XIAO Lu gained public recognition by shooting her own seminal installation Dialogue, at the ‘China Avant-Garde’ exhibition in 1989. Xiao’s radical gesture caused the exhibition to be shut down. Through performance, installation and video, her practice both examines the personal as well as the political and how precariousness and unpredictability can affect the outcome of her otherwise meticulously planned projects. The video Sperm (2006) documents Xiao’s search for a sperm donor to fulfil her desire to be a mother and how this ultimately fails due to Chinese social policy, where fertility treatments are only allowed to married women.
In addition to the seminal exhibition ‘China Avant-Garde’ (1989) at the National Art Museum in Beijing, her work was also included in ‘Her Kind’ (2018) at the Zhuzhong Art Museum, ‘Art and China after 1989: Theater of the world’ (2017) at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and ‘Performer and Participant’ (2018) at Tate Modern. Xiao has recently had a major retrospective of her work, ‘Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue’ (2019), at the4A Center for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney. Her work is held in numerous public collections, including Tate, The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Zhuzhong Art Museum in Beijing, China, amongst others.