A photograph of a letter mounted in a frame.

Yan Xing, Letter to Mr Robert Peckham, 2012. Digital print. Courtesy of the artist.

Yan Xing, Letter to Mr Robert Peckham

Year: 2012
Medium: Digital print (limited edition of 20)
Dimensions: 26 x 40 cm
Brief biography: b. 1986, Chongqing, China. Lives and works in Beijing, China and Los Angeles, USA.

Yan Xing is well known for his performance, video, and installation works that are often underpinned by elaborate, eccentric, and fictional, back-stories.  Despite being an openly gay man living in a country that tends to suppress homosexuality, Yan Xing does not shy away from maintaining honesty on his personal blog about his life and thoughts; his outspokenness has made him an informal representative for the gay community in China.  

 Letter to Robert Peckham represents a thank-you letter from the artist to an Asia-based curator. Although Peckham is a real person, and the statement is signed by the artist, it is unclear whether the circumstances described in the artwork are a true reflection of Yan Xing’s situation in 2012.  However, in addition to having his first UK solo show at Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA), Manchester, that year, he won the Chinese Contemporary Art Award for Best Young Artist Beijing; received a nomination for the Future Generation Art Prize from the Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev; and was a finalist in the Focus on Talents Project from Today Art Museum, Beijing. 

Letter to Robert Peckham reads:
‘At this occasion, I would like to thank Mr. Robin Peckham, who helped me when I most needed encouragement and made me persevere more strongly. I think it was a particular stroke of good luck to have encountered him at a time in 2012 when I was suffering the greatest hardship. As I conclude, I should therefore like to convey my gratitude to him in this special way’. 

Recent solo exhibitions include: Dangerous Afternoon, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (2017); Archive 56Yan Xing, Video Bureau, Guangzhou, China/Beijing, China (screening) (2016); Yan Xing, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, USA (2016); Nuit et brouillard, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland (2016); Performance of a Massacre, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2016). 


Artist’s website: https://www.yanxing.com/