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KNOT KNOW: Hongwei Bao and Xiyadie, “Cut Both Ways”, 25 June 2021, 6 PM 



“Cut Both Ways”, the first event from the series KNOT KNOW on June 25th, presents a work by the self-taught traditional Chinese papercut artist Xiyadie, as well as a lecture by Dr. Hongwei Bao. Drawing on the daoist philosophy of xing (性) (nature/sexuality), hexie (和谐) (harmony), and tianren heyi (天人合) (the unity between the human world and the non-human world), the lecture “Metamorphosis of A Butterfly: Queer Art and Activism in Contemporary China” by Dr. Hongwei Bao examines queer art beyond Western queer theory and modern gay identity, instead looking to Indigenous and ancient perspectives and addressing questions of sexuality, urban migration, and LGBT communities in recent years in China.

For further listening, the podcast is available here.


Dr Hongwei Bao is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he also directs the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies. He is also a research associate at the Birmingham School of Art. Dr Bao is the author of three books on Chinese queer culture: Queer Comrades, Queer China, and Queer Media in China.

Xiyadie is a self-taught traditional Chinese papercut artist who starting creating works with homoerotic themes to tell his narrative of transformation. Xiyadie means “Siberian Butterfly”, a name he chose after his move to Beijing as a migrant worker in the early 2000s, where he found an accepting community in the burgeoning gay subcultural scene.