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Long March Space
4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing, Mail Box 8503,
Beijing, P.R. China 100015   map * 
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Long March Space at 10th Gwangju Biennale
by Long March Space
Location: Various locations in Gwangju, Korea
Artist(s): HU Xiangqian
Date: 5 Sep - 9 Nov 2014

Hu Xiangqian’s Speech at the Edge of the World will be included in the upcoming 10th Gwangju Biennale curated by Jessica Morgan, titled “Burning Down the House”.

Speech at the Edge of the World (2014) is a new video work that will be shown for the first time at the 10th Gwangju Biennale. In the video, Hu Xiangqian delivers an inspirational speech to an audience of two thousand middle and high school students in his native Leizhou dialect on the outdoor sports ground of the artist’s alma mater in Leizhou, a small village at the southern tip of Guangdong province. The speech lasts a little more than ten minutes. Hu takes elements and techniques from “motivational speeches”, for example, the tonal adjustments of voice, the hand gesture, when to pause…, and adapt them into his own style. He draws from his personal experience growing up in Leizhou Peninsula (the locals nickname it “the world’s end”), speaking passionately about the importance of acquiring knowledge and the endless possibilities of the life beyond the village.

Aspects of the artist as an individual are revealed bit by bit in every one of Hu’s work, and collectively his immersive practice guides the audience to see the world through his eyes. For this piece, Hu taps into his identity as an emerging artist born in a small Guangdong village but living and working in Beijing. His origin has been so specifically addressed in this piece to a point that is almost autobiographical. However, the format Hu chooses to tell his story is through a classic motivational speech, where one can hardly tell the lines between facts, fiction, genuine emotion and acting.

-Long March Space

Image: © Hu Xianqian
Courtesy of the artist and Long March Space

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