Sophie Xiaofei Guo

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 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, 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 the 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


  • Autumn and Spring term 2019: Teaching Assistant for BA 2 Frameworks for Interpretation
  • Spring 2020: Guest Lecturer, Global China (MA)


Research Interests


  • Gender, sexuality, and race
  • Feminist and queer technoscience
  • Visual medical humanities
  • Contagion, disease, and immune system discourses
  • Sinophone studies, colonial histories, and globalisation


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