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Research Network: Global Re-Visions

Talk Vicissitudes of Crossing Borders Xiaoyi Nie, Bo Choy and Hanru Hou

18 Feb 2021

Join us as we explore the way in which migration between mainland China, Hong Kong and ‘the West’ across generations has been entangled with internationalism, identity politics and globalisation

  • Venue


  • Date

    Thursday 18 February 2021

  • Time


  • Free, booking required.

  • Artists

    Hou Hanru

Responding to each other and using different timestamps as points of evocation, researcher Xiaoyi Nie and artist Bo Choy will present “Vicissitudes of Crossing Borders: Temporal Experience in the Geopolitical Landscape of London, Hong Kong and Mainland China”. They will explore the way in which migration between mainland China, Hong Kong and ‘the West’ across generations has been entangled with internationalism, identity politics and globalisation, throwing questions into the concept of ‘one nation’, ‘Chineseness’ and ‘the international’.

Nie will focus on her research on project ‘Long March: A Walking Visual Display’ (China, 2002), a curatorial calling for an assembly of disparate participants in response to the international phenomenon ‘Chinese contemporary art’, while Choy will present her concept of the different “end times” that Hong Kong had experienced both before the handover and under the current ‘One Country, Two Systems’.

International art curator and critic, Hanru Hou will respond to both presentations.



Xiaoyi Nie is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Royal College of Art. Her research looks into the emergence of curating as a research and collective-mobilising instrument in project ‘Long March: A Walking Visual Display’ (2002, China), with the understanding towards the tension of identity politics and between the local and the international accumulated during the 1990s. She has been recently given the AICA-UK Emerging Art Writers Fellowship (2020-20201). Her curatorial practice includes research exhibition ‘Metamorphosis: Art Practices Now Activating Archives and Public Memories’ (co-curator, OCAT Institute, 2018), Jimei-Arles Discovery Award (curator, Xiamen, 2017), online project ‘One Reading The Views’ and ‘Itinerant Assembly’ (co-curator, Gasworks&RCA, 2017).

Bo Choy is a Hong Kong-born artist working across film, performance and sound. Recent screenings, performances and exhibitions include VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow Museum of Art, 2020; Kasseler DokFest 2020, Tomorrow: London, White Cube Online Exhibition, 2020;  A/WA session at Auto-Italia, London, 2018 and the 6th Thessaloniki Biennale. She is a recipient of Clare Winsten Memorial Award 2020 and Felix Slade Scholarship 2018.

Hou Hanru is an international curator, critic and prolific writer based in Paris and currently in Rome where he has been Artistic Director of MAXXI, Italy’s National Museum of 21st Century Arts, since 2013. Born in Guangzhou, China, Hou graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and moved to Paris in 1990. After 16 years working as an independent curator and critic, he moved to the US and became Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of Exhibitions and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute, positions he held until 2012. He is also a consulting curator for New York’s Guggenheim Museum between 2015 and 2018, where he was a founding member of Guggenheim’s Asian Art Council, a curatorial think tank. During the course of his career, he has curated and co-curated more than 100 exhibitions at leading institutions and events around the world including ‘Parisien(ne)s’ (1997, INIVA, Camden Art Centre, London), ‘Cities On The Move’ (1997–2000), biennales and triennales in Venice, Shanghai, Gwangju, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Lyon, Auckland and Shenzhen, etc. Hou also consults for and advises numerous cultural institutions, serves on arts juries, lectures at international institutions, guest edits art journals and is the author of many articles and books, including On the Mid-Ground (Timezone 8, 2002), Paradigm Shifts: Water and Mcbean Galleries Exhibitions and Public Programs, San Francisco Art Institute, 2006-2011 (2011) and Curatorial Challenges: Correspondences between Hou Hanru and Hans-Ulrich Obrist (Jincheng Publishers, 2013).

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