Language: English
Editor: Ian Waelder
Size: 11,5 x 18 cm
Pages: 212
Binding: Perfect
Illustrations: B/W
Format: Softcover
1st ed: May 2024
Run: 150 copies
ISBN: 978-84-09-61537-7

COMPLEX BUSINESS is a publication that brings together a compilation of 212 pages of drawings from the artist, done between 2017 and 2024. These drawings are unedited takes from sketchbooks, photocopied and scanned and photocopied again , offering a journey of poetic sorrow, inner wounds, feelings of dispair and hope entangled in queer blues.

If you like skateboarding and binary questioning, this book might be for you.
This book has been made in loving memory of YLÏAM’s grand-father, Albert Yaying Xu (1934 – 2023).

Ambiguous Skate Nation
Installation, stickers
Variable dimensions                

Around 200 handcut stickers are made available to the visitors to be glued on the gallery wall. A web-looking network naturally starts to form as the visitors enter and contribute to a collective collage of a continuously growing image bank.

Accumulated pictures, logos of existing brands, YouTube comments screenshots, made up slogans and modified found imagery found online and in archives showcase a humourous and dark side of skateboarding where, its history, visual identity relate to gender, sexuality and self-expression shifts to a new momentum made possible by the non-traditional skateboarders and queer skateboarding communities.

The sticker as a medium has always been rooted in the history of skateboarding and other anarchist or revolutionary subcultures. In this installation, YLÏAM makes use of this medium to involve the viewer in playful way to display powerful and humourous messages that first seem to be small of scale, but grow bigger when time passes.  


Digital Video, stereo sound 6’18”

MONDAY MOURNING is a visual essay about loss and the immediate process of mourning coming right after. Through a fixed stand point of a mundane looking scenery, the thoughts of someone loosing their father slowly unfolds while looking out of a window. While our world can be suddenly shattered by death,
the mundanity of life and its rythm seems to keep going on without waiting for us.

A pedestrian crosses the street, the trash still needs to be picked up, flowers glimmer and bloom.


MONDAY MOURNING was screened during the KNMN Festival (Kassel, Germany) on a projector screen on desolated train tracks. It was screened at Cinema OFFoff (Ghent, Belgium) in 2019 and and got best public price (Yearly Experimental Film Screening). It has also been screened in the Deutsches Film Museum (Frankfurt, Germany) for the Rundgang film program in  2018.

Double Minutes (with Niels Poiz)
Artist Talk & performance
Textile, sound & livestream

“Niels & I had to come up with a new dynamic in a rather short time. We had never met before. Yet after a few mail exchanges, we soon found common grounds in our love for pop culture, music, text, and queer melancholia. 

The use of text guided our body in various states {semi-present through livestream} {performative and dramatic}  through it being written on clothes, read out loud through a mic, or sung on a piano.

We moved through the spaces {the garden} {the terrace} {the window} {the tennis court} and incorporate them as parts of our scenography in order to relate to the public in various degrees and at different distances.”


Every 2 month, Double mintues invites two artists to challenge the format of an artist talk. Rather than discussing the artist’s practice, specific works of art and / or exhibitions we ask each artist to select ten fragments that move them, as a starting point for the dialog. There are no restrictions on the choice of media: film, music, literature, internet, objects, etc. The artists can also experiment with the scenography and performative qualities of the talk itself. We hope to welcome you for an engaging and insightful evening with a focus on the joint experience of personal fragments.

For the fourth edition of Double Minutes they invited Maily Beyrens XU and Niels Poiz.

During 4 Wednesday afternoons, the excitement of potential failure and accidental harmony is made tangible during a set of improvisation music sessions in the garden of the Portikus gallery. 
After an acoustic investigation of this particuliar space situating itself on a island in the middle of the city, and declared to be a natural reserve for migrating birds, musicians who have never played together before are invited to perform as a temporary band.

Due to the nature of improvisation, this performance rocks the crowd into a collective trance while a certain dissonance remains present. The potential of mistake is constant. A different scenography is designed by the performers for each concerts: chairs  are resourced on Ebay KleinEinzage, a popular second hand website in Germany/

Acting as ghostly molds for human shapes, the chair coming from different houses and regions of Frankfurt are activated during the concert or by tired visitors.
When no performance takes place, the chairs remain visible to the visitors, of the exihbition as as a trace of the previous impro session and can be moved as a prelude to the next.

was part of L’Esprit Groupshow , Portikus Frankfurt Am Main in 2021.

