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Stuart Hall Library Research Network: Duties of Self-Care

Research Network: The Mask of Sanity Ada Xiaoyu Hao and Annie Jael Kwan

29 Mar 2018

An evening of performance and discussion around self care and trauma

Ada Xiaoyu Hao, Le visage humain: On ethics of care (work in progress), performance and installation, 2018.

The first Research Network event of the new programme, ‘Duties of Self Care’. Artist Ada Xiaoyu Hao presents a new performative lecture, The Mask of Sanity, bringing together themes of bodily trauma, othering, technologies and her experience as a diasporic student.

This is followed by a response from independent curator and writer Annie Jael Kwan, whose current research centres around Southeast Asian women artists, performance and archives.

Audio from the live event, along with Annie Jael Kwan’s response letter, can be found at the bottom of this page.



Ada Hao works with performance, film, photography, archive and collaborative modes of curatorial practice as strategies of resistance towards narratives of social and political dominance and ontology of live art. She is interested in simulating fantasy scenarios from subcultural/social references to address the possibility of alternative reality, using her own body, as the subject of a nomad, and the material with its autonomous apparatus for subversion.


Ada Xiaoyu Hao

Chinese artist, currently lives and works in UK.

Ada Xiaoyu Hao is a performance artist and an independent curator based in London, UK. The body is her material and archive, a nomad with its own autonomy and subjectivity. Her interdisciplinary practice and research encompass curatorial modes of practice, performance, sound, writings, body movement, contact improvisation, and alternative photography process, with echoes of seminal performance archive of the late 60s. She explores the strategies to signify cultural resistance, social ignorance and pedagogy of obedience from/towards narratives and communities of cultural and political dominance within Asian Diaspora. Simulating with fantasy scenarios from subcultural/social references, her work often uses humor, heteronymity and metaphor to transfer the her imagination and illusion for the possibility of alternative reality.

For her curatorial practice, she recently works performance artist in order to explore what is performance art, the use of performance in fine art practice, and the historical influence and signification of live art in post-modern and contemporary society. PAPRIKA is a not for profit artist community she founded in 2014, with a purpose of sustaining a young international artist’ community and healthy organism to bring awareness to post-institutional learning.

Annie Jael Kwan

Annie Jael Kwan is an independent curator, writer, researcher and producer based in London. She has worked as producer and curator on numerous art projects in the UK and internationally since 2005. She founded the curatorial partnership, Something Human, in 2012, to focus on her interests in the critical ideas and explorations surrounding movement across borders. Something Human has delivered projects in the UK, Rome, Venice, Belgrade, Skopje, Lisbon and in Singapore. In 2016, she completed a self-initiated curatorial research residency with Java Arts in Cambodia, with the support of the Artists International Development Fund (British Council/Arts Council England) and the National Arts Council Singapore. This generated the collection of interviews and digital materials that would form a significant part of the pioneering Southeast Asian Performance Collection, launched at the Live Art Development Agency in London during the M.A.P. (Movement x Archive x Performance) project. She was also selected for the International Curators Forum’s curatorial programme, “Beyond the Frame”, and for Outset and Arts Council England’s development programme for emerging curators.


Ada Hao_Annie Kwan Response Letter