Hu Xiangqian’s relatively short career has been nothing if not diverse. Delivering spirited monologues, durational or physically demanding pieces, and scripted interactions—he crafts performances with a distinctly personal, sometimes absurd, yet oft-times amusing edge. Often casting himself in roles he deems as already performative, Hu walks the line of incongruity and normality and treads the ground between improvisation and script. His early work Blue Flags Everywhere (2004) captures his bid for mayor in his hometown of Nanting, Guangzhou, at the age of twenty-one. The campaign mimicked the behaviours and words delivered by overzealous politicians and succeeded in drawing in members of the public despite the fact that Hu was ineligible to hold the post. Equally absurd but more physically demanding was The Sun (2008), an endurance-oriented performance whereby the artist—in an act that unnerved advocates of political correctness—attempted to turn his skin black by sunbathing for hours on end.

In recent years Hu has squared his attention on the contemporary art world, specifically his own role within it. As his work veers into the territory of meta-performance—performances about the act of performing—meanings become clearer and fuzzier at the same time. The point of departure may be the self and the artist’s own personal experience but it grows increasingly difficult to parse the line between reality and performative fiction. His new contributions to Mobile M+: Live Art take cues from recent works focusing on the rhetoric of motivational speeches and the multi-layered collaboration Reconstructing Michelangelo (2015) wherein Hu spent months imparting knowledge and advice to his assistant about how to think, act, walk, and talk like a contemporary artist. 

10 December 2015 (Thursday)


Connecting Space Hong Kong (G/F, Wah Kin Mansion, 18-20 Fort Street, North Point)

Cantonese (with English simultaneous interpretation)

Free admission with limited capacity. First-come, first-served. 


(852)2200-0102 (Mr Cheng),

Adverse Weather Arrangement:
Programme will be cancelled if a black rainstorm warning or a typhoon signal no. 8 or above is still in force 2 hours before the event starts.

*The organiser reserves the right to change the programme and artists. All changes will be announced on the website.


Hu Xiangqian (Chinese, born 1983)

Hu Xiangqian was born in Guangdong. He graduated from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Local and current events provide inspiration for Hu’s video and performance art, wherein he casts a critical and poignant eye on society and on the nature of performance art as a genre. He draws attention to the contradictions and follies he observes by using humour, while displaying a flair for the absurd. Hu casts himself to play roles that are already deemed performative. For example, one of his best known works, Blue Flags Everywhere (2004), captures his bid for mayor in his hometown of Nanting at the age of twenty-one. His campaign mimicked those of over-confident politicians who promise everything under the sun and employ every tactic in their political playbook, and it pointedly ignored the fact that he was ineligible to participate.  More recent work by the artist has taken a self-reflective tack by dissecting performance from the perspective of being a performance artist.  

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