Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition

Curators: Caitlín Doherty, Dong Bingfeng and Wang Chunchen


I. Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965–2015

Ulay/ Marina Abramović, Charles Atlas, Mark Brownlow, Ingrid Kvale and Anuschka Schofield, Valie Export, Harun Farocki, Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville, Michelle Handelman, Joan Jonas, Sam Jury, Chris Marker, Nástio Mosquito, Luis Felipe Ortega, Nam June Paik, Julian Rosefeldt, Martha Rosler, Michael Snow, Steina and Woody, Vasulka, Weng Yunpeng, Bill Viola, Andy Warhol


II. Screen Test: Chinese Video Art Since 1980s

Cao Fei, Cao Kai, Chen Chieh-jen, Cheng Ran, Feng Mengbo

Ming Wong, Jia Zhangke, Li Yongbin, Lin Ke, Lu Yang

Mao Chenyu (filmfarm), Miao Ying, Qiu Zhijie, Song Dong,Wang Bing

Wang Gongxin, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jun-Jieh, Xu Tan, Hsu Che-Yu,

Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yuan Goang-Ming, Zhou Xiaohu, Zhang Peili


Special Unite: Hong Kong Video Art

Ellen Pau, Man Ching Ying Phoebe, Angela Su, May Fung, Jo Law

Choi Sai Ho, Lai Chiu-han Linda, Chan Chui Hing Nose, Chow Chun Fa,

Mak Hoi Shan Anson, Silas Fong, MAP Office, Law Yuk Mui,

Cheng Chi Lai Howard, João Vasco Paiva, Leung Chi Wo, Eric Siu,

Art Jones, Wong Ping, Morgan Won

Duration: 2016.9.22 - 2017.3.19

Venue: Hall 1&2, E7/E9 Galleries, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


Organizers: Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), CAFA Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum

Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), CAFA Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum join up to organize “Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition”. It was curated by Caitlín Doherty, Dong Bingfeng and Wang Chunchen, which would be opened in Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), September, 22nd 2016, when artists, like Dong Bingfeng, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jiahao and Lu Mingjun and so on would participate in academic events.In recent years, large-scale exhibitions on the academic study, historical overview, and specialized exhibition of video art have been held in both western and non-Western countries. ZKM’s 2006 exhibition entitled “Video Art in Germany From 1963 to the Present” is just one important example. The recent interest in the medium is intimately related to the development of contemporary art overall. The structure of contemporary art today is moving toward homogenization and focusing on mutually influential and related global events. However, in the course of rapid globalization, the art of non-Western countries is urgently searching for new ways of reconstructing and writing its own history.

In the axis of the development course of the video art, the project presents more than 60 domestic and foreign artists with two collateral exhibitions echoing with each other.

I.    “Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965-2015” reviews and researches the greatly significant artworks in the last 50 years of western video art development. It traces the impact various artists have had on the art form—from its birth in the 1960s with artists Andy Warhol and Nam June Paik, to the performative work of influential women artists such as Joan Jonas, to the lesser-known works of international emerging artists continuing to push the medium forward today.


II.    “Screen Test: Chinese Video Art since the 1980s” focuses on organizing and reviewing the last thirty years of video art through representative Chinese voices in active in moving image art. “Screen Test: Chinese Video Art Since the 1980s” is divided into three sections. The first section, entitled “The Infancy of Video Art,” introduces the occurrence of video art in greater China and how it became an independent artistic medium and cultural theme. Participating artists include Zhang Peili, Wang Gongxin, Song Dong, Xu Tan, Xu Zhen, Li Yongbin, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jun-Jieh, Yuan Goang-Ming. In the second section, entitled “Media Experiment,” video art developed in 1990s with spread of personal computers and new media technologies and the rise of the independent film movement and experimental films. Video art became an expanding aesthetic experiment and a radical transformation. Artists include Feng Mengbo, Qiu Zhijie, Cao Kai, Lin Ke, Cao Fei, Lu Yang, and Miao Ying. The third section, entitled “Transition to Film,” encompasses films shot by artists or spatial film installations produced by film directors; both are becoming increasingly important themes in moving image art today. Film has become more than a medium of contemporary art; it is an important tool and methodology for witnessing, recording, participating, and acting in society.

