent the pandemic looking into the crossovers between performance art, action art and activism in this context. I’ve found so much strength and power in what other artists have done. I was talking to the artist Betsy Damon and she said, “I will only do art that belongs to the ecosystem and I will only teach art that is activism”. I felt that was such a grand and meaningful decision. I’ve made a film about my research this past year that juxtaposes found footage and still images. I’ve been thinking about how much my own work could actually make a change. I usually perform in galleries, but I’ve started asking myself am I brave enough to actually go out on the street to stage a performance and risk being arrested?

    Xie Rong, Be the inside of the vase, photo Jamie Baker, Dyson Gallery, London, 2012

    ON THE POLITICS OF A PATCH OF GRASS

    One area that has really interested me is the subject of lawns. It felt like a subject that had a lot of historical and cultural roots that I could dig into. Many years ago, in China, my father invested money to buy a prominent site in our city centre and later discovered the square that it was situated on was to be a huge lawn. Lawn does not grow well in China. It sat on the edge of a dead patch of land for 15 years. The lawn space was installed as a symbol of a modern international city. English culture has influenced the world for decades, and lawns are really symbolic of that. American lawns are symbolic of man conquering nature and by extension indigenous people. A lawn represents a certain history; it’s more than just a piece of grass. It has historical roots. We need to revisit our history books and reflect on what we have normalised. I love what Zheng Bo said, that art needs to be a multispecies celebration and I feel this inclusiveness needs to be discussed.

    Xie Rong, Home, photo Jamie Baker, Galerie Huit, Hong Kong, 2017

    ON MOVING FORWARD SIDE-BY-SIDE

    The message I always got when I lived in China was that capitalism is killing the planet. I always reacted against it because I felt I was being brainwashed against capitalism. But now, having lived in this country for 20 years, I’m starting to think maybe I believe it. For me, as a Chinese artist, I feel this responsibility to address the global scale. I want to have more dialogue and encourage more exchange of information. With the pandemic, China is in danger of withdrawing to protect itself in this bubble. I feel the need to be more present in the Chinese art scene because I feel this dialogue is so important. If we want the planet to change we have to work together.

    Xie Rong, Circle of Fire, photo Jamie Baker, Röda Sten Konsthall, Gothenburg, 2018

    Xie Rong’s ecological research film ‘Eco Echo’ can be viewed here. The film was supported by Chinese Arts Now festival through Arts Council England funding, and will be shown at the Transmission Gallery in Glasgow during COP26

    This feature is part of ‘Unearthed: Eco-visionaries’ a thought-provoking series by Kate Neave uncovering contemporary artists at the forefront of environmental thought. We discover artists that engage with the natural world, explore topics at the frontier of art and nature or shed light on an environmental issue. Taking inspiration from these creative practitioners, we join the complex conversation about the climate crisis, harnessing creativity’s power to reach a deeper understanding and be a catalyst for change.

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    Baltic Sea

    September 23, 2019 | Posted By: | Exhibitions · Live Performance · News |


    Jamie Baker

    Xie Rong: Sea
    Durational performance
    Saturday 19.10. between 13-16
    Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art, Itäinen Rantakatu 38
    As part of Wäinö Aaltonen Museum’s When Is Now -exhibition

     

    Friday 18.10.2019

    WHEN WHAT INFO WHERE
    18:00  Panu Pihkala: Earth Emotions  Performance lecture  Viinatehdas MANILLA
    19:15  Leena Kela: Space Here We Come  Performance lecture  MANILLA courtyard
    20:00 Nathalie Mba Bikoro: Black A(n)thena  Performance TEHDAS Theatre MANILLA
    21:00  Leyya Mona Tawil: Lime Rickey International’s Future Faith  Performance  Viinatehdas MANILLA
    22:00  FESTIVAL Lounge  Bars open!  TEHDAS bar + courtyard MANILLA

