Cheng Ran
Biography
Work Gallery
BMCA Exhibition
Essays
Publications

Cheng Ran

1981 born in Inner Mongolia, China
lives and works in Hangzhou, China

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2018

Diary of a Madman - Trilogy, CCA, Tel Aviv, Israel

2017

Diary of a Madman, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
Neoclassical, Gallery Weekend Beijing, Galerie Urs Meile 798, Beijing, China (performance) 
Cheng Ran - In Course of the Miraculous, MAC, Belfast, Northern Ireland
Cheng Ran: Selected Films, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland


2016
Diary of a Madman, New Museum, New York, USA 
In Course of the Miraculous, K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong, China
Orange Blue, Qiao Space, Shanghai, China


2015
Orange Blue – In the Process of a Film, YUAN Space, Beijing, China
A Film in Progress, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
In Course of the Miraculous, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
Orange Blue, Art Nest, Hangzhou, China


2014
Always I Trust, Armada, Milano, Italy
Simply Wild, Discoveries, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
A Telephone Booth Romance, LEO XU PROJECTS, Shanghai, China


2013 
Existence Without Air, Food, or Water, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
The Last Generation, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
Cheng Ran, Video Bureau, Guangzhou, China


2012
Wall/Ladder/Machine and 9BC Performance, New York, USA
Silent Cinema, ARARIO Gallery, Seoul, Korea
Cheng Ran: What Why How, LEO XU PROJECTS, Shanghai, China


2011 
Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
Everything Has Its Time, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing, China
Circadian Rhythm, Qingying Gallery, Hangzhou, China


2009 
Immersion and Distance, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China

 

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017
Extended Ground, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, Switzerland
Sparkle! When will I See You Again, Oil Street Art Space, Hong Kong, China
Constellation - Contemporary Art in Today’s China, The National Gallery of Georgia, Tbilissi, Georgia; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, USA (screening)
The 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Oberhausen, Germany (screening)
In Course of the Miraculous, Kino der Kunst, Munich, Germany (screening)
PARADOXA, Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea - Casa Cavazzini, Udine, Italy (screening)
China Remixed Initiative, The Media School of the University of Indiana, Indiana, USA (screening)
LEAP SCREEN | What You See is Not What You See, Photofairs San Francisco, San Francisco, USA (screening)


2016
The World Precedes the Eye, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, Singapore (screening) 
Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition 2016 – Negative Horizon, Hong-Gah Museum, Taiwan (screening) 
The Image Expression in the Art Practice of New Generation, Xi’an Art Museum, Xi’an, China (screening) 
Turning Point: Contemporary Art in China Since 2000, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China 
Beyond the story told, Château La Coste, Pourrières, France (screening) 
A Beautiful Disorder, The Cass Sculpture Foundation, West Sussex, UK 
Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China 
Illusion, Night Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
MIC/MAC, A2Z Art Gallery, Paris, France
Unlimited, Art Basel, Messe Basel, Messeplatz, Basel, Switzerland
Utopia and Beyond, Castello di Rivara - Centro d’arte contemporane, Turin, Italy
MARTIN GOYA & Bach, chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, China (performance) 
Film, Art Basel Hong Kong, agnès b. cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, China (screening) 
Ocean Wave, Qiao Space, Shanghai, China (performance)
The Pack - Impressions from Our Family, EYE, Amsterdam, Netherlands (screeening) 
Adrift, OCAT Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China


2015
Love Shanghai, Shanghai Loves Me, ART021, Shanghai, China (performance)
Anti-Persistence, chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, China (performance)
Editing the Spectacle: the Individual and Working Methods Post-Mediatization, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Utopia and Thereafter, Paratissima, Turin, Italy
Cinéphémère, FIAC, Paris, France
SALTWATER: a Theory of Thought Forms, 14th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
Essential Matters – Moving Images from ChinaBorusan Contemporary Perili Kosk, Istanbul, Turkey
When I Give, I Give MyselfVan Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Film, Art Basel Hong Kong, agnès b. cinema, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong, China
The XXX, chi K11 art museum, Shanghai, China; Duddell’s, Hong Kong, China (performance)
CINEMATHEQUEchi K11 art museum, Shanghai, China
Reads Like A BookCricoteka, Krakow, Poland
Utopian Days - Fairy Tales, 
Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan
SCREEN ON | NO SCREEN, 
STRP BIENNIAL, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Fairy Tales, 
Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei, Taiwan
The Tell-Tale Heart
, chi art space, Hong Kong
Inside China: L’Intérieur du Géant, K11 Art Foundation Pop-up Space, Hong Kong; chi K11 artmuseum, Shanghai, China


