xiaoxiao xu

Immigrating from China to the Netherlands at a young age was a very interesting and significant event in my life. This substantial change, the leap from the East to the West, had an extensive impact on me, in which my daily routine has transformed into an uncertain existence. Due to this emigration experience, my will to tell stories has grown and I have learned to observe both East and West from a distance. I am as much an insider and an outsider, uprooted, unidentified and estranged from both sides. Photography is the medium in which I can express this feeling the best. By photographing places, people and objects that arouse alienated feelings within me, I am still able to maintain a balance. With each image, I move one step closer to understand my identity and the stories behind the world in which I live.

My roots in China followed later by my home situation in the Netherlands – added to the culture shocks I went through. All of these experiences have contributed to the sober and observant eye that I have today. It is due to my background that I am able to render myself as invisible as possible while shooting; therefore, the images I created are in a sort of ambiance which is poetic and intuitive.

Photography for me is more than a passion or an obsession; it is an instinct. Photography allows me to crawl out of my shell, to build a narrative in a tangible and figurative sense. My series has made me more aware of myself and my own position in the world.

I am particularly interested in the surreality of reality. I want to tell stories from a unique perspective that leaves spaces for the viewers to be freely interpreted, stories that evoke people’s imagination, that lure them to look over and over and dream away.