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Museum of Arts and Design Presents an Exhibition of Works by 2018 Artist-in-Residence Xin Liu

Xin Liu: Fellow Focus
January 25, 2019 – May 5, 2019

New York, NY (February 27, 2019)

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) is pleased to present Xin Liu: Fellow Focus, an exhibition of works by 2018 artist-in-residence and Van Lier Fellow Xin Liu. On view through May 5, the exhibition marks the sixth installment of the Museum’s Fellow Focus series, dedicated to highlighting the work of MAD’s Artist Studios program alumni.

Through the lens of space exploration, genetics, and geology, Xin Liu: Fellow Focus gazes both inward and into the Earth’s orbit, offering a contemporary self-portrait as expansive as it is intimate. Initially trained as a mechanical engineer, Liu thinks of science as her first language, and uses this vernacular to tease out artistic nuance alongside scientific precision. Utilizing media that might be perceived as lacking in poetry, the artist presents deeply personal reflections.

Xin Liu: Fellow Focus performs a kind of radical self-portraiture, one that’s technologically sophisticated, deeply poetic, and profoundly vulnerable in equal measure,” said Lydia Brawner, MAD’s Manager of Public Programs and curator of the exhibition.

Liu, whose practice is diverse and conceptual, might be thought of as an artist who uses science as her medium or as a scientist who uses art as her research. This exhibition has its genesis, in part, in the recent extraction of two wisdom teeth, and Liu’s efforts to send these small pieces of her body as far away from her as humanly possible—into the Earth’s orbit. One tooth makes an appearance at MAD, as part of the work Everything Beautiful is Far Away (2019), or E.B.I.F.A., while the other has been added to the payload of a suborbital Blue Origin vehicle—taking off this April from the company’s West Texas facility.      


Xin Liu (b. 1991, Xinjiang/China) is an artist and engineer, whose research-based projects range from performances, apparatus, and installations to scientific experiments and academic papers. In her practice, she creates experiences and artifacts to measure, modify, and make sense of these organizations of everyday materials and events. Liu is the Arts Curator of the Space Exploration Initiative at MIT Media Lab and a member of NEW INC at the New Museum. She has received numerous awards and residencies, including the Van Lier Fellowship at MAD, the Queens Museum Studio Program, and the Pioneer Works Tech Residency, and was a finalist for the Huayu Youth Award. Her projects have received awards at South by Southwest and from Core77 and Fast Company’s Co.Design, and her academic publications have been nominated for best paper recognition at Association for Computing Machinery conferences. She has shown her work internationally at events and venues including Ars Electronica, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, OCAT Shanghai, the International Symposium on Electronic Art, and Music Tech Festival Berlin. As a researcher, Liu has worked with institutions including Microsoft Research New York City and Asia and Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group.

Xin Liu: Fellow Focus is curated by MAD Manager of Public Programs Lydia Brawner with support from Coordinator of Public Programs Marissa Passi.


The MAD Artist Studios program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Inc. Principal support for the MAD Fellowship program is provided by Marcia Docter. Additional funding is provided by The New York Community Trust Van Lier Fellowship Program.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit

#XinLiu @MADmuseum

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