2014
Inside China: L’Intérieur du Géant
, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
Forest of Illusions
, Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
The Sociology of Oneself, Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
Standing in the Shadow, OTA FINE ARTS, Singapore
We have never participated, 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen, China
NOW YOU SEE, New Chinese Video Art from the Collection of Dr. Michael I. Jacobs, Whitebox Art Center, New York, USA
Decorum: carpets and tapestries by artists, Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
Video Art Auction Pixeling, Garage Turenne, Paris, France
Die 8 Der Wege/ The 8 of Paths, Uferhalle, Berlin, Germany
The Exchange Program, AVIFF Art Film Festival Cannes, France
Degeneration, Australia China Art Foundation (ACAF), Sydney, Australia
The Book Lovers 4.0, Pop-up Bookstore, De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Urban Tour, N-box, Times Museum Screening Season, Guangdong, China


2013 
Degeneration, OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shanghai, China
RijksakademieOPEN 2013, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam,Netherlands
West Bund 2013 A Biennial of Architecture and Contemporary Art, Shanghai, China
Building Bridges – Zeitgenössische Kunst aus China, Wolfsberg, Ermatingen, Switzerland
Standing in the Shadow, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo, Japan
Video Screening, The Lizard Lounge, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam,Netherlands
The 26th European Media Art Festival, Osnabrueck, Germany
KINO DER KUNST, University of Television and Film Munich, Munich, Germany
SHANGHAI SURPRISE - A GROUP SHOW ON CONTEMPORARY ART IN SHANGHAI, chi K11 art space, Shanghai, China
ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China


2012 
Perspectives 180: Unfinished Country - New Video From China, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston(CAMH), Houston, USA
Video Art Festival, Video Guerrilha, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Future - Get It Louder, Beijing, China
The 4th OFF&FREE International Film & Art Festival, Seoul, Korea
Dressing the Screen, The Rise of Fasion Film, UCCA, Beijing, China
First issue, SH Contemporary, Shanghai, China
ART DIALOGUE CITY - 2ND EDITION N-MINUTES VIDEO ART FESTIVAL,Shanghai, China
China Drifting, video installation section, Zurich, Switzerland
FM98.5 MHz, Floor #2 Press, Beijing, China
The 1st CAFAM FUTURE, CAFA Art Museum, Beijing, China
The First Xinjiang Contemporary Art Biennale, Xinjiang International Expo Center, Wulumuqi, China
DAY FOR NIGHT: Between Reality and Illusion: In Collaboration with Art 21: Season 6 BMCC (CUNY), New York, USA
Memento Mori, ARARIO Gallery, Beijing, China
Model Home, Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Boy: A Contemporary Portrait, LEO XU PROJECTS, Shanghai, China
FCAC Video Project, Hannover, Germany
Becoming Peninsula 1: Symptoms – Young Artists Project of ICCA, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
Manoeuvres: Apply to ‘Arts Actuels La Reunion Biennale’, Li-Space, Beijing, China


2011
The Other Wave: Contemporary Chinese Photography, Ben Brown Fine Arts, London, UK
Video Art in China - MADATAC, Reina Sofia Muesum, Madrid
“One World” Exposition, Hongkong, China
Video Art Terminal, Venice, Italy
Reunion Island Biennale of Today’s Art 2011, Reunion Island, France
Moving Image in China: 1988 - 2011, Minsheng Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Daybreak, ARARIO Gallery Beijing, China and Arario Cheonan Spaces, Korea
The Journey-Video Room, SH Contemporary, Shanghai, China
Be With Me, House of Electronic Arts Basel, LISTE, Basel, Switzerland
Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), LEO XU PROJECTS, Shanghai, China
Catch the Moon in the Water: Emerging Chinese Artists, James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA
Hypnosis, Other Gallery, Beijing, China
Present Continuous Past(s), Taikang Space, Beijing, China
Far Away Beauty Lingers, Other Gallery, Shanghai, China
In a Perfect World..., Meulensteen Gallery, New York, USA
Intermission, James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai, China
Yun Lang Project – Hangzhou, Galleria dell’Arco, Shanghai, China
End to End – New Media Art Show, Harvestworks Digital Media Art Center, New York, USA
Optional Exercise, Li-space, Beijing, China
How to Do, Henglu Art Museum, Hangzhou, China


2010      
Out of Focus, Hangzhou, China
The Passage Project #1 – Alex: A Tribute to Alexander McQueen, James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai, China
In the Garden Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shiwudong Garden, Hangzhou, China
Cultivating the Future: The Contemporary Art as a National Education, Young Artists Promotional
Exhibition, 798 Art Center, Beijing, China
Reflection of Minds MOCA Envisage Biennale, MOCA Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Mongolia 360° – 1st Land Art Biennale Mongolia, National Mongolian Modern Art Gallery,
Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Get Moving, Li-Space, Beijing, China
Use the Hand do the Job, Shift Station, Shanghai, China
Gas station 3: Soft Landing, Hard Landing, Vanguard Gallery, Shanghai, China
3rd i project: compilation of Chinese video art, V2 Institute for the Unstable Media,
Rotterdam, Netherlands
The Tell-Tale Heart (Part 2), James Cohan Gallery, New York, USA
Homestay, Osage Gallery, Shanghai, China
Reshaping History, ARARIO Gallery, Beijing, China
Jungle – A Close-Up Focus on Chinese Contemporary Art Trends, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China
The Tell-Tale Heart, James Cohan Gallery, Shanghai, China