    Saturday 19.10.2019

    WHEN WHAT INFO WHERE
    9:00-17:00  Salla Talvikki Nieminen: Free Verse Work  Durational performance  City centre – place TBA
    11:00  STRETCH 2019 keynote: What is the point of it all? Working internationally in the age of ecological crisis Visitor and Innovation Center Joki Kupittaa
    13-16 Xie Rong: Sea Durational performance Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Arts
    13:30-16:30 Henna Laininen: My Climate Emotions (workshop) Workshop on climate emotions Enrollments here
    14:30 Antti Tolvi & Tero Niskanen: Honk  Durational moving performance Multiple performance spots – starting point at Mannerheiminpuisto
    17:00  Leyya Mona Tawil: TURKU FUTURE FOLK DANCE LAUNCH  Performance  City Centre
    18-02 Stirnimann – Stojanovic: – The Space –  Durational performance Vanha Viinatehdas / Danasali MANILLA
    Hourly/start 18:30 Tiia Kasurinen: Life of Harmony – Extended  Series of performance choreographies  Studio MANILLA
    Hourly/start 18:30  Tytti Arola: The Silakka Triptych  Series ofperformative concerts  TEHDAS Theater MANILLA
    20:00  Niko Hallikainen: Television  Performance Viinatehdas MANILLA
    21:30  Ali Al-Fatlawi & Wathiq Al-Ameri  Performance Aurinkobaletti MANILLA
    22-03  FESTIVAL CLUB: Clubbing dancing and partying until early hours Evening programme  TEHDAS Theatre + Viinatehdas + courtyard of MANILLA

    Sunday 20.10.2019

    WHEN WHAT INFO WHERE
    13:30  Fern Orchestra: Vox HerbāriumNOTE! Transportation leaves at Manilla at 13:30. The performance starts at 14:00 at Ruissalo. Enrollment for the transportation and performance here (limited seats)  Performance  Ruissalo Botanical Garden
    16:30 Qi Gong & meditation by AnttiTolvi  Taiji and meditation class Vanha Viinatehdas MANILLA
    17:30- EVENING SNACK AND FINAL DISCUSSION. Festival ends with joint early evening snacks and discussion about the festival themes and performances. The discussion is moderated by Marika Räty (Arts Promotion Centre Finland)
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    Body of Work

    September 11, 2019 | Posted By: | News · Press · reviews |

    Body of Work

    Interview by Jing Zhang

    Published on Aug of 2019 Prestige Magazine

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    52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS book launch

    July 12, 2019 | Posted By: | Exhibitions · Press · reviews |

     

    In a year of Instagramming dangerously, 52 artists respond to critical issues across the broader Asia region.

    Description

    The mainstream media keeps us in a constant state of emergency where the word ‘crisis’ is used daily and ‘breaking news’ is a permanent banner across our screens. The real emergencies we should be facing are often disguised behind biased rhetoric or consciously omitted altogether: Climate change! Severe economic inequality! Decay of democracy! Brexit! Trump! The alt-right!

    52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS sets out to address the real and daunting trials of everyday life across contemporary Asia. Each of the 52 artists includes a statement about their work, which often reads as a compelling, heartbreaking memoir in miniature, giving deep insights into cultural traditions.

    Echo Morgan – cover artist – says this:

    I was sent away at the age of four after my parents’ divorce to board at a much-hated, strict communist kindergarten. There I was shaped into a ‘xiao hong hua’, a little red flower, obedient and pliant. This early communist education and China’s economic boom is deeply embodied in my roots. They still strongly control my thoughts and behaviour.

    Other highlights include:

    – Kyungah Ham’s Korean Mona Lisas
    – Deborah Kelly’s crowd-sourced feminist wisdom as print-at-home stickers and posters
    – Heman Chong’s list of 198 forms of non-violent action
    – Chim Pom’s oversized jigsaw puzzle, Find the C*&R!!!, in response to Japan becoming increasingly strict about nudity even though Asia’s largest red-light district, Kabukicho, is in Shinjuku, Tokyo
    – The Mulka Project’s mission to sustain and protect Yolngu cultural knowledge in north-east Arnhem Land under the leadership of community elders.

    52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS champions small acts of disobedience undertaken live and online by 52 artists from 31 countries across Asia, addressing important concerns locally and globally.

    From historical revisionism in the Philippines to micro-celebrities in Bangladesh, military abuse in Myanmar to rising sea levels in Indonesia, visibility for LGBTQI+ people of colour to contemporary Indigeneity, the artists tackle critical issues with determination, innovation and humour. Each week, the work of a different artist is presented in a unique context, spanning a year of new artistic practice across the region.

