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Evaporating Stories #1 for Our Lives Elsewhere Exhibition

  • NEVERNEVERLAND Frans de Wollantstraat 70 Amsterdam, NH Netherlands (map)

As part of the special programme for Exhibition — Our Lives Elsewhere organized within the CinemAsia Film Festival 2019 , ChinaRaw is proud to contribute with Evaporating Stories, a public performance which will focus on the work of photographer Xiaoxiao Xu, detailing the intimate queer life of a young Chinese through water calligraphy.

Water calligraphy or “earth painting” in Chinese is practised by anonymous street calligraphers who appropriate public spaces throughout China into a large paper surface. Displaying literature, poetry and stories, the art involves the whole body, which is seen as a spontaneous dance and infinite formal renewals. The calligraphic practice corresponds to a research of self-accomplishment or meditation, while the text slowly disappears as the water evaporates. In this way, we want to invite you on a journey that celebrates the impermanence of life and the ephemeral nature of our stories.

The exhibition, Our Lives Elsewhere intends to provide a wider cultural context to CinemAsia LGBTQ film programme, acting as a backdrop as well as an archive, documenting the lives of Asian LGBTQ individuals across the continent those who are in The Netherlands by creating a platform to expose the work of Dutch-based, queer Asian creatives, such as Jonathan Ho and Xiaoxiao Xu, whose bodies of work explore the notions of the queer and Asian identities while forming a dialogue with the online contributions from the many LGBTQ individuals across Asia.

CinemAsia aims to bring together personal stories and documentation that may shed lights to the personal and public lives of the LGBTQ individuals and showcasing the broad spectrum of gender identities and representation across the different cultures in Asia, while taking up a safe, physical space on behalf of those who may not be able to do so in their home countries.

ChinaRaw designs, curates and delivers story based multidisciplinary events and workshops on the Chinese culture and communities in The Netherlands. We believe that stories are powerful tools that express and understand cultural identities through different mediums. ChinaRaw strives to focus and foster the stories from the local Chinese community in The Netherlands, while offering a broader perspective about the Chinese culture.

Our Live Elsewhere features work by:

Xiaoxiao Xu (NL) is a Chinese photographer who is particularly interested in the surreality of reality. She aspires to tell stories from a unique perspective and subtlety that leaves spaces for the viewers to freely interpret and awaken their imagination to dream away.
For this exhibition, she has contributed a photographic series, Chinese homoseksuele jongeren in Amsterdam (2009) commissioned by the Amsterdam City Archives.

Jonathan Ho (Malaysia) is an artist, designer and founder of CHINTZD; A multi-disciplinary design practice that is focused on the research and development of fetish and sex cultures as a means of addressing our understandings of contemporary life.
He has created an installation consisting of a body of work that deals with themes of “Asian” eroticism within the West and how this defines and shapes contemporary “queer” Asian identity.

The Queer / Asian Archive was made possible through an online call for contribution across social media. We are deeply grateful to those who dared to speak up and share their stories.

Our Lives Elsewhere is curated by Darunee Terdtoontaveedej (Thailand) as part of CinemAsia Film Festival 2019 with the support of Gemeente Amsterdam.