Temporarily Censored Home, 2018–9
One Land To Another, 2014–8
Guanyu Xu’s work interrogates his experiences of being born into a conservative Chinese family and of living as a gay man in the USA. Xu selected two images for Photoworks Festival that reflect his personal journey Opened Closets, from the series Temporarily Censored Home, is a multilayered photographic installation, in which Xu travelled from the USA to Beijing and installed his photographic work inside his childhood home as a temporary display. Mixing his professional photographic work with the collected iconography from his past, including family photographs and images torn from magazines. In doing so, Xu temporarily queers his family home, a stereotypically heterosexual environment, thereby questioning the coexistence of his past and present.
Zooming in to Open Closets reveals the other image Xu chose for Photoworks Festival. Removal is a staged intimate self-portrait with another man that is part of the long-term project One Land To Another. Here Xu refracts his personal experiences in the USA through a fictional narrative to examine sexuality and national pride.
Guanyu Xu was born in Beijing in 1993. He is now based in Chicago.