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Shenzhen Biennale Curator Fired Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Gary Xu

COURTESY SHENZHEN BIENNALE’S WEIXIN

The Shenzhen Biennale has removed Gary Xu from his role as one of three curators of its inaugural edition after allegations of harassment and assault appeared online, Art Asia Pacific reported today. Wang Ao, assistant professor of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University, wrote on social media that Xu, who previously worked as an associate professor in the department of East Asian languages and cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, harassed his female students for the last 20 years. Wang’s posts have since been deleted.

An anonymous woman confirmed Wang’s claim, saying that Xu physically abused her while he was teaching at UIUC. The anonymous survivor also shared photos of a large facial bruise and the petition for an emergency order of protection that she filed in an Illinois court in 2015. (Xu has denied all allegations of harassment and assault.)

“Given that the center’s attitude and mission is to spread positive energy of art, we, after deliberate consideration, decided to terminate our cooperation with Xu Gang for the 2018 Shenzhen Biennale,” the biennale said in the statement released March 15.

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