Artist Spotlight: Xiyadie
BY Christopher Harrity
April 21 2012 2:00 AM ET
The sweet innocence of Xiyadie’s renderings in paper and tints camouflages the sexual content in his work. His cuttings are lighthearted and joyous yet intense and revolutionary, considering current conditions for artists, especially LGBT ones in China. How dare he portray such delightful images of same sex love?
Xiyadie (pronounced Zhee-yá-dee) was born August 27, 1963 in Shanxi Province, China, known as the cradle of many Chinese folk arts, including the art of paper cutting. A gay, married father living in Beijing, he has a 23 year-old with cerebral palsy and a 21 year-old daughter, currently a college junior.
A working farmer who calls himself the “Siberian Butterfly,” Xiyadie’s own formal schooling ended after middle school. His work is publicly prohibited in China, where the LGBT community continues to deal with freedom of expression issues and censorship.
Xiyadie’s life experiences have inspired his work. “[My inspiration] links my curiosity of every aspect of nature and calls to me when I close my eyes to imagine during the day, and the illusions I experience in the quiet night’s thousands of dreams,” the artist says.
Previously unknown to U.S. art audiences, Xiyadie was discovered during a cultural mission between The Center Long Beach in Southern California and the Beijing LGBT Center earlier last year. This world premiere of his work in a public gallery, the exhibition will be presented April 29 through July 14, 2012 at alternative fine arts gallery Flazh!Alley Art Studio in San Pedro, California. The exhibit, titled “Metamorphosis of a Butterfly: A Kaleidoscope Vision of Life by a Gay Chinese Artist,” consists of more than 50 works celebrating same-sex love and life’s struggles and transcending the harsh discrimination and social stigma facing the LGBT community in China today. The Center Long Beach will host an artist lecture and discussion as part of its QSpeak Series on May 10, 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Note: Some of the artwork is more explicit than the samples here, for that reason the exhibit is restricted to those 18 and over only.
- BREAKING: Boy Scouts Vote to End Discrimination Against Gay Youth
- WATCH: What Happens When a Gay Boy Scout Comes Out to His Camp Leader
- Transgender High School Senior Skips Graduation Over School's Transphobic Policy
- Nevada Takes Another Step Toward Marriage Equality
- Giants Pitcher Jeremy Affeldt Shares His Evolution on Homophobia
- PHOTOS: Real Weddings, Real People
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Marriage Equality Nevada Takes Another Step Toward Marriage Equality 10 min 7 sec ago
- Youth BREAKING: Boy Scouts Vote to End Discrimination Against Gay Youth 29 min 17 sec ago
- Theater WATCH: How Billy Porter Becomes Kinky Boots Drag Diva 36 min 29 sec ago
- Entertainment News Debbie Reynolds: 'We All Knew He Was Gay' 1 hour 55 sec ago
- World News Ugandan LGBT Activists Arrested While Protesting Media Censorship 1 hour 15 min ago
- The Wedding Channel WATCH: Flash Mob Gay Marriage Proposal in Central Park 1 hour 26 min ago
- Women Cannes is Abuzz About Blue is the Warmest Color's Explicit Lesbian Sex Scenes 1 hour 48 min ago