2009     
CREAM – International Festival for Arts and Media, Yokohama, Japan
There Is No I in Team, PROGRAM, Berlin, Germany
Seoul International Experimental Film Festival, Seoul, Korea
The 6th China Independent Film Festival, Nanjing, China
YiPai – Century Thinking: A Contemporary Art Exhibition, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Blackboard – Group Exhibition, ShanghART H-Space, Shanghai, China
What Has Been Happening Here? – The Inaugural Exhibition of Chinese Independent Film Archive, Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
New Work from China, Fortune Cookie Projects Singapore, HT Contemporary Space, Singapore


2008     
Prelude, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China (performance)
The Third Guangzhou Triennial, Guangzhou Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
The 3rd China Media Art Festival, Hangzhou, China
There Is No I in Team, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Infantization, MOCA Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwain


2007     
Focus Automatically – 15 video art works, Suzhou, China
Refresh: Emerging Chinese Artists, ARARIO, Beijing, China
Amateur World, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China
The First Today’s Documents 2007, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China
Refresh: Emerging Chinese Artists, Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai, China
Marking Time, Waiting for the Answer, DoArt Beijing, Beijing, China
IDAP, QUT Museum, Australia
Infantization, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
The First Chinese Contemporary Art in Anhui Province, Hefei, China
Shouting Truth – A Contemporary Art Exhibition, Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing, China
On view: Selections From China, Paul Morris Gallery, New York, USA


2006    
Contemporary Video in Asia, Video Garden Miami Beach, Miami, USA
GIFT-2, Loft49, Hangzhou, China
Elektrische Schatten China Video Festival, Salzburg Museum of Modern Art, Austria
Image Flux: China New Work in Video Art, Guangzhou, China
Chinese Independent Films Screenings 05-06, RCM Art Museum, Nanjing, China


2005     
GIFTS: Contemporary Art Exhibition, Modern Art Museum of Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, China
In the Deep of Reality: A Case of Chinese Contemporary Art, Basement of Tianyu Apartment, Hangzhou, China


2004     
Wink: Video Festival, DDM Warehouse, Shanghai, China
The Second Chinese New Media Art Festival, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
Circle Place: Video Installation Exhibition, Bai Ta Ling Space, Hangzhou, China
Chinese Independent Films Screenings, Nan Jing Arts Institute, Nanjing, China


2003     
BAI TA LING - Contemporary Art Exhibition, Bai Ta Ling Space, Hangzhou, China

Cheng Ran – Diary of a Madman
Text of Cheng Ran's solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York, 2016/10/19-2017/01/15.
For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Cheng Ran debuts a new multi-video installation in the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery.


Cheng Ran (b. 1981, Inner Mongolia, China) is one of the most promising Chinese artists of his generation. Since 2005, Cheng has been producing film and video works that draw widely from both Western and Chinese literature, poetry, cinema, and visual culture, fabricating new narratives that combine myths and historical events. “Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman” marks the culmination of his three-month residency at the New Museum, initiated in partnership with K11 Art Foundation.

The exhibition borrows its title from what is widely considered China’s first modern short story, written by Lu Xun in 1918. Just as Lu Xun’s story comprises first-person narratives of a character at the margins of society who gradually turns mad, Cheng’s fifteen new videos take the form of diaristic vignettes that reveal a larger assessment of a foreign place through the eyes of an outsider. As a first-time visitor to the United States, Cheng approaches New York already familiar with iconic and cinematic images of the city, simultaneously intending to find and capture what is typically excluded from such views.

Cheng’s earliest works, shot entirely in the confines of his apartment, attempted to make compelling the ordinary and unspectacular aspects of his immediate environment. Inspired by filmmakers such as Werner Herzog, Jim Jarmusch, and Béla Tarr, Cheng’s subsequent films and videos often registered his curiosity as he observed the overlooked and incongruous aspects of everyday life and chronicled his interactions with remote and historic sites. His new multi-video work, Diary of a Madman (2016), includes imagery from his early morning explorations of New York City streets, a trip to the Staten Island Bay, and a visit to an abandoned psychiatric hospital on Long Island, exposing his sense of estrangement amid his encounters with uncelebrated and obscure facets of the city.

Embracing a long lineage of experimental cinema, Cheng’s new work follows the making of his nine-hour epic In Course of the Miraculous (2015), which imagines the stories behind three real-life mysterious disappearances. These include British mountaineer George Mallory, who went missing while ascending Mount Everest in 1924; artist Bas Jan Ader, who vanished during his 1975 journey across the Atlantic as part of a performance titled In Search of the Miraculous; and the Chinese fishing trawler Lu Rong Yu no. 2682, which in 2011 returned to land after eight months with only one-third of its original crew still alive. With a narrative inspired by fables and mythic literature, Cheng reinterprets the title of Ader’s final work, and in doing so, reflects on his paradoxical pursuit of the inexplicable or unimaginable parts of history. In Course of the Miraculous will be screened on select days in the New Museum Theater.

The exhibition is curated by Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator, and Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director.

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