Beginning in Shanghai, where his photography works expressed the universal theme of urban angst, Miao then immigrated to New York, expanding his view of urban streets towards a more conceptual public stage. Among his performative practices across different media, Miao has blended his naked body into the bleak streets of a midnight New York City, traveled inside a suitcase hauled by his mother through urban crowds, made live-feed erotic performances on an interactive pornographic broadcasting website, and dressed as a Chinese businessman for an entire year when working towards his MFA at School of the Art Institute of Chicago. More lately, he converted his New York studio into a jail and charged $1 per night as accommodation on Airbnb and Facebook. Miao's works often express the ambivalent and sometimes antagonistic tension that always exists between the individual and governing or cultural authorities, questioning assumptions about power in relation to individual identity, race, gender, sexuality and social class. He posits the artist's nature as one who transgresses boundaries, challenges consensus, and stays distance from authorities.