The Exhibition also includes the special unit of Hong Kong video art “Simultaneity - Reframing Hong Kong I”. It is a program that proposes (historical) re-readings of artists' moving image from Hong Kong. By selecting video works of art, animations and documentary films produced by Hong Kong artists from 1989 to 2014, the program reinterprets the experience of here and now by looking into the potentially excluded and forgotten images of Hong Kong.

The project also includes a series of public programs such as a compendium of artistic and social events, extension reading materials for public enrichment, and lectures and discussions featuring the artists and invited scholars, such as Cao Fei, Caitlín Doherty, Chen Tong, Feng Mengbo, Issac Leung, Li Zhenhua, Wang Chunchen and Wang Gongxin and so on.( (In alphabetical order by pinyin of surname)

It lasts until March, 19th 2017.

I. Moving Time: Video Art at 50, 1965–2015

Curator: Caitlín Doherty

Venue:Hall 1, RMCA

II. Screen Test: Chinese Video Art Since 1980s

Curator: Dong Bingfeng, Wang Chunchen 

Venue:Hall 2, E7/E9 galleries, RMCA


The first section  The Infancy of Video Art 

The second section  Media Experiment 

The third section  Transition to Film 

Special Unite: Hong Kong Video Art

Venue:Hall 3 

Ellen Pau | Song of Godness

06' 38"    1992

Man Ching Ying Phoebe | Rati

08' 05"   2011

Angela Su | The Hartford Girl and Other Stories

11' 20"   2012

May Fung | She Said Why Me

07' 31"   1989

Jo Law | Read Only Memory

05' 10"   1999

Opening Ceremony


Before the lecture, the guests and some officers of Redtory had a lunchtime conversation.

Dong Bingfeng, the host of the opening lecture and the curator of Screen Test, Wang Huangsheng, the director of CAFA Art Museum, Wang Jianwei, the artist, Pi Daojian, the art theorist and Huang Lishi, the art director of Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA) attended the opening ceremony and interacted with the audiences.

In the opening ceremony, guests shared about their thoughts towards video art and had a best wishes to the future of it.

There are many guests attend the opening ceremony and Marjo Crompvoets, Consul General of Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Guangzhou, Grigorios Tassiopoulos, Consul General of Consulate General of Greece in Guangzhou, Beat Schmid, Vice - Consul of Consul General of Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, Mrs. Liu Linna, Cultural Services Assistants of Switzerland in Guangzhou, Bernard . Nguyen, Consul of Consulate General of Canada in Guangzhou, Manoj Puthen Veetil, Consul of Consulate General of India in Guangzhou, Lydia Reichenberger, Officer of Consulate General of Germany in Guangzhou, Mrs. Chen Yichun, Cultural and public affairs director of Consulate General of Germany in Guangzhou, Eynan Cohen, Chief Cultural Office of Consulate General of Israel in Guangzhou, Mrs. Huang Huo, Culture and Tourism Affairs of Consulate General of Israel in Guangzhou and so on. 

【Academic】 Opening Lecture

Speaker: Dong Bingfeng, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jiahao, Lu Mingjun


Date: 2016.9.22

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


About the lecture: Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), CAFA Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum join up to organize “Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition”. It was curated by Caitlín Doherty, Dong Bingfeng and Wang Chunchen, which would be opened in Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), September, 22nd 2016, when artists, like Dong Bingfeng, Wang Jianwei, Wang Jiahao and Lu Mingjun and so on would participate in academic events.

【Academic】 Wang Gongxin: There is Nothing to See —— From “ Sky of Brookyln ”

Speaker: Wang Gongxin


Date: 2016.10.23

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


About the lecture: In this lecture, the artist Wang Gongxin introduced the thought process of finding the main line from the original, and discussed with the audience the possibility of using the language of the image to penetrate into the real life. Sharing the reality and perception of artists' creation, nihility and existence, the problem of the fracture between viewing and blocking.


About the speaker:Wang Gongxin, 1960 born in Beijing China, as the pioneer and one of the representatives for Video Art in China. Wang was admitted to the Capital Normal University academy of Fine Arts in 1978, and took the teaching post after graduation in 1982. In 1987, he went to State University of New York as a visiting scholar for master degree studying. In 2013, Wang nominated as Olivier Award for XL video award for best set design. In 2014, Honorary Doctoral degree in SUNY.  


