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stills from teh video mom's suitcase

Miao Jiaxin

Momʼs Suitcase

Curated by Jing Yuan Huang

Where Where Art Space

April 21 – May 31, 2012


From his early practice, starting as a street photographer tracking Shanghai prostitutes to the development of a pseudo-transvestite web celebrity, Miao Jiaxin has evolved an edgy and protean practice. Beginning in Shanghai, Miao then immigrated to New York, replacing the alienation of the body and of labor, as experienced by sex workers, with that of the abject alienation of urban life. Miao documents his own performances, creating photographs and videos that stand on their own as works. He blended his naked body into the bleak streets of a midnight Manhattan, sleepwalked in striped pajamas through a vacant city and through urban crowds, dressed as a Chinese businessman for a year when working towards his MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and did live-feed erotic performances on an interactive pornographic broadcasting website. Miao's works express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that always exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to individual identity, race, gender, sexuality, and social class and positing the artists' role as one who questions consensus on issues of consumerism, commercialism, and globalization.


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