Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Gu Xiong: The Remains of a Journey

Gu Xiong, Harling Point, 2020, inkjet print, 20” x 32”. Courtesy of the artist.


Gu Xiong: The Remains of a Journey

November 13, 2020 – February 13, 2021

Online Opening Reception: November 13, 2020, 4 PM – 8 PM 6 PM – 7:30 PM*

No registration is required.


*Due to the most recent COVID-19 health and safety regulations announced by the Provincial Government on November 7, 2020, we will be moving the Opening Reception from the physical reception into a digital opening hosted via Zoom on Friday, November 13, 2020, from 6 – 7:30 PM. No registration is required. The artist will be in attendance.

If you have registered for a time slot for the now-cancelled physical opening reception, thank you much for your support and interest; please join us online!

Thank you for your understanding and we hope that you stay healthy and safe.

Gallery Hours:

Wednesday to Saturday, 12 PM – 6 PM*

*Subject to change as per COVID-19-related protocols. Face masks or face coverings are mandatory during your visit.

The Remains of a Journey by Vancouver-based artist Gu Xiong brings visibility to historic sites that have gradually faded away from official narratives as their physical remnants have disappeared from the landscape. During the mid-19th century, Chinese immigrants began settling along the coast of British Columbia to work the gold and coal mines and to build the transcontinental railway that would form the backbone of Canada. Today, there are only a few remaining structures of the many settlements that spread throughout the province. Yet, the immigrants’ collective memories have lived on in the community in the form of stories, artifacts, and monuments.

Comprised of a new body of multimedia works, along with archival materials sourced from multiple official archives, the exhibition revives three historic sites across British Columbia that bear the untold struggles of the Chinese immigrants: the destroyed “bone house” of Harling Point, the Leper Colony of D’Arcy Island, and the burnt-down Chinatown in Cumberland. It takes the form of an immersive installation that reanimates these early Chinese immigrant experiences during an era of exclusionist policies. Part of the artist’s ongoing investigation into the living conditions of the early waves of Chinese immigrants since 2011, the exhibition sparks an uncanny parallel to the anti-Chinese sentiment prevailing during the current coronavirus pandemic. 

Gu Xiong works with painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography, video, digital imagery, text, performance art and installation. Throughout his career as a visual artist, Gu Xiong has drawn on both his own life experience as an immigrant and his active engagement with migrant communities around the world. His works have been globally exhibited and recognized for transforming and deepening the understanding of the migrant experience, in terms of home, geography, globalization, and labour. 

He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including more than forty solo exhibitions and public art commissions. He has participated in over a hundred prominent national and international group exhibitions, including Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures (Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, 2010); Art Is Nothing – 798 Art Festival (Beijing, China); Post Avant-garde Chinese Contemporary Art – Four Directions of the New Era (Hong Kong, 2007); Starting from Southwest (Guangzhou Art Museum, China); the Shanghai Biennale (2004), where he was one of four Canadian representatives; MultipleCity (Panama, 2003); Le Mois de la Photo (Montréal, 2001); the Montréal Biennale (2000), the Kwangju Biennale (Korea, 1995); and the ground-breaking exhibition “China Avant-Garde” at the China National Museum of Fine Arts (Beijing, 1989). His work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the China National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Vancouver Art Gallery, among many other museums and private collections.

Part II of the exhibition exploring the Canada Village in Kaiping, China, the New Westminster Chinese Cemetery, and the Mountain View Chinese Cemetery, will be on display at Canton-sardine (Unit 071, 268 Keefer Street) simultaneously.

This two-part exhibition is curated by Henry Heng Lu and Steven Dragonn.

Read the Artist’s Acknowledgements HERE.

Accessibility: The gallery is wheelchair and walker accessible. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact us at (604) 683-8326 or

Centre A is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.

Experimental Relationship (for your eyes only, or maybe mine, too)

Pixy Liao, The Hug by the Pond, 2010, photography. Courtesy of the artist.


Pixy Liao: Experimental Relationship (for your eyes only, or maybe mine, too)

Since April 3, 2020

View the exhibition online here, until December 31, 2020:

Opening Reception: Friday, April 3, 2020, 6 – 9 PM

Due to the unforeseen circumstances of COVID-19, we have decided to cancel our opening reception of Brooklyn-based artist Pixy Liao’s exhibition; however, we are thrilled to announce that we will be launching an online gallery as of April 3, 2020, to share Pixy’s works from the exhibition as part of Capture Photography Festival 2020, and will also be having Pixy as our guest Instagram artist in the following weeks to come (follow us on Instagram @centre_a).

Online Artist Talk: Saturday, April 18, 2020, 1 – 3 PM

Register here.

For more information:

In partnership with the David Lam Centre at the Simon Fraser University 

Brooklyn-based artist Pixy Liao’s ongoing project, Experimental Relationship, dwells on sociocultural tendencies, power play, and emotional sustenance by examining the dynamics of her personal, romantic relationship, performed with photography and printed matter. Since 2007, the Chinese-born artist has staged photographs and live performances with her Japanese boyfriend, Moro, in keen attempts to balance, reverse, or subvert cultural traditions and gendered behaviours in a seemingly tongue-in-cheek, yet graceful manner. The sometimes-surreal images created throughout the process signal some of the traditional values and views of intimacy that are dictating interactions between the two lovers; they also point to a broader context in which gender dynamics and gendered expectations are questioned: Who is leading the relationship, who has the deciding voice in decision making, and who is gazing. Pixy and Moro’s relationship, in a way activated (not documented) by the project, has also been growing with it. Accompanying the photographic works and acting as an extension of Experimental Relationship in the exhibition is Pimo Dictionary, a collection of hybrids of Chinese, Japanese, English words and phrases as well as slangs, which was inspired by Pixy and Moro’s communication barriers.

This exhibition at Centre A provides a rare platform for discussing intricacies of romance, sex, and desire within a culturally specific framework, against the western backdrop of the fetishization of Asian women and the denial of Asian masculinity.

The exhibition is Pixy Liao’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Pixy Liao is an artist currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. She is a recipient of NYFA Fellowship in photography, Santo Foundation Individual Artist Awards, Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival Madame Figaro Women Photographers Award, En Foco’s New Works Fellowship and LensCulture Exposure Awards, etc. She has done artist residencies at the University of Arts London, School of Visual Arts RISO Lab, Pioneer Works, Light Work, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Center for Photography at Woodstock, and Camera Club of New York.

Liao has participated in exhibitions and performances in institutions internationally, including the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing, China); He Xiangning Art Museum (Shenzhen, China); the Museum of Sex (New York, USA); Asia Society (Houston, USA); Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool, UK); Chambers Fine Art (NY); Leo Xu Projects (Shanghai, China); and Firstdraft Gallery (Sydney, Australia). Liao holds an MFA in photography from the University of Memphis.

Curated by Henry Heng Lu

This exhibition is part of the 2020 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program and supported by a Tricera Print Grant.

Accessibility: The gallery is wheelchair and walker accessible. If you have specific accessibility needs, please contact us at (604) 683-8326 or

Centre A is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. We honour, respect, and give thanks to our hosts.