Arts House presents

What is Chinese?

Xiao Ke x Zi Han
Australian Premiere
Visual & Digital  ·  China / Australia

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This event has been postponed
Event postponed

A country, a culture, a community or an identity? A question is a mirror: come see yourself in this one.

Due to the Federal Government’s current travel ban affecting visitors who have been in mainland China, select performers are currently unable to travel to Melbourne. We’re planning to reschedule this performance once circumstances permit and hope you’ll join us for the date to be announced.

If you hold a ticket to this event, you will be contacted for a refund. If you have any other queries, contact Arts Centre Melbourne Box Office on 1300 182 183. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused and look forward to welcoming you at an Asia TOPA event soon.

What is Chinese? is an international collaboration tracing the connections and distinctions between people the world over. Shanghai artists Xiao Ke and Zi Han have travelled the globe speaking to over 140 members of the Chinese diaspora, and an exhibition of their interviews and portraits forms the launching point for this many-faceted work. As What is Chinese? unfolds the pair will join local artists to create and live in a 'home' in Arts House's Warehouse, where audiences will be invited to visit, eat and talk.

Part documentary, part performance, part installation, What is Chinese? ends with the local artists sharing new work that reflects on this playful zone of crosscultural contact.


Warning: May include nudity, coarse language, smoking and loud music

Contact Arts House for accessibility bookings.


  • Wheelchair access
  • Highly Visual
Image by: Xiao Ke x Zi Han

What is Chinese? is co-commissioned by Arts House through the City of Melbourne and Asia TOPA through Arts Centre Melbourne, with support from the Sidney Myer Fund. This ongoing project has been supported by Taipei Performing Arts Centre. Made with the funding support of European Union and Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia. Produced by Bureau of Works (AU) and Materialise (HK)
Supported By
  • City of Melbourne
  • Arts House
  • Bureau of Works
  • Logo for Artists
  • Besen Family Foundation
  • The Australian Council for the Arts

Cast & Credits

Creative Team

Concept and director
Xiao Ke + Zi Han
Ophelia Jiadai Huang
Project Producer
Erin Milne, Bureau of Works
International Producer
Stephane Noel, Materialise
Local collaborators
Wandi Cao, Jackson Castiglione, Marco Cher-Gibard, Shian Law, Jamie Marie Lewis, Yuchen Wang