Yin-Yang Calendar, 2016
Chinese ink on rice paper and magnets (set of 2)
300 × 50 cm (each)
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Biennale 2016 commission
Xiao is best known for her controversial performance Dialogue at the China Avant-Garde Exhibition in 1989, where she shot at her own work. In this 2016 work, she explores the contrast between the Western solar calendar and the Chinese lunar one. Two long black and white stripes are juxtaposed to stand for the two calendar systems. Both calendars start on 1 January 2016, and in a sequential unfolding order, a magnet, placed on each of the stripes indicating the date, is responsively moved one step forward as each day passes. When 1 January 2017 arrives, the distance between the two magnets will be significant. Besides indicating the different logic underlying each chronological system, such contrasts signify profound distinctions in history, geology and politics. The motion of the two indicators both documents the passage of time, and also outlines the cultural and historical landscape of East and West.