The New Social Environment#621

Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity

Featuring Barbara Pollack, Liu Shiyuan, Miao Ying, and Lilly Wei


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Curator Barbara Pollack and artists Liu Shiyuan and Miao Ying join Rail contributor Lilly Wei for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Abby Romine.

In this talk

Visit Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity on view at the Asia Society Museum through December 31, 2022 →

Barbara Pollack

Barbara Pollack, photo by Grace Roselli
Photo by Joe Gaffney
Barbara Pollack is cofounder and co-director of Art at a Time Like This, a platform for expression for artists and curators to respond to the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Considered a leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she curated the recent exhibition Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity at the Asia Society Museum in New York. Her latest book, Brand New Art from China: A Generation on the Rise is available from Bloomsbury Publishing. She is the recipient of two grants from the Asian Cultural Council, and received a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writer Grant in 2008. Pollack teaches at SVA.

Liu Shiyuan

Photo of Liu Shiyuan
Born in 1985 in Beijing, Liu Shiyuan is now based in Beijing and Copenhagen. The scope of her art practice comprises of photography, video, stage performance and spatial installations. She exposes a visual language that’s unaffected by regional boundaries. Liu’s early works emphasized a questioning of boundaries. She makes exaggerated use of symbolic, unassuming objects to satirize the contradictions between the way businesses are operated and our (i.e. human) beliefs. Recently, her art has become geared towards comical misreading of the relations between different historical civilizations and nature’s status quo. Recent solo exhibitions include For Jord, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, LA (2020) and In Other Words, Please Be True, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, Beijing (2019) among many others.

Miao Ying

A headshot of Miao Ying
Based in New York and Shanghai, Miao Ying is the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists who grew up with internet, one-child policy, Chinese economic reform. She is best known for her projects and writings around the Chinese internet online culture and her Stockholm Syndrome with censorship. Her practice juxtapose the western technology and ideologies with contemporary China, highlights the new modes of politics, aesthetics and consciousness created during the representation of reality through technology. Her works inhabit multiple forms including websites, machine learning softwares, VR, installations, paintings, etc. Her most recent solo exhibition is Pilgrimage into Walden XII (OVR:Pioneers, Art Basel, 2021) and was Porsche Young Chinese Artist in 2018-2019.

Lilly Wei

A Photo of Lilly Wei
New York-based independent curator, writer, journalist and critic Lilly Wei writes on global contemporary art and emerging art and artists, reporting frequently on international exhibitions and biennials. She has written for dozens of publications here and abroad and is a longtime contributor to Art in America and a contributing editor at ARTnews. She is the author of numerous artists’ catalogues and monographs and has curated exhibitions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Wei sits on the board of several non-profit art institutions and organizations including AICA/USA (the International Association of Art Critics), Bowery Arts & Sciences, and Art Omi International. She is a fellow and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the CUE Foundation.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Abby Romine reading.

Abby Romine

Photo of Abby Romine holding an iPhone
Abby Romine is a sentimental poet and ceramicist from the Valley. Her work is marked by melodrama, irrelevant humor, and premature greys. You can find her online @cyb3rf33lings or in real life waiting for two parallel lines to meet. Her hair has grown long from waiting.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.