Graduates of the Städelschule
Curated by Sophie Buscher and Alke Heykes

As part of Maïly Beyrens Xu‘s graduation project every Wednesday different artists are invited for a sonic improvisation into the garden of Portikus:

Wednesday, September 23, 6 pm
Participating and contributing artists:
Larry Bonchaka, Ian Waelder, Punch Viratmale, Mahya Ketabchi, Wolfgang Winter, Maïly Beyrens Xu

Wednesday, September 30, 6 pm
Participating and contributing artists: Alicja Wysock, Maria Magdalena Kozlowska, Stine Sampers, single choir, YLÏAM

Wednesday, October 7, 6 pm
Jack Brennan, Siegfried Teller,  Mimi Xu, Lolitask7

Wednesday, October 14, 6 pm
Luis Polyanszky Worth, Ylïam Xu

Digital Video, stereo sound

For Made In China Festival, the artist made a video in
collaboration with their maternal grand-parents Yaying & Peixan,
who together with Maily’s mother, moved from China to Europe in the 80s.

Layers of symbolism unfold, attached to some of their grand-parents favorite cafés, parcs, or shops.
By following and filming them on their promenades through Paris,
YLÏAM grows a new sentimentality and value for their native city,
and their familiys past.

screened at Made In China festival 2022

Stereosound & digital video

YouTube.       Spotify.


I don’t sing it with pride
But I’m not trying to hide it

I’ve been looking inside
In the deepest of me lays my enemy

And I know that you died
And it’s weird but I can take peace with it

Is it strange to love and to hate

at the same time

And I know that you tried
In the way you showed your fears to me

Is it strange to tear up and laugh
at the same time

Die die die
I’ve been looking for a guide

Cause nobody has too me
I’ve put my heart on the side

And buried in it
Lays the memory

Installation & performance

An old piano is placed in the lounge space of McKinsey, a consultance company located on the 36th floor of a skyscraper in Frankfurt Am Main, overlooking the city.  

What if an object of pleasure would be placed in the workers share office space, to distract them from work? What if one would play the piano during their break, look at the sunset and think “What am I doing with my life?”  


Sourced from Metropol Kino, Dusseldorf's oldest Arthouse cinema as part of a previous exhibition (SOMMER at Kunst Im Tunnel) in its previous life, the piano has played a role in the piece VDB Transit Company — a semi fictional and poetic moving company. 

Thanks to Jan Feltgen, who played the piece on sight & Victor Van Wassenhove to assist on the install.

with Markéta de Borggraef and Victor Van Wassenhove

Installation & performance
29 June – 6 October 2019

Over the period of 6 months, VDB Transit Co. emerged as a semi-fictional, effecitve moving company and got bankrupt. This immersive installation hosted 4 performances in the museum basement.

Inspired by the shape of the exhibition building reminiscing them of a basement and an attic at the same time, YLÏAM questions their relationship with accumulated and discarded objects, while connecting the subject to wider subjects such a geographical displacement and architecture.
With Markéta de Borggraef and Victor Van Wassenhove, they launch a semi functional company specialised in pleasure objects, moving and the domestic space.

As objects are inherently connected with activation, linking their specifities with performance forms a tangible path to explore the spatial, acoustic and socio-cultural qualities of the exhibition building and the idea of an artobject, inviting the spectator to question their relationship with physical property, memories and their view on art by wether taking part of the performances, or by simply visiting the scenography.  

Resourcing the materials happened mostly with Ebay Kleineinzage, a famous second-hand website in Germany, and forums where citizens can exchange or sell objects they no longer need.

By using this platforms, the artists of VDB Transit Company were able to meet various poeple of the area, visit different houses and witness the original source of the objects later used in their performance, to form a connection with the city they were invited in.

The objects, no longer needed by their owners, become part of the scenography, making their value shift,  while remaining intact in their use.

Here, the found object is not put in an exhibition as an isolated artifact, but continues to hold its intent meaning and usage. Yet, the stagnation of the scene, looking alive but only activated once a month, makes it still linger between fiction and reality, until the performances activate the whole scene.

At the same time, the whole build up of the office is a performance in itself: with bright coloured and coded outfits referring to a working class, while being working for an institution, the resourcing of materials, the install and their stay in Düsseldorf becomes in itself a dubious fiction that the artists themselves cannot seperate from reality anymore.

During this exhibition, 4 performances took place:


Click her for the catalogue published to accompany the exhibition containing a preface by Milena Karabaic, LVR, as well as a text by Julia Reich and numerous images.

With works by: Maïly Beyrens, Verena Buttmann, Signe Raunkjær Holm, Ji hyung Song

Edited by KIT – Kunst im Tunnel und Kunsthalle Düsseldorf gGmbH
88 pages, numerous colour illustrations
German, English article