    Exploring the role of activism and protest throughout, the focus is on art-as-action that has the power to raise awareness and invoke change. With striking images and bold, graphic design, 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS is an encyclopaedia of creative responses to political and social issues facing contemporary Asia.

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    PAINTING UNTIL IT BECOMES MARBLE

    June 12, 2019 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance · News · Press · reviews |

    XIE RONG PERFORMS YOKO ONO’S PAINTING UNTIL IT BECOMES MARBLE

    Leipzig, Germany – May 2019

    Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig

    By Madeline Bocaro ©

    Watch the performance video:

    Following her intense performance of Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece (as Echo Morgan) at the Peace Is Power exhibition in Leipzig (April 2019), the amazing artist Xie Rong performed another of Ono’s works at the museum’s retrospective of Yoko’s career. Although Yoko’s Painting Until It Becomes Marble is an actual painting rather than a conceptual one, Rong performed a live interpretation of Yoko’s work. Immersing herself in paint and becoming a part of the actual work is an integral aspect of Xie Rong’s art. She applied her own method to Yoko’s static painting, and the result was stunning.

    Yoko’s original work is a black and white ink drawing which is an accordion style fold-out. It was first shown during her first solo art exhibition Paintings and Drawings by Yoko Ono, at Fluxus founder George Maciunas’ AG Gallery in New York City.  Painting Until It Becomes Marble came with Yoko’s instruction that visitors were to “cut their favorite parts until the whole thing is gone”. It was also shown at MoMA in 2015 as part of Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971.

    Xie Rong’s live interpretation of Yoko’s painting was stunning. Yoko’s original painting actually has some ‘movement’ in its accordion folded shape. Rong took it to a new level, breathing new life into the piece. Reverently and ceremoniously, the artist stood quietly in the huge empty space with extremely high floor-to-ceiling windows emitting a background of pure light. Dressed all in white, Xie Rong stood with two bowls at her feet, one filled with Chinese black ink and the other with pure blue pigment powder. The artist combed the ink through her long black hair, saturating it and began to paint on a very large canvas on the floor.

    Rong’s barefooted dance began – at first light and graceful like a ballerina, then more intensely, furiously jumping as her drenched hair splattered paint in all directions and on herself. ‘Jack the Dripper’ (Jackson Pollack) has fierce competition! The chaotic calligraphy continued with her head to the floor, making brush strokes. Kneeling with her head down on the canvas, submitting to the work in reverence, she made thicker strokes and swirls. Covered in ink, her white clothing and skin took on the characteristics of the actual artwork.

    Xie Rong:

    “An amazing aspect of the performance was the sound! This heavenly space is where they displayed Yoko’s cricket cages. I sang this song and told the story about losing my mother in law two weeks ago. And I invited audiences to rise the painting with me! But the paper dropped and become a cloud!”

    Read the full article on:

    Xie Rong Performs Yoko Ono’s Painting Until it Becomes Marble

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    Stone and Light

    June 12, 2019 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance · News · Press |

     

    XIE RONG – STONE AND LIGHT

     

     By Madeline Bocaro ©

    Xie Rong performs her new works:

    Story of the Stone/ To Reach the Light

    (inspired by Yoko Ono) 

    at Yoko Ono: Peace Is Power exhibition @mdbkleipzig in Leipzig Germany

    May 11, 2019.

    Watch the performance videos:

     

    Story of the Stone

    This work by Xie Rong is inspired by three of Yoko Ono’s works; Three Mounds, Riverbed and Rising (lyrics).

