Ah Xian and Liu Xiao Xian, artists recall their childhoods during the Cultural revolution and the impact it had on their lives; their early art works during their school years; the restoration of normality in China and their first involvement with artists' groups from the mid 1970s; their lives after school; the beginning of their work as artists and the styles of art being explored; their introduction to Australian people; their first visit to Australia; the impact of the Tiananmen Square Massacre on their lives and work; coming to Australia and eventually gaining permanent residency in 1995; establishing themselves as artists in Australia. Ah Xian and Liu Xiao Xian speak about their future work, dividing their time between China and Australia.
Brothers Ah Xian & Lui Xiao Xian came from China to live in Australia in 1990. Both had been invited to exhibit at the first Sydney Spring International Festival. They grew up in China during the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1980s, Liu Xiao Xian earned a Bachelor of Science, Optical Engineering, at the Beijing Institute of Technology. In Australia from the mid-1990s, he studied for a Diploma in Photography and Certificate in Scientific Photography, and a BA (Hons) in Photomedia at the University of Sydney, and a Master of Visual Arts at the Sydney College of the Arts. Ah Xian, who is self taught, is the first winner of the Australian National Gallery's $50,000 National Sculpture prize. Both artists have exhibited widely, in Australia and internationally. Their works have been collected by the National Gallery of Australia, by State galleries, and by private collectors.