New Museum and K11 Art Foundation co-present “Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman,” the Artist’s First US Solo Exhibition

Cheng Ran, In Course of the Miraculous, 2015 (still).  Wide-screen HD film, 5.1 surround sound, color; 468 min.
Cheng Ran, In Course of the Miraculous, 2015 (still). Wide-screen HD film, 5.1 surround sound, color; 468 min.
(Courtesy the artist, K11 Art Foundation, Erlenmeyer Foundation, and Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne)

The New Museum will present the first US solo exhibition by emerging Chinese artist Cheng Ran (b. 1981, Inner Mongolia, China). The exhibition marks the culmination of his three-month residency at the Museum, part of a new partnership with the K11 Art Foundation (KAF). One of the most promising Chinese artists of his generation, Cheng Ran works largely in film and video, and draws widely from both Western and Chinese literature, poetry, cinema, and visual culture, fabricating new narratives that combine myths and historical events.  The artist will debut a new multi-video installation. “Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman” is on view in the Lobby Gallery from October 19, 2016–January 15, 2017.
“Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman” 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 Ran approaches New York with an awareness of iconic and cinematic images of the city, simultaneously intending to find and capture what is typically excluded from such views.
The New Museum residency was initiated in partnership with K11 Art Foundation (KAF) to support the production of new works by an emerging Chinese artist. One of the most dynamic art institutions at work in Greater China today, KAF has, since 2010, supported a series of artist residencies in China and initiated major new productions and exhibitions by emerging Chinese artists internationally. By partnering with relevant and cutting edge young artists, KAF’s mission is to make art more accessible to the general public through various public programmes and initiatives.
Adrian Cheng, Founder and Honorary Chairman of K11 Art Foundation, said:
“We are delighted to have collaborated with the New Museum on Cheng Ran’s residency and this extraordinary resultant exhibition. The K11 Art Foundation (KAF) and the New Museum are united by our shared vision of championing outstanding and innovative contemporary artists. An important part of KAF’s mission is to incubate exceptional young artists from Greater China and bring them to the global stage; Cheng Ran is an artist with whom we have had the pleasure of working with on various projects as his career has developed and we are thrilled to be working with the New Museum on his first US solo exhibition.” 

In conjunction with the exhibition, the New Museum will screen a special seven-hour cut of Cheng’s nine-hour film In Course of the Miraculous, 2015, edited by the artist for this occasion. The film was originally produced by K11 Art Foundation and its founder Adrian Cheng, and premiered at the 2015 Istanbul Biennial. Screenings take place every Wednesday during regular Museum hours. Please visit for more information.

About Cheng Ran
Cheng Ran (b. 1981, Inner Mongolia, China) lives and works in Hangzhou, China. His work has been featured in numerous biennials and group exhibitions, including “SALTWATER: a Theory of Thought Forms,” the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); “When I Give, I Give Myself,” the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2015); “Inside China,” Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014); the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, China (2014); “ON|OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice,” Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2013); the 26th European Media Art Festival, Osnabrück, Germany (2013); and “Video Art in China – MADATAC,” Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2011). Cheng Ran's recent solo exhibitions were presented at: Unlimited, Basel, Switzerland (2016); the K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong (2016); Qiao Space, Shanghai (2016); YUAN Space, Beijing (2015); Discoveries, Art Basel Hong Kong (2014); and Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai (2014). Cheng Ran was nominated for the first edition of the OCAT & Pierre Huber Art Prize in 2014 and the Absolut Art Award in 2013, and was named 2011’s “Best Video Artist” by the art magazineRandian.


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