    Xie Rong: “I wish to create a piece to bring illumination and sound into the darkness. To connect all the rooms into the main hall, create movement of audiences. From 9:30 Andreas played music create tension and atmosphere. 10pm, Me, in a mirror suit, walking into the main hall. I stood inside a rope light, silent, I will sing “Olive Tree” then I walk off to collect all the ropes, I shout out to each floor and balcony, drag ropes between people. Creating spider web collection between the three museum floors and four exhibition rooms.” … …


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    My Cut Piece

    May 20, 2019 | Posted By: | Exhibitions · Live Performance · News |

    MdbK Leipzig, Yoko Ono “PEACE is POWER”, Eröffnung, Performance “Cut Piece”, Echo Morgan

    Cut piece ✂️

    Last night, I performed my “One Woman Show”. It is a title that borrowed from Yoko Ono’s MoMA’s exhibition in 2015. It was my 5th performance piece that responded to Yoko’s work.
    This morning, tiredly woke up from sore muscles. I watched the video of Theresa May’s resign speech. Her usually steely demeanour collapsed, her voice cracking with emotion, she said:” The second female prime minister but certainly not the last. I do so with no ill-will, but with enormous and enduring gratitude to have had the opportunity to serve the country I love.” Suddenly, it reminded me of the aloneness and vulnerability I experienced before, during and after the “Cut Piece”. It’s a historical piece, I had exception and preparation for it. But it was still very challenging for me and the audiences.

    1.The stage was high, because there were hundreds of audiences.

    2.I was programmed into an opening timeline which the mayor and museum director were waiting to give a speech.

    3.A daughter came with her mother,shaking, her mother encouraged :” Do it! Do it!” she cut small piece of my shirt “yes!” Her mother shouted loudly with proud!

    4.A man walked up brutally took my bra and swung in the air! Whole room cheered!

    5. As soon as my bra was off, two women jumped in front the queue. Quickly, collaboratively, tightly, they swaddled me together like a new born baby.

    6. A woman gently removed my underpants, Later watching the footage I realised she was sobbing.

    7. An elder woman ran close to the stage after my underpants was removed. She stood apart her legs, lifted up her long skirt, cut a small piece of fabric, she faced the audiences, like a warrior. She turned around and covered my crotch. She then held her both hands bowed me like a Buddha.

    8. The second day, she waited for me in the museum and wanted to check if I was ok, she never heard about the original Cut piece so she was deeply sadden and dramatised by the action and process.

    9. Dinner, one of curator call me the best actress, others angry:” You shouldn’t be allowed to cut your own hair to end the show! Because it’s Yoko’s work !

    10. The sound was a sculpture and movement was a drawing!


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    Cut Piece_interview

    May 12, 2019 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance · Press · reviews |

    April 9, 2019

    XIE RONG (ECHO MORGAN) PERFORMS YOKO ONO’S CUT PIECE

    @ Yoko Ono: Peace Is Power exhibition 2019

    Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig

    By Madeline Bocaro ©  

    I had a wonderful chat with artist Echo Morgan about her performance. Yoko requested that Cut Piece be performed at the opening of her Peace Is Power exhibition in Leipzig. Over time this masterpiece – performed many times by Yoko and by other artists – has become legendary. Echo Morgan was approached by the museum to be the performer, as they were interested in bringing her own art to the museum at a later date.

    Photo: Alexander Schmidt

    MdbK Leipzig, Yoko Ono “PEACE is POWER”, Eröffnung, Performance “Cut Piece”, Echo Morgan

    Echo’s statement:

    “I made a promise to myself not to participate in other artist’s work; not to react someone else’s performance…When Alfred Weidinger, the director of the Museum of Fine arts Leipzig approached me with the idea of performing Yokos Cut Piece. I fall into deep thoughts.
    Cut Piece was first performed by Yoko Ono on July 20, 1964 at Yamaichi Hall, Kyoto, Japan. The artist entered the stage in her best dress, sat in a traditional sitting position, and invited the audience to cut pieces of her clothing with scissors and take the piece with them.

