Watch now: The making of Liu Xiaodong's 'Sasha in skin coloured tights'
2 October 2018
On the outer wall of Lisson Gallery's Frieze Art Fair booth is Liu Xiaodong’s full-length nude portrait of Sasha in skin coloured tights (2018), part of a thematic hang related to the 'performative self'. A transgender actress and artist, Sasha Maria von Halbach, strips for a painter who has to reciprocate with his own act of creative, collaborative and empathetic revelation – also now laid bare for a wider audience to gaze upon in full view of one another. Produced during Liu Xiaodong’s residency in Berlin earlier this year and documented both through a documentary directed by Yang Bo and a dual exhibition, entitled 'Slow Homecoming', at the Kunsthalle and NRW Forum in Düsseldorf, the film of which includes this candid assertion by Sasha: “Every point in my life was decided by my transsexuality. For a long time I tried to change my voice, to speak in a way that doesn’t attract attention, to achieve a certain femininity [but] that was impossible – to disappear behind an ideal, which one can never fulfil anyway. I mean that’s the way we are, the rest is just luck and fate.”