Echo Morgan (b.1983 Chengdu, PRC). Lives and works in London.
Selected recent exhibitions include: Solo Exhibition HOME, Galerie Huit. HongKong, 2017. The Blue Edition, Art Bastion. USA 2017. Beijing Live, Danish Culture Centre, Bei-Jing, 2016, 11th Live Action, Gothenburg, Sweden 2016, Conjunctively Evolving, Yun Contemporary Arts Centre, Shanghai 2016, Impact 9, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, 2015.
Echo Morgan (Chinese name is Xie Rong) grew up in ChengDu, the pandas’ home in South-West China and moved to the UK when she was 19. In her work Echo multitasks with roles: director, performer, narrator, and filmmaker, voyeur. Collecting and collaging encounters, voices, texts, and images from my cultural roots in China and my daily life in the UK, she processes everything through the performance and then makes sense of it all through the medium of film. The resulting set of stills, mono prints and screen prints demonstrate an objectification of the self – and a release from the things which provoked a performance. Her work explores the complex and cyclical relationship between violence, beauty, and vulnerability, re-examining how these antipodal constructs impact ideas of the ‘self’ and the body.
“There are three paths in my work: Narrative, Live performance and performance Photographs: My narrative is rooted with my family history. I explore my individual memory that is deeply embodied with China’s complex society – one that had undergone a series of philosophical, ideological and political transformations. They show as films, little books, short stories and audio pieces.”
In live performance Echo often transforms the surface of her own body into symbols: Chinese national flag, blue and white porcelain, gold fish, Chinese landscape painting, rice balls and jade. Thus she manipulates contemporary meaning into tradition iconography. Frequently, Echo invites viewers to participate, drawing strength from the audiences’ emotional vulnerability, and feelings of uneasiness, to complete the performance as a whole. “Here, my emotions become entwined with the audiences’, creating a symbiotic relationship based on control and power. All the fragments act as a mechanical reproduction circle based on my Buddism philosophy of Samsara.”