Sperm ( Performance )

2021-10-29 03:05 0

Sperm ( Installation / Performance )

Artist: Xiao Lu

Date: May 21-23,2006

Venue: Kangda Hotel, Yan’an, China. “Long March Project-Yan’an,” “Yan’an Forum on Art Education” meeting room and lounge.

Project: The famous international art project “Long March Project-Yan’an” arrived in Yan’an in May of 2006. More than forty other artists along with several dozen experts and scholars arrived in Yan’an to undertake experimentation, creation, study, debate, and exhibition proposals.

Curator: Lu Jie

Photography: Yuan Yang

Video: Long March offer



  1. A CM-M model temperature control machine. Temperature range:+/- 50° C (ratio of differentiation 0.1° C) Medical regulations: sperm must be kept at 4° Centigrade, then gradually frozen to -20° and finaly -80°. Finally, they are stored at -196° in liquid nitrogen jars. This freezing process naturally eliminates sperm of poor quality and kills all possible bacteria. In order to prevent AIDS, sperm must be stored for six months before use.

  2. 12 empty bottles in which to place the sperm.

  3. A rack on which to place the bottles.


Performance Method ( All male at meeting and visitor)

  1. Participants - Male (sperm donors): no age limit; Female (sperm recipient): Xiao Lu, 44

  2. Time period-First instance: May 21-23, 2006

  3. Men willing to participate in the project take a bottle from the work “Sperm” located in the lounge of the Long March Yan’an Project’s Yan’an Forum on Art Education in the Kangda Hotel, deposit sperm samples into the jars, and return them to the refrigerator.

  4. The sperm recipient will undergo artificial insemination during her fertile period each month using the sperm thus collected.

Result: The first attempt to collect in Yan’an failed.


About the work “ Sperm”

“The Long March is a manifesto, the Long March is a propaganda team, the Long March is a sower of seeds.”             -Mao Zedong

Biological pregnancy: A male sperm and a female egg meet. Essence.

Emotional pregnancy: A male and a female mind meet. Spirit

Harmony of essence and spirit, human hopelessness. Energy.

Essence, energy, spirit as one, the way of life.

Seeking all three: No time, too old, no luck.

Retreating and seeking only one, choosing essence (sperm).

Xiao Lu

May 23, 2006 in Yan’an

The artist invited sevited several male artists and critics to donate their sperm for her IVF plan. The proposal was met with cold refusal and suspicion from the invited men. Here, the artist's wish to be the master of her own body constitutes a threat to the idea of heterosexual conception within male-dominated discourse. The work challenges the social ethics and sexual psyches dictated by heterosexual relationships. 

- Tong Yujie