RongRong: Beijing East Village



ISBN: 9783958295926 Category:



This book presents an expansive selection of striking photographs, together with first-person accounts from his private diary, which RongRong made between 1993 and 1998 within the artistic community known as Beijing East Village-now poignantly described as “a meteor in the history of contemporary Chinese art.” RongRong’s acutely composed and richly expressive images captured scenes of daily life among fellow young, aspiring artists, and created now definitive documents of iconic performance works by Zhang Huan and Ma Liuming, among others. Often highly challenging works, their performances and photographs would send an instant shockwave throughout the Chinese avant-garde, and later the global art scene. Revisiting these texts and images anew on the occasion of this publication, RongRong has composed an absorbing personal narrative of an artist coming into his own. RongRong’s Diary. Beijing East Village also serves as an invaluable, first-hand record of a burgeoning artistic community, its precarious political context, and the real lives behind a pivotal moment in Chinese contemporary art.

But here in the East Village, we do almost everything. Curse plays rock music and writes poetry. Kongbu curates and writes criticism. Zhang Huan, Ma Liuming and Zhu Ming do performances… But I am the only photographer. Forming a complete collective, we must be able to make meaningful works… Everyone left their hometown and seeks dreams here from afar. We are all children who left home, which makes us constantly hungry… – RongRong

Additional information

Weight 1320 g
Dimensions 21.9 x 26.8 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 14 September 2019
Number of pages 248
Format Hardback
Dimensions 21.9 x 26.8 cm
Weight 1320 g


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RongRong was born in Fujian Province, China, in 1968. He was a key member of the Beijing East Village group, experimenting with photography and documenting the performances of his fellow artists in the early 1990s, which have attained an almost mythic status in the history of contemporary Chinese experimental art. In 2006 RongRong and his wife inri founded Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, emphasizing international collaborations and the creation of a sustainable infrastructure for young Chinese artists. His work has been exhibited worldwide over three decades, and is held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Myriam and Guy Ullens Foundation, Beijing; the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; and several distinguished private foundations.