Franklin Furnace Fund Recipients 2011-12

(Brooklyn, NY)Miao Jiaxin

A Journey To Failure

A Journey To Failure is not a negative manner of speaking; it was initially titled A Wonderful Journey To A New Trouble. The project’s exhibition includes photo, video, installation as well as live performance, all of which were created from 2007 to 2012, during the time when the United States suffered from the economy downturn; however, I happened to immigrate from a rapidly growing country, China, among millions of others who still believe in an American Dream. I therefore experienced a voyage from the dream of propaganda communism to a materialistic era of China, then to a socially established structure of capitalism. The exhibition is not intended to critique or compare the regimes; however it is concerned with status quo for the 99 percent working class people, while at the same time the artist himself is attempting to resist any particular social identity. Such a paradox expresses a concern with social values, as well as various issues in relation to politics and culture.


From his early practice, starting as a street photographer tracking Shanghai prostitutes to the development of a pseudo-transvestite web celebrity, Miao Jiaxin has evolved an edgy and protean practice. Beginning in Shanghai, Miao then immigrated to New York, expanding his view of urban streets towards a more conceptual public stage, where his works travel across different media. Miao's works often express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to individual identity, race, gender, sexuality and social class. He posits the artist's nature as one who transgresses boundaries, challenges consensus, and keeps a distance from authorities.