‘Bend the earth’ 扳沙


May 2020, Hubei, Gansu (China)

Surface Tensions Part 3: ‘Art Under Lockdown’ for INTERNATIONAL WOMENS’ MONTH!

Launched with POW! Fringe Festival (14 March – 3 May 2021)

Premiere: Sunday 14 March 2021 – 11am

It is available online until 03 May 2021 – 11pm

Documentation of the durational performance carried out by Jing Xie & Qiong Zhang 

During the COVID19 pandemic, the artist duo, Hijack (Jing Xie & Qiong Zhang) was forced to cancel their planned trip to Folkestone, UK, and instead, carried out a remote residency in their respective hometowns in China. The new body of work came out of this highly unusual period, a creative process that translates quotidian experiences into a set of poetic/absurd gestures and metaphors. 

“Each of us worked to disengage and to change something in that environment. When the two images were put together, it seemed that our combined actions were enough to bend the earth. But the ‘earth’ here was translated distortedly to 沙, meaning ‘sand’, so it is very possible that all our efforts were totally useless.” – Qiong Zhang


Presented to the digital audience for the first time, ‘Bend The Earth’ was a duration performance carried out by Qiong Zhang in the city of Lanzhou, and Jing Xie at Makou Town in Hunchuan (a city nearby Wuhan) in China.

Consisting of two performances by the artistic duo, Hijack, presented side by side, ‘扳沙 Bend the Earth’ was a durational performance carried out under the strict lockdown restrictions of their respective hometowns in China. 

At dusk, Jing Xie, jumps up and down on a mattress situated upon a large sand mound. As passerbys calmly walk past during their daily exercise, she stomps and kicks at the mattress to bury it into the sand.

Qiong Zhang’s performance takes place in Lanzhou, in a newly built residential area. As cars and motorcycles pass by, she uses her hands to dig into the sand, jumping to try and get off the ground.

‘Experiencing the strict segregation in China recently because of the coronavirus, we wanted to do a project that reflects upon our living conditions under isolation from the outside world according to surveillance in the name of public health administration…We’d like to discuss how daily discipline and other regulations turns into discrimination, how fear and hatred grows through a practical process.’ [Hijack]


You can read the full interview with Hijack below:  ‘Bending The Earth: Absurdities of Everyday Life’

Artist In Conversation - 'Bending The Earth: Absurdities of Everyday Life'

Surface TensIons Part 3: ‘Art Under Lockdown’ for INTERNATIoNAL WoMENS’ MoNTH!

Launched with POW! Fringe Festival (7 March – 3 May 2021)

Championing equality, diversity and creativity of women and girls, alongside POW! (Power of Women) Fringe Festival, we will be screening new works  by 3 female artists working in the expanded field of moving image: Hijack and Bobbi Cameron. Negotiating the lockdown restrictions in their respective hometowns in China and Scotland, Hijack and Cameron turned these unusual circumstances into a set of introspections. Through the feminist epistemological lens, they present experiences that shift between autobiography, documentary and fiction, the complex emotions of hope and powerlessness, longing and belonging, as well as the overwhelming sense of aloneness and the need to connect. Powerful, emotional, humane and humours, they freely juxtapose narratives, myths, archival materials, and personal testimonies as a collective act of resistance to explore the unstable nature of perceived realities and cultural identities of those in the margins.

From 7 – 28 March 2021, 4 pieces of moving image works will be premiered weekly online via our CT20 Youtube Channel. The works will remain available until 3 May 2021.


Premiere Sequence:

Sunday 7 March 2021, 11am: 白日摸瞎 Shooting in the Dark’, Hijack [May 2020, China]

Sunday 14 March 2021, 11am: 扳沙 Bend the Earth’, Hijack [May 2020, China]

Sunday 21 March 2021, 11am: 伤口撒盐 Salt the Wound’, Hijack [May 2020, China]

Sunday 28 March 2021, 11am: Nine’, Bobbi Cameron [May 2020, Scotland]

Surface Tensions 2020 (ST20) is a programme of new art commissions presenting art deeply immersed in the traumas, struggles and violence of our time, from the perspective of those in the margins in a collective act of creative resistance. Between March – December 2020 and during the COVID19 pandemic, over 7 pieces of new work were produced, from female-led moving images to site-specific installations exploring experiences that confront cultural, juridical, racial, gendered, class and physical barriers, placed in relation to Western identity and nationalism. Surface Tensions Part 3 is our touring programme taking this powerful body of work to new audiences.

ST20: Shooting In The Dark