Xiao Lu (born 1962 in Hangzhou, China) is a contemporary artist internationally known for her performances and installations. In 1988 she graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now China Academy of Fine Arts) in Hangzhou. From 1989 to 1997 she has lived in Sydney, Australia and became an Australian citizen in 1997. Currently she lives and works in Beijing.

In 1989, Xiao Lu fired two shots at her installation Dialogue at the “China/Avant-Garde” exhibition at the National Art Museum in Beijing, causing an immediate shutdown of the show. When the Tiananmen Square massacre occurred four months later, her actions were heavily politicized, referred to as “the first gunshots of Tiananmen”. 

Her practice witnesses various stages of her personal development, evolving from an individual female rebel to a woman artist with a feminist consciousness and social awareness. Arising from personal experiences and reflections on human emotions and social condition, her work investigates questions concerning the search and expression of true freedom. 

Selected recent exhibitions include: “Collection Galleries: 1970s - Present”, MoMA, New York, USA (2019); "Skew", 10 Chancery Lane Gallery, Hong Kong (2019); "Xiao Lu: Impossible Dialogue”, 4A Centre Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia (2019); “Collection Displays: Performer and Participant”, TATE Modern, London, UK (2018); “Her Kind”, Zhuzhong Art Museum, Beijing, China (2018); “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World”, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2017). Xiao Lu's works are of the collection of major international public institutions, including TATE Modern, London; MoMA, New York, USA; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia.




  • Publications

    Author: Xiao Lu

    Translated: Archibald McKenzie

    Publication: Hong Kong University Press 2010

  • Interviews

    OCULA / Conversation

    Xiao Lu In Conversation with Mikala Tai

    Sydney, 21 January 2019

  • Other articles

    Human / 人 by Alia Lin



  • Xiao Lu's writings

    Berenice Angremy Dialogue with Xiao Lu

  • "Dialogue" Documents

    Letter from Xiao Lu to Gao Minglu about the shooting of her work Dialogue at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing, in 1989.