Chinese artist Cheng Ran (b.1981) was raised in Inner Mongolia and today produces beautiful video works, inspired by music, youth culture and European art house cinema. Cheng’s works break away from the realist depiction of social change and contemporary life in China typical for an older generation of Chinese artists. His films delve into a world where theatre, the cinematic, the poetic and the mysterious intertwine, and the artist integrates performance with sometimes opposing stylistic and aesthetic elements like electronica and rock’n’roll music and Chinese traditional ink painting. The results illustrate the strong impact that twentieth century arthouse cinema has had on the artist.
Cheng Ran has had numerous solo exhibitions, including: Cheng Ran: Discoveries, Art Basel Hong Kong with Leo Xu Projects, Hong Kong, 2014; Cheng Ran, Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, 2014; Existence Without Air, Food or Water, Galerie Urs Meile, Lucerne, 2013; The Last Generation, Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing and Lucerne, 2013; Cheng Ran, Video Bureau, Guangzhou, 2013; Wall/Ladder/Machine in conjunction with 9BC Performance, The Last Generation, New York, 2012; Silent Cinema, Arario Gallery, Seoul, 2012; Immersion and Distance, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2009. Cheng was nominated for the 2013 Absolut Art Award and received the Best Video Artist award at the Dead Rabbit Awards, held by online art magazine Randian. Cheng also participated in the Residency Artist Studio Project in Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, 2011.
Cheng Ran lives and works in Hangzhou, China, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.