Beina Xu

Artist in Residence, 2024

Artist Statement

I’m a Beijing-born, Berlin-based writer and visual artist. My audiovisual work examines the intersections of personal and collective historiography: archives, traces, and confrontations with the residues of violence and desire found amongst them. My writing, which feels oddly separate (though it likely isn’t), is more anchored in hypotheses of power and becoming. A lifelong northerner, I’m inspired by the Southern Gothic and constructions of morality and otherness, as well as the ethical implications—and comic absurdities—in processes of reconstruction. Although perhaps the common denominator of both practices is a drive to resist identity. 


While at Headlands

I’ll be working on a fiction manuscript about an Asian woman who steals a white baby. The premise derives from the lived experience of becoming an unexpected stepparent to a white child during the pandemic, but the narrative will try to run wild at Headlands, which is just south of an old shrimping village that sheltered Cantonese laborers escaping the shocks of anti-Asian violence before and after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. As part of the work, I will also be painting a shrimp every day as ritual, as talisman, and inevitably as procrastination.