Sophie Xiaofei Guo

Associate Lecturer; PhD student

Thesis: Biomedicine and Contemporary Art in the Sinophone Cultures (1989-Present)

Supervised by Dr Wenny Teo and Professor Jo Applin 

In this thesis I focus on how biomedicine and biotechnology— understood as the technological use of biological reproduction and transgenic practices, and of biosecurity and life-control systems— transforms image and art making in the Sinophone cultures from the late 1980s to the present day. Looking at the practices of artists such as Li Shan, Lu Yang, Pei-Ying Lin, Candice Lin, Angela Su and Jes Fan, I examine the ways in which these artists engage with knowledges of biotechnology and biomedicine, and the implications of these for gender, sexuality, race, subjectivity and the conception of ecology. I ask how the artists engage translocal knowledge and visual tropes in their diverse responses to the contemporary biotechnological condition, often uncritically seen as originating in ‘the West’. Further, I explore to what extent a post-anthropocentric ecological ethics is formed through the artists’ distinct means of engaging with discourses of new biomedical technologies.


  • PhD History of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • MA History of Art, University College London
  • Thesis: Connecting creative participants online and offline: The web-engaged projects of Ye Funa and Aspartime, supervised by Prof. Briony Fer.
  • BA History of Art, University College London


  • Associate Lecturer for BA3 Lessons in Critical Interpretation 2022/23
  • Spring 2020: Guest Lecturer, Global China (MA)
  • Autumn and Spring term 2019: Teaching Assistant for BA 2 Frameworks for Interpretation


Research Interests


  • Contemporary art and visual culture
  • Gender, sexuality, and race
  • Feminist and queer technoscience
  • Visual medical humanities
  • Contagion, disease, and immune system discourses
  • Sinophone studies, colonial histories, postcolonial theory, and globalisation
  • Parafiction


Other Academic Activities


  • Editorial Board, immediations, the peer-reviewed postgraduate journal of the Courtauld Institute of Art, 2019
  • Research Assistant to Dr Wenny Teo, Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art