Cheng Ran's DIARY OF A MADMAN Exhibition to Open This Month at New Museum

By: Oct. 12, 2016
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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 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 Ran'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, and a desire 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 programs and initiatives.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the New Museum will screen a special seven-hour cut of Cheng Ran'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.

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 magazine Randian.

Founded by Adrian Cheng in 2010, the K11 Art Foundation (KAF) is a registered not-for-profit organization that supports the development of Chinese contemporary art from Greater China by providing a creative platform that nurtures artistic talents and brings them to the international stage. The Foundation also serves as an incubator for young Chinese curators. KAF has embarked on many international collaborations showcasing Chinese talents and the voice of the younger generation, with institutions including Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí in Girona, Spain; Serpentine Galleries and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo, and Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Armory Show in New York. With eleven studios for its artist-in-residence programs in the K11 Art Village in Wuhan, China, KAF serves as a unique incubating springboard for young and emerging contemporary Chinese artists to create new and meaningful works. Beyond traditional art spaces, K11 Art Village serves as an innovative exchange platform between local and International Artists. Through research, initiatives, and partnerships, KAF offers the Chinese public a diverse range of programs and exhibitions fostering the appreciation of arts and culture. For more information, visit

The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas. For more information, visit