Wang exhibited his work in his studio as the form of 'Open studio' in 1994 when he was back to China, he put forward the idea of the 'apartment art' in the middle of the 1990s in China. In 1995, he open studio again for his first video installation work: 'The sky of Brooklyn' in his courtyard house in Beijing. In 1996 in Hangzhou, Wang participated the first 'China Video Art' exhibition which was considered to be a historical significance. Wang founded 'Loft New Media Art Space' in 1999, and as its art director. 'Loft New Media Art Space' was the earliest nonprofit art space in China, and also the far-reaching significance for Avant-garde art, Art exchange and development for Chinese Video art. From 1996 to Now, lived and worked in New York.


Wang's works were exhibited in San Paulo Biennale, Taipei Biennial, Shanghai Biennial . National Art Museum of China, UCCA,Beijing. MOMA PS1, New York. Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin. Tate Liverpool in UK . National Gallery of Victoria in Australia . SFMOMA,USA .Guggenheim Museum,NY and White Cube Gallery, HK.

Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work


WANG GONGXIN COMPLETED The Sky of Brooklyn in 1995, perhaps invigorated by his return to Beijing from New York that year. He hired laborers to dig a three-meter pit inside his small house in the Dongsi neighborhood of Beijing. At the bottom of the pit he placed a video monitor showing a recording of the Brooklyn sky filmed from the roof of his old New York apartment. In China of the 1990s, when video was not yet widespread as an art form, the technical language of this artwork was very simple. Yet, since Wang used his own home to make the work site-specific, it demonstrates a strict conceptual logic that ingeniously combines the elements of the geographical relationship between New York and Beijing, a transplanted site, and a switch in the artist’s location and identity. 

Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work


Beijing did not yet have commercial galleries and art museums, so digging a hole at home was more a necessity than a choice. But it was this necessity that led Wang Gongxin to introduce site as a concept: what is the difference between a well dug at one’s own home and one dug in an exhibition space? Of course, in the case of this particular artwork, the two are not interchangeable. If I remember correctly, The Sky of Brooklyn was the first work to make the conceptual shift from an unspecified space to a particular site, and to begin paying attention to the identity and memory the place itself holds. (Not long after this, the Chinese word xianchang [locale or liveness], which is similar to changyu [site], began to appear regularly in criticism.) The shift in thinking from space to site represents the product of a typical conceptual art education, putting it at odds with the spontaneous language of art in China, which at that time most valued expressiveness and intuition.


Wang Gongxin | The Sky of Brooklyn — digging a hole in Beijing | 1995

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work

Perhaps because it was based so fully on the idea of site, The Sky of Brooklyn can never be reproduced, and, if we rely on visual documentation, we forget the voice that comes from the bottom of the well:

“What do you think you’re looking at? There’s nothing to see.” “There are a few clouds in the sky…” “There’s nothing to see.”

This a recording of the artist’s own voice; it sounds like he’s talking to himself. In the United States, when children play at digging holes, parents often joke that “If you keep digging you’ll get to China,” or, if a child is being naughty, they might tell him or her to “Go and dig a hole to China”—clearly China is a place to burn off energy. In China, on the other hand, we have the fable of the frog in the well, whose understanding of the world is limited by his view of the sky; the saying mixes together feelings of discomfort and boredom. There are many contradictions between the two, but these twin sensations are always present in Wang Gongxin’s work.


Wang Gongxin | Blood Stained Auction | 2015

Wang Gongxin | Blood Stained Auction | 2015
The audible installation consisting of five large screens presents an “overlapping” or “disordered” “viewing” site that renders into a scene of Blood Stained Auction. Resembling the “old flicks” montaged with archival fragments, various scenes, objects and the personas of various periods, are presented on the five screens in order, the figures and scenes of the famous sketch Blood Stained Shirt are slowly revealed. Blood Stained Shirt is an epic “revolutionary realist” painting by the Chinese artist Wang Shikuo from the 1950s, it recreated the scene of “struggling against the landlord” at the farmers’ gathering in the new China. Wang Gongxin mixes and reorganizes the prominent figures and compositional elements with the scene of an art auction of the present. The class struggle, the angered masses and the woman making an accusation in Blood Stained Shirt translate into the anxious audience at an art auction. With the “mix-up” of this non-linear narrative, and the representational aesthetics of the “old flick” rendered with archival footages from old films, the artwork slowly becomes an overlapping scene of familiar yet bewildering “history” and the “present”. The five videos plays synchronously while the details of the segmented scenes and objects are switched in a timely fashion. As the viewer steps into the exhibition space, the artist attempts to create a “presence” of “a state of mind”.


