Xiao Xian Liu - My Other Lives

Exhibition: 14 February to 10 March, 2001

Xiao Xian Liu

Stills Gallery is proud to present 'My Other Lives', Xiao Xian Liu's poetic and playful interpretation of Mao's words "History is created by humans". It explores notions of the creation of history by the words and pictures used to describe it.

Xiao Xian Liu's fascination for old photographic images, in particular stereographs, were the starting point for this series. In 'My Other Lives' Xiao Xian has subtly and ingeniously inserted his face into one of the stereograph images thus altering the identity rather than the perspective of the second image. The viewer is left to wonder who the real subject is. The illusion is no longer one of space but of identity and reality.

The juxtaposition of a European and Asian face also brings to mind the invisibility in Australian history of people of Asian origin. Xiao Xian Liu, an Eastern man performs roles in a Western History - he is the wife at home - the child with a toy - the dashing young man with a penny farthing bicycle. These are his other lives. These are the ancestors whose lives we know only so much about.