Tate Britain Talk

Talk: Xiaolu Guo with Daniel York Loh

Vincent van Gogh Pollarded Willows, Arles 1888 Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands

Join us for an intimate evening of readings and discussion with writers Xiaolu Guo and Daniel York Loh

Inspired by The EY Exhibition: Van Gogh and Britain, which tells the story of Van Gogh’s arrival in London as a migrant in his twenties, this salon-style discussion contemplates shifting identities, cultural traditions and youthful ambition. How do you carry your personal cultural history to a new landscape? What kind of influence can a city have on an artist’s work?

Hear novelist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo share her own journey from rural China to London, and about the inspirations and challenges that London provided and how it continues to inform her work. Chaired by Daniel York Loh, together they will explore the parallels with her experience and Van Gogh’s, and the unique role he has played in her life.

Photograph of Xiaolu Guo in a cafe

Xiaolu Guo


Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo is a novelist and filmmaker. She moved to the UK in 2002 from China. Her novels include A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction) and I Am China. Her memoir Once Upon A Time in the East was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017. She also directed feature films, including She, a Chinese (Golden Leopard Award 2009 at the Locarno Film Festival). She was named a Granta’s Best of Young British Novelist.


Daniel York Loh is a mixed-race British East Asian actor, writer, filmmaker and musician. His first full-length play, The Fu Manchu Complex, ran at Ovalhouse in 2013. His most recent play, Forgotten 遗忘, based on the experiences of the World War One Chinese Labour Corps, played at the Arcola and Plymouth Theatre Royal in 2018. He is one of 21 writers of colour featured in the collection of essays, The Good Immigrant, which won the 2016 Books Are My Bag Reader’s Choice award. He has served on the Equity Minority Ethnic Members Committee, is a founder member of British East Asian Artists and has worked with Act For Change to promote diversity in UK media.

NB. This talk was originally scheduled to be chaired by Nikesh Shukla

This event has been provided by Tate Foundation on behalf of Tate Enterprises LTD.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

24 May 2019 at 18.15–20.00

There will a private view of the exhibition before the discussion beginning at 18.15 and again afterwards following the talk until 20.30.

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