Born in the communist China of the Economic Reforms, Echo Morgan (real name Xie Rong) studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute High School before moving to London where she gained a BA in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins and a MA in Fine Art at Royal College of Art. Since 2011, She has been collaborating with photographer Jamie Baker on photographic interventions within her performance work. She lives and works in London.
Recent exhibition includes:
21st Centuary Art & Design, Selected Works from the RCA Degree Show,Christie’s, 2013. Drawing Sessions, Royal Stand Gallery Liverpool Biennial 2012, Untouchable, Curated by Franko B 2012, Warrior, Blackall Studio, 2012. Reincarnation London Print Studio 2012. The Enchanted Palace. A Room of the World, A World in the Room. Kensington Palace 2011. She was awarded the Crown Palace drawing Prize 2011.
Statement by Echo Morgan
The role of translation, the passage between gesture, body and voice, the shift from Chinese into English and back again, the relationship between performance and prints this is the sense contained within my work. Always movement across surfaces, entering and exiting backwards and forwards therefore I cannot settle on any one point. I am in flux, restless: a pure relationship between motion and the void.
My name is Echo Morgan, My real Chinese name is Xie Rong. I grew up in ChengDu, the pandas’ home in South-West China. I moved to the UK when I was 19. In my work I take on the role of director, performer, narrator, and filmmaker. I am collecting and collaging encounters, voices, texts, and images from my cultural roots in China and my daily life in the UK. Through the mediums of performance and film I explore the intrinsic and complex relationship between violence, beauty, and vulnerability, re-examining how these antipodal constructs impact ideas of the ‘self’ and the body. There are three paths in my work: Narrative, Live performance and performance Photographs: My narrative is rooted with my family history. I explore my individual memory that is deeply embodied with China’s complex society – one that had undergone a series of philosophical, ideological and political transformations. They show as films, little books, short stories and audio pieces. In live performance I often transform the surface of my body into symbols: Chinese national flag, blue and white porcelain, gold fish, Chinese landscape painting, rice balls and jade. I manipulate contemporary meaning into tradition iconography. I often invite viewers to participate, drawing strength from the audiences’ emotional vulnerability, and feelings of uneasiness, to complete the performance as a whole. Here, my emotions become entwined with the audiences’, creating a symbiotic relationship based on control and power. All the fragments act as a mechanical reproduction circle based on my Buddism philosophy of Samsara.
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