    I met Yoko in 2009 at a design boutique in Notting-hill gate, Feathers, where I have worked throughout my study years in London. I helped her chose few outfits: jackets and shirts and 5 hats. While packing the clothes, I said to her: My husband gave me a piece of broken vase in 2003, he said it was from your live performance in Tate Modern and you invited the audiences to put the vase back together in 2013, we got married in 2004 and we have been cherish that piece of vase and really look forward to rebuilding it with her. Yoko smiled and asked me for pen and paper. She wrote down: Dear Luke and Echo, I give you a sun. Love, Yoko Ono. She even drew a smiley sun.
    2011, I separated with Luke, went to the Royal College of Art and became a performance artist. Same year, I did a performance: I Buried My Loss, together with many sentimental letters and photos I left the note from Yoko and her piece of vase behind. The only thing I kept was his surname: Morgan.
    As a pioneer in conceptual and performance art, Yoko’s work has moved and influenced many people. Including myself! I do feel deeply honoured to be approached to perform her Cut Piece at the opening of YOKO ONO PEACE IS POWER at MdbKLepizig. So, for one time only I will break my own promise, this is my tribute and love for Yoko’s art and life I do believe it is a fate that I have to take this offer. There for, I would like to take this opportunity and mark this performance as my last performance under the name Echo Morgan.

    There was some controversy over having an established young artist in her own rite (who happened to be Asian) perform the piece, as some thought that her resemblance to Yoko would make her seem like an imitator. However, after the curators met with Echo (a Chinese artist based in London) they realized her deep understanding and determination to do this work, and agreed that she was perfect for the piece.

    Cut Piece (Yoko Ono, Grapefruit 1964)

    Performer sits on stage with a pair of scissors placed in front of her and asks the audience to come up on the stage, one by one, and cut a portion of her clothing (anywhere they like) and take it. The performer, however, does not have to be a woman.

    Echo told me that her experience was surreal. She was haunted by the large size of the room (1,000 seats which were all filled, as was the standing room) and a live stream to 9,000 visitors in the gallery.

    The circumstances (beyond Echo’s control) were more like a grand theatrical staging. Echo did not realize that the museum had the event programmed as a 90-minute performance, as the director and the mayor were to give speeches at the end. She was now on a schedule that she could not control and was worried when some aggressive participants cut large chunks of her clothing early on, speeding the piece along too quickly.

    Echo ceremoniously approached the stage, sitting side-legged in the same way that Yoko had done, remaining motionless. She made the announcement, “Take the scissors. Cut a small piece of my clothes, One at a time. Take it with you. It is a gift.” She added, “My body is the scar of my mind.” paraphrasing Yoko’s song “O’Wind” from the album Fly (1971).

    Although this stipulation was not in the original instruction, Yoko had always worn her best clothing for each performance – usually sacrificing a black dress from the London shop Biba. Echo wore formal designer attire; a white Dolce & Gabbana shirt, a black Prada skirt, a black Armani jacket and Chanel shoes.

    Echo told me that she added the detail of black tights and high heels as a feminist statement (Charlotte Moorman had worn a ball gown during her several performances of Cut Piece). The artist’s shoes were removed by two participants, each of whom took one shoe and promised to bring them back again in 100 years (a reference to Yoko’s Promise Piece, which had originally inspired Echo’s performance).

    Echo was completely absorbed in the moment, enjoying the sound of the cutting and of people’s footsteps echoing from the floorboards in the large hall. She was startled when man cut her bra and waved it around triumphantly, provoking opposing reactions – cheers and gasps of anger – from the large crowd viewing the live stream. But she knew that she was relatively safe amongst so many viewers. Other cutters were more hesitant, and most were less aggressive than she expected.

    The cutters were also greatly affected. Most women were stunned by the performance and participated in a motherly, protective manner. When Echo’s bra was removed, two women wrapped the artist’s naked torso in two scarves – swaddling her like a baby. The director signaled that this would be a beautiful note on which to end the performance, but Echo decided to remove the scarf and continue.  When all of the artist’s clothing was finally cut away, a woman made a grand gesture by cutting off a large piece of her own skirt, placing it across Echo’s lap, clasping her hands and bowing down to the artist as though she were a deity (the essence of Yoko’s intent of Cut Piece – the selflessness of Buddha*).

    *Read my story about Yoko’s Cut Piece:

    https://madelinex.com/2017/01/20/yoko-ono-cut-piece/

    A most touching detail devised by Echo was at the end of the performance. When completely naked, she picked up the scissors and cut a piece of her own hair and left it on the stage before standing up and walking away. “It is a gesture of returning her a promise that I lost.”The intent was “To leave a part of me, after nothing was left of me, – my DNA – for her in return for that piece of vase that I had lost.” (Promise Piece). The artist asked Yoko’s long-time curator Jon Hendricks for permission to do this, which he gave wholeheartedly, knowing that Yoko would appreciate this addition. But of course, this ‘edit’ provoked a big reaction amongst the German art crowd. However, it was a poignant gesture that Yoko would certainly love – with its subtle reference to Hair Peace (1969).

