With Urban Fiction, a series beginning in 2004, Xing explores the form and psyche of contemporary living in modern high-rise “palaces of the people.” In these large-scale color photographs of real-estate developers’ architectural models, Xing has digitally inserted tiny cutout figures to enact a variety of imaginary human dramas. While these figures form only a tiny part of each image, their actions—often carried out by the artist herself—become the focal point of an otherwise sterile environment. Whatever action we are voyeuristically invited to witness is placed within a fictional setting in which there is no other trace of genuine human activity. Xing implies that the dream of luxury, modernity, and a better life that these maquettes are intended to convey may sometimes induce isolation and loneliness.
Acquired directly from the artist in 2007 by Uli Sigg, a Swiss private collector. Donated to the M+ Museum of Visual Culture in 2012.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China," December 9, 2013–April 6, 2014.