【Academic】 Feng Mengbo: Apple Diary

Speaker: Feng Mengbo


Date: 2017.1.14

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


About the lecture:Artist Feng Mengbo since his first personal computers started to speak, back to his early slide show, movie and drama, the influence of video, computer and network to his meaning, how about a from the electronic game otaku grow into the artist's story, and audience to discuss the possibility of video and media art in the future and its questions to them.

About the speaker:

When I went to Beijing in 1993 to write about Chinese contemporary art, I was told about a group of painters who represented the apogee of romanticism, about some formalists, about some politicos, and about the nerds.  Feng Mengbo was the king of the nerds.  What has been interesting to observe since then is that he is also, in fact, both a romantic and a formalist, and that while most of his art is not explicitly about politics, a political consciousness peeks through it.  Feng Mengbo’s intelligence compasses not only varied styles, but also varied sensibilities.  He can deposit longing in the cold aesthetics of the computer age; he can suffuse a vision of the future with the nostalgia of history. Even when his work is about killing and mayhem, it remains tinged with a residual sweetness. Even when it is about achieving and relinquishing power, it remains self-deprecating.  The work may vaunt; the gloss of the automatic, but Feng Mengbo is always in it, explicitly or implicitly, sometimes a captive in his own video game, holographically transplanted into the hostile terrain of virtual monsters and enemy combatants, and sometimes only the author of such dark, heroic worlds.  "

——Excerpt from  the article Feng Mengbo,1-bit

written by  Andrew Solomon in 2009


Feng Mengbo | Apple Diary | 1994

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work | E9 Gallery


Apple Diary (1994)

Artist Statement on Apple Diary:

In autumn 1993, I bought my first personal computer, an Apple LCII, and the next day I bought a Korg M1. I later used Aldus Persuasion, the only software on the computer, to practice painting and master the techniques of multi-layered electronic slides. I also taught myself to play the M1 and use a multi-track MIDI editor; I used a four-track tape recorder and a MiniDisc to practice recording and mixing music. In 1994, the forty-two panel painting Game Over: Long March was shown at Hanart TZ in a solo exhibition of the same name. The piece was collected by Guy and Myriam Ullens. The digital projection of the piece was carried on two 1.44 MB floppy disks and a MiniDisc, and presented using two Apple computers and a MiniDisc player. In the exhibition preface and interview, I claimed that this was a draft for a video game I wanted to make in the future. The interactive installation Long March: Restart was finally completed fourteen years later in 2008 and exhibited at the UCCA. While I was making Game Over, I used my computer to make Apple Diary, recording bits of daily life, including painting, eating, watching cartoons, playing on the computer, browsing music, being awakened by fire trucks in the middle of the night, and the bizarre dreamland in which Chairman Mao stands at an intersection trying to flag down a taxi.


Feng Mengbo | My Private Album | 1996

RMCA Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition Exhibition Work | E9 Gallery

Feng Mengbo | Q4U | 2002


Feng Mengbo | Long March: Restart | 2008


Feng Mengbo | 195806 | 2015

Collection of RMCA

 “ I have numerous wall charts in my collection. One of them is about atomic bombs, which does particularly appeal to me.

China once saw divided opinion about atomic bombs. Until China’s first ever launch of an atomic bomb in Lop Nur at 3 p.m., Oct. 16th, 1964, Chinese were against atom bombs. However, they did not oppose the Soviet Union’s plan of using atom bombs to contend against the United States.

Based on the Wall Chart For Residents against Atomic Weapons, I have made a film called 195806, named after the publication date of the chart.

I am also intrigued by the localization of those Soviet images, which was basically the history of fine arts in modern China.

The film only features several images of the wall chart, which I used to turn days into nights. Although between every two images are only 4-minute intervals, they may seem unbearably long for the audience. The character, hiding in the shade, falls into a eternal sleep. The pedals of a fallen bicycle in the farmland has stopped spinning. Black smoke comes out of the chimney afar. Rain in front of the camera keeps washing everything in the world in vain, filled with the aroma of the soil.” 


【Academic】Dong Bingfeng: Video Art in China: From a Critical Perspective

Speaker: Dong Bingfeng


Date: March, 4th 2017

Venue: Hall 1, Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA)


The Legend of Leigh Bowery

Artist:Charles Atlas


Michelle Handelman on Charles Atlas:

In 1984 I saw a poster for Charles Atlas's Hail the New Puritan, and it changed my life forever. My whole vision of what film could be was turned upside down. Charlie's work explodes on-screen with the transformative power of pleasure and its discontents. It's serious, hilarious, formal, and totally punk rock.