    Concerned museum patrons approached Echo the following day, asking if she was OK. This was her final performance as Echo Morgan. She will use her name Xie Rong from this point forward.

     

    Watch Cut Piece online:

     

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    Yoko Ono and I

    April 14, 2019 | Posted By: | Exhibitions · News |

    Yoko Ono and I in 2009, Notting Hill Gate, Feathers Boutique

    Cut Piece ✂️

    I made a promise to myself not to participate in other artist’s work; not to react someone els’s performance after a heartfelt and inspiring conversation with John Court in Beijing. When Alfred Weidinger, the director of the Museum of Fine arts Leipzig approached me with the idea of performing Yoko’s Cut Piece. I fall into deep thoughts.
    Cut Piece was first performed by YokoOno on July 20, 1964 at Yamaichi Hall, Kyoto, Japan. The artist entered the stage in her best dress, sat in a traditional sitting position, and invited the audience to cut pieces of her clothing with scissors and take the piece with them.

    I met Yoko in 2009, at a design boutique in Notting-hill gate. Feathers, where I have worked throughout my study years in London. I helped her chose few outfits: jackets and shirts and 5 hats. While packing the clothes, I said to her: My husband gave me a piece of broken vase in 2003, he said it was from your live performance in Tate Modern and you invited the audiences to put the vase back together in 2013, we got married in 2004 and we have been cherish that piece of vase and really look forward to rebuilding it with her. Yoko smiled and asked me for pen and paper. She wrote down: Dear Luke and Echo, I give you a sun. Love, Yoko Ono. She even drew a smiley sun.
    2011, I separated with Luke, went to the Royal College of Art and became a performance artist. Same year, I did a performance: I Buried My Loss, together with many sentimental letters and photos I left the note from Yoko and her piece of vase behind. The only thing I kept was his surname: Morgan.

    As a pioneer in conceptual and performance art, Yoko’s work has moved and influenced many people. Including myself! I do feel deeply honoured to be approached to perform her Cut Piece at the opening of YOKO ONO. PEACE is POWER at @mdbkleipzig So for one time only I will break my own promise, this is my tribute and love for Yoko’s art and life. I do believe it is a fate that I have to take this offer. There for, I would like to take this opportunity and mark this performance as my last performance under the name Echo Morgan.

    With Yoko’s best friend, the Curator of Yoko Ono exhibition: Jon Hendricks after performed Cut Piece, 3rd of April 2019

    Unfortunately, Yoko didn’t come to the Opening and the only day she could visited the exhibition Peace is Power in Leipzig was on my mother in law’s funeral …

    I am proud for doing this piece! It’s my way to return that piece of vase (PromisePiece) to her.

    Watch the whole performance online:

     

     

     

     

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    Fire of Yi People

    November 12, 2018 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance · News · Press |




    + Read more…

    You have my blood in you

    April 12, 2017 | Posted By: | blog: film link · Exhibitions · Live Performance |

    Watch Xie Rong’s  “Home” Performance online:

     

    + Read more…

    Art China_Interview_by Meng Yuan

    November 12, 2016 | Posted By: | Exhibitions · Live Performance · News · Press · reviews |

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    Xie Rong x Echo Morgan – After her divorce in the UK, a petite Sichuan girl started her five-years performance art journey.

    Art China · Meng Yuan | 2016-11-03 17:20

    The first “Beijing·Live” International Performance Art Festival was held from October 15th to 23rd, 2016. More than 30 performance artists from 13 countries presented performance art works at the Danish Cultural Center. Echo Morgan performed her new work, My Father and My Son. The Art China reporter interviewed the artist Xie Rong and had a new understanding of her behavior.

