I smile when I don’t understand the words that people say to me. My smile is like an innocent baby’s. I smile when people yell at me. I don’t understand why they do this. My smile is like a baby’s cry. I smile when I serve people. Sometimes it is the only way for me[…]

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A Moment

In our life, Time is counted by seconds, Minutes, hours, days, Months, years and centuries; Past, present and future. Time is long, yet it is short. A place – a river, Holds myriad memories Of times gone by. Qingping is a small village. It sits beside a small, green river In the mountains of Southwest[…]



When I break through the enclosures, I find that I am still in the enclosure. Because disturbance exists for humans, they make many enclosures for themselves. It becomes an emblem of their culture and an emblem of isolation and oppression. Facing the Great wall, the Paris Bastille Wall and the Berlin Wall: we understand the[…]


My Migrations – From Yangtze River to Fraser River

It has been 30 years since my immigration to Vancouver in Canada, a city by the Fraser River. Tomorrow, I will take a flight back to my hometown Chongqing, for my exhibition “Gu Xiong: Migrations.” This exhibition is about how I build up my cultural identity through my experience of migrations. Airport is the place[…]

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You and I

You are born in a small stream You grow up in the river And you gather strength in the ocean   When you return You become red And give birth to your children   Finally you lie down on the bottom of the stream Waiting until next spring comes You watch as those red eggs[…]

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When Living In One Culture You Always Dream Of Another More Ideal Than Your Own. However, After You Have Experienced This Other Culture, Your Dreams Of It Are Broken By This Strange New Found Reality. Losing The Comforts Of Your Inherent Culture, You Wander Back And Forth Between Two Cultures, Not Knowing Which You Belong[…]



My family Under the clouds Moves from one land to another Struggling between cultures Not knowing to which we belong   Even though the flowers are falling The fruits will appear later When the maple leaves rest On the ground My family finally settles down   We are like seeds In the depths of this[…]


I am who I am

I built the railway. I opened a laundry and a restaurant. I built a church and a school. I raised a family. I built Chinatown. I paid the head tax. I couldn’t vote. I fought in the Second World War. I struggled. This is my home. Am I no longer excluded? I work hard and[…]


Me and You

Each time I see you, I see myself; I see the past and the present.   We both came from China, You stayed inside the grand institution, I stayed in a dark basement.   People came to admire you, But can you hear their praise? Or speak your gratitude? I could hear, but I couldn’t[…]



When the cannons of colonialism blasted through the iron ports of China, the history of Chinese immigration to North America began. Thousands of Chinese crossed the Pacific Ocean to come to Canada. They came in search of Gold Mountain, but instead, they were hired to work on the transcontinental railway through the Rocky Mountains. They[…]


Coquitlam Waterscapes

This statement was first printed in a catalog which accompanied the installation of Coquitlam Waterscapes at the Evergreen Art Centre. As a significant waterway in British Columbia, Coquitlam Lake is a watershed that serves as a source of drinking water for the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It is also the source of the Coquitlam River. The river, along with the[…]


Gu Xiong: Rethinking Cultural transformation

All cultures are complex, but the one into which you are born is the one you come to understand most profoundly. Thus, this influence is what finds its way into the work of an artist and, I believe, is expressed almost instinctively. If a person should move to another culture, he or she must make[…]



Pins A little pin A little pain It always follows me Wherever I go One day One month One year From one place to another It does not matter if I like it or not It is always there inside of me When I cannot pronounce a word Pain fills my tongue When I cannot[…]


Journey to Niagara-on-the-Lake

The history of Migrant workers in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region spans over fifty years. As it is right now, many people come from Jamaica and Mexico to work on various fruit farms in the area. As a major component of my Interior Migrations project, Yu, Scott and I have been to Niagara twice now to film[…]


The Invisible Group

For the past two years, the focus of my research and my practice revolves around the international seasonal workers and their living situations on Canadian farms. I am interested in the living conditions of the workers, their repeated heavy and dull labour work, as well as the oppression, memories, sentiments, and homesicknesses they are experiencing[…]


Invisible in the Light

Spread all over the Canadian farms, There are tens of thousands of temporary migrant workers From Mexico, Jamaica And other Central American countries, They come here to work for eight to ten months every year, Then travel back home and waits to return next year. Here, few people are aware of their presence. Canada’s history[…]