Xinyue Liu (刘新悦) is an interdisciplinary artist and doctoral researcher in fine art. Nostalgia, ever-present in her work, takes form as film, photography, and installation.
Xinyue Liu's understanding of nostalgia closely adheres to its etymological origin: nostos, meaning to return to one’s native land, and algae, as in to suffer from grief. She works with objects trouvés—archival material and images alike—to examine public memory and family history.
In the face of a global pandemic, geopolitical conflicts, and ecological devastation, Liu asks, how can film, as a medium, help grief find its place? Her doctoral research posits ‘grief cinema’ as a distinct film genre. This project engages with Judith Butler’s concept of ‘ungrievable subject’, the lives deemed unworthy of public grieving as a result of socio-political callousness, to examine grief as a complex order capable of blurring the boundary between individuals and species. She aims to identify traces of grief—or the lack thereof—in classical and contemporary cinema to begin building a taxonomy of grief and to explore the relationship between grief and repair in the form of film-based art.
Liu’s work has been exhibited at the Polygon Gallery, VIFF (XINEMA), and Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival. She is currently working on a collaborative project investigating the critical state of coral reefs at SMUSH Gallery.
Liu holds a BFA in Radio and Television Production from Jilin University and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Simon Fraser University.