Guan Xiao was born in Chongqing, (Sichuan province) in 1983. She received her BA in film directing from the Communication University of China in 2006. She currently lives in Beijing.
She works with multi-media as well as sculpture and installation. She has exhibited internationally including the 13th Biennale de Lyon, Lyon; Guan participated in the 2015 New Museum Triennial Surround Audience at the New Museum in New York. Her other recent group exhibitions include Don’t You Know Who I Am: Art After Identity Politics at Museum Van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen in Antwerpen, Belgium and Degeneration at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shanghai, China in 2014, the HuMKA Museum, Antwerp; Queens Museum, New York; Stavanger Art Museum, Norway; The Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna; The Daimler Contemporary Berlin, Berlin; The OCT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen; The V&A Museum, London and The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, Seoul. Her work also features in the book The Future Will Be…China by Hans Ulrich Obrist.
She explores the aesthetic and cognitive possibilities for how identity and meaning are assigned and understood. She explores how ways of seeing are now influenced by digital image circulation as an increasingly dominant source of knowledge and information exchange. Juxtaposing past and future and primitive and high-tech, Guan Xiao employs modern technology to address and unravel her cultural and physical environment and personal thought processes. Her work disregards linear time, instead considering diverse cultures and artifacts in a more holistic manner. Her comparisons of regionally and chronologically disparate objects expose similarities among civilizations, regions, and eras while avoiding solid conclusions.
The exhibition Something happened like never happened was a buoyantly humorous piece that offers brilliant artistic commentary on the daily madness that has come to surround the masterpieces in the world’s largest and busiest museums. David is about Michelangelo’s eponymous statue (1501–04) which is displayed at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, but it is also about the countless copies and reproductions of the sculpture that one encounters all around Florence.