69 Capel Street, West Melbourne VIC 3003

Open 12pm-5pm, Thursday - Sunday

Disability Access: KINGS Artist-Run is a wheelchair accessible venue. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair accessible toilet. Please contact the gallery with any access requirements and we will endeavour to support your visit.

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Kings Artist-Run provides a location for contemporary art practice, supporting distinctive experimental projects by artists at all stages of their careers.
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KINGS Artist-Run acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we operate.

We offer our respect to Elders both past and present and extend this offer to all Australian First Nations people.

Chinese Romance outside of China

Lǐ Xīng Yǔ (Echo Li)

15 July 2021–06 November 2021

I made the term “Chinese Romance outside of China”, which refers to my complex relationship to Chinese and Western societies. It speaks about romantic love and love as holding on to a place. I romanticise everything I have experienced, reflecting, communicating and exchanging with these societies, now that I am outside of China.

During the pandemic, I gained Chinessness, as a Chinese living in Australia I was first living the pandemic through China. Then direct hit by ignorance and exclusion in western society, which was for me a traumatised experience. The “funny” thing is I politically anti-China, and decided to leave my country forever. The politic and society that triggered me refer to the government dictatorship specific after 1989; The condition of making art inside of China after 1989; And the change in Hong Kong etc. This process is how I identify myself, how I position my art in Western place.

This show includes a series of photographs taken by film camera in Chinatown Kulin nation. The photographs contain two Chinese girls in action of their relationship inside hidden corners of Chinatown. The photos speak to a culture who educates people that love is a shame, in school we had to hide all romantic relationships, otherwise there would be serious punishments.  As I now live in Western society in which love is more opened, looking back to my love stories in Chinese culture, it becomes a traumatized romance.

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  • Lǐ Xīng Yǔ (Echo Li) is an artist based in Narrm (Melbourne) born in Suzhou, whose practice spans multiple disciplines: painting, performance, writing, photograph, video, printmaking etc. Her work often involves translation and remediation as methods. She translates language, experiences, identity, etc. To be “Un” has been the key to her practices, which often embodies resistance and antagonism against the establishment and the dominant ideology in China. Similarly, the West is also plagued with political issues that often echo white privilege and colonialism. As a transnational Chinese artist, She lies in a mid-ground between two societies. Thus her practices often came from this sense of in-between-ness by being “Un”.  She likes to see her identity comes from places rather than nationality. There are nostalgias, stories, humour coming from these places; She carries them with her and sees them as the politics of identity.