    1. You were a designer at the beginning. What is the opportunity for you to switch to behavioral art creation?

    Yes, I was in college at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. I belonged to the University of the Arts in London. When I was in school, I found that the boundaries between design and art were very vague. The graduation thesis at the time was influenced by Hélène Cixous’s theory of “negative writing”. In the book “Medusa’s Laughter,” she wrote: “Women must write about herself: must write a woman and bring a woman to writing… a woman must put herself in the text – bring her story back In the world and in history – through her own actions.”

    My graduation thesis is “The Symbol of Negative Writing and Identity”, and I wrote an autobiography “Xie Rong and the Thirsty Devil”. In the autobiography, I combed my family history into the “three steps”: the root of the school, the school of death and the school of dreams. This is a turning point in my spirit and a turning point in art.

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    Xie Rong’s paper self-made book

    I am a very emotional person. From small to large, I can feel the impact on my body and emotions around me. I like performance and like to speak, but I didn’t find a suitable channel to send it out. Body writing made me open my voice. I realized that my voice and my story are powerful. I used to think that this is just my personal experience. I think art is not personal but public. Everyone can feel and Experience, so I feel too personal to become very narrow. But after reading the book of Xisu, I found that it was not. When I put my body in the big age, I suddenly had power. I found the art of performance art and the sheep to express myself.

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    Xie Rong’s paper self-made book

    2. What is the first performance art work?

    In fact, this starts from the fact that I stopped writing for two years. When I was 21, I married an Irishman. After seven years, I separated. Later, I met my father to commit suicide. The two worlds collapsed at the same time, causing me to collapse. I have not created any works for two years. From 2011 I entered the Royal College of Art and followed Nigel Rolfe to study performance art.

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    “Send Book” was created in 2011 by artists during performances

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    “Book” was created in 2011. The artist is barefoot and uses ink to wash his hair.

    My first performance art work was “Send a Book,” which was created in 2011. I was studying printmaking and learned that the world’s first prints were made with women’s hair instead of silk. So I went back to the woman’s body and painted it with ink on her hair. The painting was very abstract and it was an understanding of my own hair. I spent five hours creating an eleven-meter abstract scroll that represents my eleven years with my ex-husband. After bathing, the water washed the paint off the hair, and the ink was painted all over the body. At that moment, I felt that I was born again. Many of my works draw on the works of predecessors and need to think about how to turn them into their own artistic language. I feel that my cultural background is very important.

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    Xie Rong is painting with his hair

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    “Send Book” was created in 2011. The artist paints on a long roll of eleven meters.

    3. This time, “My Father and My Son,” I used an object like a ball, which seems to appear in your previous work.

    The object was woven from bamboo strips and covered with more than 80 sheets of rice paper. The shape is not very precise. It is made up of two parts, like a lantern, uterus, breast, testicles, planet, silkworm cocoons, eggs, nests, and so on. It also appeared in my four-hour behavioral work, Be the Inside of the Vase, in 2012. The image at the time was more precise and it was a vase.

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    Bamboo and rice paper woven objects

    Objects appearing in “My Father and My Son”

    At that time, the museum did not allow me to ignite the vase. I stood in the whole body with Meilan Zhuju, and asked the audience to throw a water polo to break the vase. The story of my father and me has puzzled me for so many years, and I hope to break it. The audience broke the lantern with 150 water polo. The water polo lost its light in 5 minutes and washed off the blue and white porcelain patterns and pigments on my body.

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    Xie Rong painted part of the bamboo on his body

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    Xie Rong’s 2012 performance art work “Being the Inner of the Vase”, which also appeared similar objects

    One of the water polo players was very hard when they lost it. It hit my eyes and it hurts. The dark circles are like pandas for two weeks. This is a kind of violence. It is a retrospective of the cold violence I felt when I was a child. My mother has a face to face. I am not allowed to talk about their divorce. It is a mental imprisonment for me. At the time, an editor wrote a commentary and said that it was very repugnant to this kind of violence, and he did not know how to become a party to violence. She feels that the artist appears in a fragile and weak image, using his own vulnerability to make the audience become weaker, and the artist controls the mood of the audience.

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    The audience threw the water polo to the artist, the water polo broke the rice paper, and washed off the paint on the artist.

    4. You just mentioned that there is a water polo that hits your eyes. Does it mean that there are many sudden and random factors in the performance of performance art?

