Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gay Chinese Artist Defies Social Stigma with Erotic Artworks Exhibition

Beijing artist Xiyadie
On April 28, 2012 The Center Long Beach, CA and the alternative fine art gallery, Flazh!Alley Art Studio, will be exhibiting for the first time in the United States the paper cutting artwork by Beijing artist Xiyadie (Zhee-yá-dee).
The exhibit titled "The Metamorphosis of a Butterfly: A kaleidoscopic vision of life by a gay Chinese artist," will consist of over 50 works celebrating same-sex love and gay life transcending the harsh discrimination and social stigma the LGBTQ community experiences in China.
Also included in the exhibit will be works showing the artist's struggle as a gay, married father of a son severely disabled by Cerebral Palsy.
Xiyadie states: "My artwork is really about the desire for freedom: freedom of expression, freedom to live honestly and freedom from the disease my son suffers from. That's why I call myself Xiyadie or 'Siberian Butterfly'. In Chinese it expresses hope and my wish for freedom in a cold and harsh environment."
To explore the issues of Xiyadie's work, which is publicly prohibited in China, The Center Long Beach, partnering with the Beijing LGBT Center, will also sponsor a forum, as part of its "QSpeak" series, which will be held in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition at Flazh!Alley Art Studio. "I am terribly excited this is happening. It has been my dream to exhibit in the US and to finally share my gay themed work to a broad audience openly and without disguise."
Xiyadie's work caught the eye of Center Long Beach board member Ján Montoya when he visited China in April 2011 and did outreach to The Center Beijing. "When I saw his artwork hanging in the The Center's lobby I became very excited. I had never seen such beautiful paper cuttings and that it had gay and lesbian themes made them all the more special and unique. I decided at that moment it had to be shared." He later brought the idea of exhibiting Xiyadie's work to the QSpeak committee members Christina Rios Bennett and Porter Gilberg who quickly agreed to make it part of QSpeak's 2012 programming.
Fine Art journalist, critic, and gallery owner Joe Flazh! decided to exhibit Xiyadie's work because of the eastern beauty of the work, its excellence of form and execution, and Xiyadie's unique vision. Xiyadie, according to Flazh!, achieves works that are at the same time old and new: old in that they are grounded and expressed in the traditional Chinese art of paper cutting, new in the treatment of Xiyadie's personal Chinese yet universal issues.
The exhibition begins for appointment only viewings on April 28, 2012 through July 14, 2012. The QSpeak discussion with Xiyadie is Thursday, May 10 from 7-8:30pm. Additional public receptions are scheduled on San Pedro's 1st Thursdays Art Walk Nights, 5/3/2012, 6/7/2012 and 7/5/201. Adults Only, 18 and over.
Flazh!Alley Art Studio is located at 1113 S. Pacific Ave., Suite B, San Pedro, CA. Park in the large city parking lot behind the Ramona Bakery at Pacific and 11th Street. Enter Flazh!Alley from the alley,
Disco by Beijing artist Xiyadie
of course. Call 310.833.3633 for more information.
The Center's QSpeak Series is a quarterly lecture and performance series featuring artists, activists, scholars, and public figures in the LGBTQ community. QSpeak seeks to inspire, educate, challenge, and entertain its audience. QSpeak aspires to re-energize the collective consciousness of the LGBTQ people and their allies so that these communities can collectively envision a future where there are spaces for everyone to exist and thrive.