Kan Xuan

Article Bio Projects
created on:
July 17, 2003
last changed on:
Please note: This page has not been updated since September 22, 2003. We decided to keep it online because we think the information is still valuable.
information provided by:
Kan Xuan
Kan Xuan is a young female visual artist from China. PR Photo.


Chinese toads - from fear to cruelty

Kan Xuan is a visual artist, experimenting with paintings, photographies and video installations about modern China.
Kan Xuan´s photographs of peeled toads exemplify this principle of inadvertently converting the fearful or inconceivable into the acceptable by constituting it art.

She began her series of toad photographs as a way to exorcise her fear of the amphibian. The series commences with images of Kan Xuan posed with the toad positioned on increasingly private or sensitive parts of her nude body. Having overcome her fear of the animal through this exercise, Kan Xuan then photographed the toad sitting in a clear plastic purse.

Finally, she had the toad skinned live at the market (a common practice for smaller frogs), positioned it again within the plastic purse, and photographed it. The final photographs are eerily beautiful, the frog pale and delicately pinkish, the purse clear but slightly tinted, the background a blank white.

Perhaps for her this represents a final conquering of the toad, causing it to suffer and then die for her art. She admits to the cruelty, saying that we all have the potential for this within us, at one time or another.
Author: Karin Bergquist


1972: Kan Xuan was born in XuanCheng, An´hui, China.

Lives and works in Amsterdam, Holland

Solo Exhibitions:

2001: Or nothing!, Shanghai, China

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2003:Echigo-Tsumari Short video Festival, Tokyo, Japan
Lost and Found, Amsterdam, Holland
Hedah Filmfestival, Maastricht, Holland
Under Construction, Tokyo, Japan

2002:China Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, China
Video art, Xia men, China
C´est pas du cinema, Le Fresony studio national, France
Fantasia, Beijing, China and Tokyo, Japan

2001:Fantasia, Seoul, Kon tpia,p strny p n, o np , Jal,p 2>- bio soe o-Tsumda-ten_height <= kasmg_kasten_tab_o_ Contemporary Art, Guamporarestp > ries FilmHo sarticapontembilmHo sartidp bio /ihorthorbr /> Video art, Xia men> corary Adt_detail_titltail_cstp > riesiall /> Video art, Xia men> coraryEo/> riesv> hooul, Kon thort ooouso, Japan- art, X
- Short yye> El, Kon tJapan
El, Kon tJapan
riesiall /> Video art, X riesv> hooul, Kon thor>ail_nav E"% Ba+at we all have the potential for this within us, 0;pemporareelp> El, Ko/ktail_navi1astdetaB to top">totruction,/okyo, JapantaB_kaokyop taa hap oeie pp kialp asthip lmfoon tJapa&t=0ian
mparyou E"% Ba+f="mailto:culturebase@dccd.dk" class="color_black0;po, astp elpaart, Ko/kn thor>ailb> Video E"% Ba+ 0;p hooul, elpFilmfest/k Video ar
mB> /> Fa> Selected Group Exhibitions:

2003:Echigo-Tsumari Short vi/s to top"- ners p Eio soea+n class="tahoma_12">1972: Kan Xuan was born in Xuo, astp elpaart, Ko/krt vi/s to top"- ners
Solo Exhibitions:0;p ar
soea+n8smB> />, astp 8wedish=true&crossroad=&genre_main=+%23%7C&genre=+&country_main=General&country=General%20Aop"- ners Edetail_weneral%20Aem, Hollio+&gean Ba+pan 6ge="dp 3Dt_whp r >p /brcrop />a>

p h=ty ArEe:culturebns:0;p ar
soea+n8s E="d

Ap brcrotp />a>cp p =ty sp :cubtlp Fil G%p ar re%p +n8Wll il_w>p /b 8>cp HLiterature+Be1bl_p lefinhoy sp :cub Ba+"d

ge=p ETsDt_p lb% rp +hoEo e o-Tsumdalaswh p p bon=+%23%7C&genre=+&country_main=General&country=Gexy o"_eie pn op p cl+hoEo e 2;hUim cl+hoh p p Tb% ="truoc&sup dp8ep -dp map 8> p h=ty Ap dp26s"p">top

=ty pssro/aio+lisiro c-m, H obioo n 66geo, Hp m, oh p o+&b% p Ba+oc&p ge=dp8rT =ty pssro> the plastn=+fe 2;hUim cl+hoh p p Tb% ="truoc&sup dp8e p Tb%o+&p map Tby=Geo,p "_e, op op+&bp l+ha+op 2;e=dp e-m, Hollio+&geaneI op+&bpa etail Navi 3--> iy e o-Tsu>
=ty pssro/aio+lisiro c-m, H obiue%2hkman%3Dtrpbiup p8r p =tyHolp ro>geap plap+&p e-m, Hollio+&geaneI op+&bpageaneI op+&blp ro>gea>lp0ro>gea>lp0ro>Te_maina"Jump toDtrue%26genre #F00;="LinkSm: absolst_dtop: -50px;mparyo: 2pxruDln t#F00;festi: 789px;al%26familyy, sitypesans-> f;oup cst: 5px;al%26Link: 20px;t, e-the m: orarer;C&coch0ro>General%20Aop"-b n2011 /, sayivto cruelty "41rt yyevigation">Projpssro/aiosiro c-m, H obiue%2hkman%3Dtrpbiup p8r p =tyHolp ro>geap pla4+&p e-m, Holl8r p =tyHolp kialp asthip ldetail_white"> the ap =tyHolpbian. ThWrapp asth/h3>
K, op oprtently cref=ly chtml>