    Yes, there was an unexpected situation in the performance art performance of “My Father and My Son”. After my father died, I really wanted to burn the lanterns that were not allowed to be lit before. Originally, the fire was very beautiful when I was experimenting the previous day. The ashes floated up and slowly fell. At that time, it should be the end of my performance art. On the second day of the official performance, I found that the paste completely prevented me from burning the lantern. I used to use the pvc adhesive that was very flammable in the UK.

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    After the flames are gathered, leave scars and holes

    Everyone saw it at the time. Some people gave me a lighter. Many people who had heard my thoughts wondered how I would continue to the next step, and most of the audience didn’t know that this momentum was not my original idea. I found that I liked this kind of burning way. The flame burned up, and soon the flames went out again. It was both arrogant and subtle. Curator JonasStampe said that this is the sorrow of people. You want him to drift with the wind in a big fire, but it is always lingering. This is the most real emotion and life of man.

    Later, when I was communicating with a Swedish artist, he felt that the most striking thing about performance art was that while the audience was thinking, the artist was thinking about the direction of performance. This is also the place where performance art is different from step-by-step stage play. It is a real situation on the scene, rather than step by step according to the script. When I wanted to burn this lantern and burned it, during this time, everyone had a lot of ideas and removed all the factors of the stage and performance.

    5. You said that you have n’t thought about how to explain this work with your mother after returning to the UK. Is it afraid that the mother can’t accept the nude or do you say a lot of personal family scars in the work?

    I think that for performance artists, the body is no longer naked, but a carrier of art. In fact, this is more about my mother’s face. My mother is a soldier. My father is a little punk. It is a waver in the rivers and lakes. She wants to use her love to save a fallen soul. At that time, the mother’s family did not agree with them. After quarreling with the family, the mother rushed out of the house and suffered a car accident causing the uterus to shift, leaving a scar on the lower back. In “Inner of the Vase”, I set up a canal with a water polo. The shape is a map of China. It has nothing to do with politics. It is the shape of the scar on my mother’s lower back.

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    The canal of Chinese land graphics is the scar of the mother

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    After the performance art performance

    The behavior I did at the time was not only showing my own pain, but also showing my mother’s pain. When I told my mother about this behavior, she was very angry and said, “I have been divorced for 30 years, and even my best friend has not told me. I don’t want others to see my jokes because the Chinese believe that the ugliness cannot be promoted. You made a work, the whole world knows about me and your father, and the whole world knows your growth experience.”

    But I think it’s actually like being happy to write in the novel “Good Women in China”. “The custom of China is to face, but the face is also part of your body. It hurts your own heart and hurts your face. “”

    6. You used a very calm tone to tell the story in “My Father and My Son”. What does the power of language and narrative mean for your performance art?

    My mentor, Nigel Rolfe, and I said that when you are most powerful, when you are silent, you need to learn to control your own voice. When doing the act, I am now reminding myself to come. The professor also told me to remove the personal feelings, because the story is already very personal, there is no need to go to lyrics, and the lyrics will look very artificial. Speaking very peacefully, then it is a story, emotions are something that others have to experience, not what you emphasize.

    7. Why do you insist on doing performance art?

    Let me take a picture of my film based on my work in 2013. At that time, I talked about my father’s experience. His life represented the experience of people of that era going to sea to do business. He accumulated a lot of wealth, but he died in a car accident and killed many innocent people. Then he was sentenced to jail and imprisoned, and his family was ruined to redeem his freedom. After he was released from prison, his life was declining. His life represents a lot of tragic people. I received letters from audiences around the world, and I told them the tragic story of their personal privacy. I have found a medium that allows me to express myself and put my personal stories in the big age and resonate with people.

    It is very fortunate to be a performance artist. You can use your work to record your own changes and record your life. When I performed the performance of “The Inner of the Vase”, I had a very young body. At that time, I was talking about the relationship between my daughter and my father. The image is in line with the image of a very small girl. This time, “My Father and My Son,” I am already a mother who has given birth to a child. My image is a daughter and a mother. I think that when I am old, I have to do a corresponding behavioral work. It is wrinkles all over the body, and the feeling of a ceramic to the last time after the time splits.