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The Shanghai-based artist duo Xiao Ke ✕ Zi Han attempts to create a temporary contact zone for ‘Chinese’ identity by researching different regions and collecting on-location documentary portraits of common people. “Our name is given, yet we try to explain who we are.” How is Chineseness defined? Its significance shifts according to its context, and its impact on contemporary geopolitics is felt on an everyday level. How does the young generation in China perceive Chineseness? What about the diasporic Chinese outside of China? In this tangled web of perceptions, the artists raise the question: ‘What is Chinese—is it an imagined community or is it real?’


The Chiname core research led by Xiao Ke ✕ Zi Han started in 2018 and will extend until the end of 2020. This ongoing project has been supported by Taipei Performing Arts Centre (TW), and benefited from artistic residencies from Taifun Project (Düsseldorf, DE), Roepaen Podium, in cooperation with Theater im Fluss (Kleve, NL), George Town Festival (George Town, MY), ADAM • Asia Discovers Asia Meeting (Taipei, TW), Pickle Factory Festival (Kolkata, IN), Low Fat Art Fes (Bangkok, TH), Culture City of East Asia Toshima 2019 (Toshima, JP), Laiks Dejot Festival (Rīga, LV), Dance Nucleus & da:nslab (Singapore, SG), Taipei Arts Festival (Taipei, TW), BOK Festival (Macau, MO), Hellerau (Dresden, DE), Theater im Pumpenhaus (Münster, DE), Tuggeranong Arts Centre (Canberra, AU), made with the funding support of European Union (Interreg V-A Program – Germany-The Netherlands), and Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.