Xie’s installation features hand-built “bamboo scaffolding, embroidery on industrial mesh, and a set of laser-engraved drawings that will fade from continual exposure to light” as emblems of temporality and memory. The works also serve as the artist’s reimagination of her grandfather’s architectural drawings from the late 1950s and early 1960s, none of which were realized once he was exiled to a labor camp by Chinese authority due to the publication of a drawing considered a critique of the government.
Xie retrieved the architectural drafts from her family archive as a framework for her installation, which is located in the museum’s garden. More about the installation from The Wende’s website:
By incorporating a hand-built bamboo scaffold behind the guardhouse, Xie metaphorically speaks to the invisible labor of workers often hidden behind the industrial mesh and scaffolding ubiquitous to construction sites. Memory Structure, Scaffold Series brings the materiality of the natural bamboo into direct conversation with the mass-produced nature of the scaffold and its role in development. The installation connects the soft memory of never-completed intellectual labor—the artist’s grandfather’s renderings—with the never-ending labor required by commercial building.
Xie is an LA-based interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer whose works investigate the movements and forms of body-based sculptural forms, such as masks and costumes. Late last year, she was named a fall/winter 2020-21 resident artist at downtown Los Angeles-based experimental performance venue Automata. In 2017, she was selected for Hauser & Wirth’s 2017 exchange residency with the Bath School of Art & Design, where she created the four-hour durational performance and installation titled Walking With the Disappeared.
The Wende Museum is an art museum, center for local creative community engagement, and historical archive of the Cold War. The campus includes a former East German guardhouse that once monitored access to Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst (General German News Service), a state-run East German news agency, and currently hosts installations by various contemporary artists.