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Interview with Xiaoyi Nie and Bo Choy

Film still War of Perception 2020 Bo Choy

War of Perception, 2020. Film still. ©Bo Choy

As part of Research Network programme: Global Re-visions, Curatorial Trainee Chloe Austin conducted a short interview with Xiaoyi Nie and Bo Choy to discuss their research in advance of their talk ‘Vicissitudes of Crossing Borders’.

CA: How does your project explore the themes of globalisation and internationalism as presented in the Global Re-Visions call out?

XN/BC: Having grown up in Hong Kong and mainland China respectively, we came to know each other in London in the field of contemporary art. Xiaoyi’s research tells the story of art project ‘Long March: A Walking Visual Display’ (2002). It was curated by Lu Jie and Qiu Zhijie in the early stage of globalisation of the art world and a trial to encourage Chinese artists to reflect on ‘the obsession with China’, the anxiety towards the West and the phenomenon ‘Chinese contemporary art’ propelled by the international market and by the multiculturalism policy in Europe.

Hong Kong, a transfer station for ‘Chinese contemporary art’, was considered as the centre of Asia and heralded as an international and multicultural hub during the 1990s. Bo will ponder on the several ‘End Time’ (1997, 2047 and 2020) that Hong Kong has gone through politically and socioeconomically, with her own living and migrating experience in Hong Kong and UK as a clue. These social transformations also brought the diversion of identities such as ‘Hong Kongese’, ‘Chinese’… From the 1990s to 2021, from the emergence of multiculturalism to the recession of globalisation, this presentation is an interwoven narrative about different individuals’ anxieties and reflections from a constellation of localities including mainland China, Hong Kong and London.

CA: How do you plan to use the resources of the Stuart Hall Library to shape your research?

XN: Before the lockdown, I was helping research and transcribing a collection of cassettes donated by curator Hou Hanru. They are the recordings with artists and critics during Hou’s research trip back to China in 1994 in preparation for the 1994 conference ‘Global Visions: Towards a New Internationalism’. This archive has made me feel I have touched the exciting transnational art scenes in the 1990s. It is also good that the Stuart Hall Library has provided an online programme often with audio recordings.  [Xiaoyi expands on her work in the library on Episode 6 of our Chatting in the Stacks podcast]

CA: What do you hope to gain from sharing your research with the Research Network?

XN/BC: It would be a great chance to hear resonance from people of similar interests in transregional and transnational issues but from different localities, experience, and knowledge.

CA: Where can readers find out more about your work?

You can find us online. Xiaoyi’s website: www.nxy.one and Bo’s website: www.bochoy.com