Man With No Name

Artist:Wang Bing


The main character of Man with no Name lives far from the material and spiritual worlds. He has built his own conditions for sustenance. He often goes to neighboring villages, although he doesn't communicate with other people. He collects some waste but doesn't beg. He prowls about the ruins of deserted villages, like an animal or a ghost. Under double political and economical pressure, most people are deprived of their dignity in a world where material and spiritual lack exists. But a human being stays a human being. He keeps looking for reasons to continue to live.

Realm of Reverberations

Artist:Chen Jieren


In 1930, the Japanese colonial government established the Rakusei (Losheng) Sanatorium for Lepers of GovernorGeneral of Taiwan in what is now Xinzhuang District. The sanatorium was created to forcibly house and quarantine sufferers of Hansen's disease and carry out the government's policies of marriage prohibition or forced sterilization. Residents were forbidden to leave the grounds, which were enclosed within a barbed wire fence. In the period immediately following the Kuomintang government's takeover of Taiwan in 1945, policies at the sanatorium were left unchanged, but later were gradually relaxed until 1961 when the quarantine mandate was lifted. Nonetheless, the long-term stigmatization of Hansen's disease sufferers has made their reintegration into society very difficult.


Influenced by bureaucrats and local politics, the Taipei Department of Rapid Transit Systems (DORTS) decided to move their operations depot in Xinzhuang District to the property occupied by the Losheng Sanatorium in 1994, necessitating the relocation of the remaining residents. In 2002 DORTS undertook the first phase of the project by demolishing the sanatorium buildings, thus triggering intense resistance among residents and various other groups. Consequently the seemingly endless Losheng Preservation Movement (which continues today), the resident-organized Losheng Self-Help Organization, and the student group Youth Alliance for Losheng were all born. Furthermore, countless scholars, lawyers, engineers, documentary filmmakers, and others have joined the movement to preserve the sanatorium and help the residents. In late 2008 the police forcibly cleared the area of residents and their supporters, after which DORTS immediately erected a fence and started bulldozing the site. Today, less than 30 percent of the original Losheng Sanatorium remains.


After more than five years of demolition, the remains of the sanatorium and massive construction for the Metro depot look like two enormous wounds sitting side by side, or perhaps a wound and a symbol of the desire for progress.


Realm of Reverberations comprises four sections, each presenting perspectives of individuals whose lives have been touched by the Losheng Sanatorium: old residents (Tree Planters), a young woman who accompanies sanatorium residents (Keeping Company), a hospice nurse who lived in Mainland China during the Cultural Revolution (The Suspended Room), and a fictional political prisoner who travels through Taiwanese history from the Japanese colonial period to the present (Tracing Forward). They discuss what many believe to be the inevitable outcome for the Losheng Sanatorium. But is that really Losheng's legacy? Other possibilities include serving as a starting point for multiple dialectics and other imaginings.


In Course of The Miraculous

Artist:Cheng Ran


The film In Course Of the Miraculous is composed of three stories set in three different time periods and three different locations. One story takes place during an ascent of the Himalayas, another on a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, while the third happens on an ocean-going fishing trip. The motivation/objective in every story is a quest, and hiding underneath under every motivation is the deepest level of human nature.



In Course Of the Miraculous is told in three overlapping layers. The first layer lies in the human endeavor to explore and the spirit of adventure. All three stories involve an attempt to go to places unknown and face situations unknown. The second layer attempts an interpretation of the proposition of death. When each character in each story faces death, there is an extreme contrast in how they think, and how they make their final choice, meaning that their ultimate journeys to death are very different. The ending is always the same. They all die, but every death carries unknown elements. The third layer is an extension of the proposition of death in the second layer; exploring the deeper levels of human nature. Whatever the cause or the outcome, the characters all experience their own life events, and these life events have shaped and changed their understanding deep inside of human nature. On the other side of death, their fundamental human nature is revealed. The film attempts to move between the three layers so as to immerse the reader in the story from different angles and directions. 


Chief Editor: Wang Huangsheng / Caitlín Doherty

Executive Editor: Wangchunchen / Dong Bingfeng


This publication marks the exhibition: Time Test: International Video Art Research Exhibition
Organised by the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), CAFA Art Museum and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum