Now: a Dialogue on Female Chinese Contemporary Artists at HOME MCR

To mark the arrival of the Year of the Dog, HOME, Manchester’s centre for international independent film, theatre and art, will be bringing you a selection of the best recent Chinese language films to Manchester to get the celebrations going with a bang.

NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists is a two-part moving image programme curated by Bren O’Callaghan, that addresses notions of modernity, tradition and technique. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. It is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China.

Striking, beguiling, sometimes disturbing yet rewarding, the selection provides evidence that cultural difference is often much less than we might presume. The two programmes address notions of modernity, tradition and technique; incorporating performance, pen and ink animation, stop-motion, moving portrait and photographic techniques, blind audio, new media art, heart-thumping anime, documentary and archive footage.

The first ‘volume’ will be presented at HOME on 15th February and 19th March, and the second on 26th March.


Peng Yun – Miss Melissa and Mr Fish at 2:31p.m., 2013

An artful tableaux of exotic flowers and a muscular dead fish combines feminine symbolism with masculine presence. A woman’s hand enters the frame, massaging; a startlingly sexual encounter that soon becomes aggressive, active, urgent – and destructive.

Miao Ying
Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality, 2016

Chinese live streaming platforms allows live commentary from observers which rewards those transmitting with paid donations. As income streams become more lucrative, hosts compete for attention; here ranging from a cosplayer in student uniform singing baby-girl karaoke to roasting and eating rats.

Ma Qiusha – Rainbow, 2013

A chromatic contrast between red and white echos the flush of puberty at the intersection of innocence and experience in Ma Qiusha’s Rainbow; young girls dressed in white play ring-a-ring o’ roses within a ruby dew spattered tableaux.

Hu Xiaoyuan – Bang, 2015

Bang features two people and balloons enclosed inside a flesh-coloured translucent slip as they roll from the left side of view to the right. The struggling, shoving and turning are accompanied by the rub of the balloons in this anxious caterpillar-crawl.

Chi Jang Yin – Hannah and The Crystal Ball, 2010

The Kodak Company commissioned the artist to shoot a single roll of film, with all editing in-camera. The commonplace becomes magical, shadows adopt architectural form, sunlight refracts through glassware and spilt fluid.

Yao Qingmei – Solar spectrum: Ballet of the Night I, 2016

A ballet dancer uses her phone-cam to both observe and record an official portrait of Louis XIV displayed in the Louvre Museum, combining gestures used by tourists to take photographs.

Wang NewOne

The artist uses 3D modelling to create distinctive and unsettling digital close-ups of humanoid faces with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Through this practice, Wang NewOne re-thinks the ontological existence of humanity within both the real and online worlds.


Hao Jingban – Off Takes, 2016

Tracing the present proliferation of ballroom dancing in Beijing to the two waves of ballroom dancing that first sprang up the early 1950s and post-Cultural Revolution late 1970s, entwining personal life stories with political shifts.

Wang Xin – Pumpkin Field, 2011

Wang Xin is a certificated hypnotist and explores the creative ways to use hypnosis in art, exploring the human subconscious. Young children stroll through the waning half-light of a pumpkin field strewn with swollen and burst gourds.

Geng Xue – Mr Sea, 2013-14

Exquisite porcelain puppets and scenery revitalise a 17th-century Chinese ghost story in which a scholar seeking peace on a remote island meets a beautiful woman who turns out to be a sea monster.

Liang Yue – Video No.20150415, 2015

The shots are accidentally captured with a long take: a line left in the sky by a plane and the slow drift of the sun. Liang Yue explores and captures the normalcy of daily routines, seeing beauty in the unimportant.

Liu Yi – Origin of Species, 2013

Origin of Species depicts the evolution and explosion of life over a period of two billion years, combining cell animation techniques with traditional Chinese pen-and-ink and watercolour; creating 12 hand painted images for every second of animation.


Click here for further information.

HOME – 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester. M15 4FN