The Abode of Anamnesis 记忆寓所 (exhibition / 展览)


The Abode of Anamnesis







Opening Ceremony & Guided Tour with the Curator



Duration:2019.03.08 – 2019.06.09



Curator:He Yining

艺术家: 陈旻、董宇翔、黎朗、石真、唐景锋、杨圆圆、朱岚清

Artists: Chen Min, Dong Yuxiang, Li Lang, Shi Zhen, Kurt Tong, Yang Yuanyuan, Zhu Lanqing


Address: OCAT Institute, Jinchanxilu, Chaoyang District, Beijing (100 meters North from Subway Line 7 Happy Valley Scenic Area Station Exit B)




OCAT Institute is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition “The Abode of Anamnesis” on March 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm. “The Abode of Anamnesis” is the realization of “Picturing Histories: Historical Narratives in Contemporary Chinese Photography”, the winning proposal of OCAT’s inaugural Research-based Curatorial Project. After 3 months of planning and development, it will be open to the public for the first time this March.


As a writer and curator, He Yining has always been interested in the way in which photography is able to freely straddle the boundaries of contemporary art, responding to and raising questions about contemporary and historical social issues through effective, diverse, and interdisciplinary means; narrative theories in photography have also been a focus of her research in recent years. As part of her research project, the current exhibition will revolve around practices based on contemporary photographic narratives; in addition to shedding light on the development and characteristics of the photographic medium in the context of postmodern visual narratives and pointing out the similarities and differences between the narrative functions of photography and other media, the exhibition will also explore the complex relationship between history, memory, archive and photographic narratives.


In recent years, photographers around the globe have begun to break the conventional linear sequence in the construction of photographic texts, opting for a new wave that allows multiple narrative strategies of the real or the fictional. They fuse documents, historical photos, texts, and carefully constructed images, taking viewers to times and places in the past, to boundaries that can or cannot be told.  This kind of practice not only reflects the artists’ interest and urgent desire to delve into history, but also reveals the space that has been opened for photographic practices by the richness of social and cultural environments in history.


“The Abode of Anamnesis” focuses on several cases in Chinese contemporary art that enter historical narratives through photography. The exhibition seeks to analyze the context in which the current trend occurs, to examine the creative strategies adopted by different artists and to explore the unique viewpoint photography offers in the construction of historical narratives from different angles. By means of exploring histories of individuals and families, historical events, discussing varied historical episodes, or even reflecting on the theme of photography as a medium of historical narratives, the artists in this exhibition think of themselves as archaeologists and approach their subjects from various perspectives. While revisiting, rewriting, and reconstructing history, they have also been searching for more specific cultures.


During the exhibition, a variety of forums, workshops, talks and other events will be held in the spirit of promoting cross-media and cross-disciplinary research on theories of visual narratives. An exhibition catalogue containing the contents of the aforementioned events will be published by the end of the exhibition.



About the Curator

HE Yining (born. 1986), curator and writer of photography. Graduate of London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. In 2010, she began to work as a curator, translator, and writer specializing in photography and visual culture. Her work is principally focused on the way in which photography is able to freely straddle the boundaries of contemporary art, responding to and raising questions about contemporary and historical social issues through effective, diverse, and interdisciplinary means. Yining’s exhibitions have been held in museums, art museums and galleries, and other institutions in China and Europe. Her publications include “Photography in the British Classroom,” and “The Port and the Image,” among others. Further information and detailed descriptions of her work can be found on her website,


Symposium I

The Research, Writing and Practice of Postmodern Visual Narrative

March 8, 2019

Venue: Auditorium, 1st Floor, OCAT Institute

The first symposium of the exhibition will take place at the OCAT Institute on the opening day of the exhibition. Centred around the theme “The Research, Writing and Practice of Postmodern Visual Narrative”, the symposium consists of two different panels: “Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice” and “Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative”. Researchers from various disciplines in China and abroad are invited to talk about different issues related to the research, writing and practice of visual narratives in the global art industry, with the aim of promoting cross-media and cross-disciplinary research on theories of visual narratives.

Panel I: Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice  

Time: 10:00-12:20

Moderator:Wang Huan (Writer, Curator, Winner of the Fifth International Awards for Art Criticism)

From the 1990s to date, research on postmodern narratives has been flourishing in fields such as literature, film and video art for nearly 30 years. Theories born in different areas of study, including semiotics, art history and iconology, are widely used in the research and writing of visual narratives and have deepened the dialogue between different cultures and disciplines. At the same time, artists are constantly redefining the boundaries of visual narratives through the use of new media, ingenious constructions of their work and creative ways of presentation. “Narrative Turn in Contemporary Art: Theory and Practice” focus on the research and practice of narratives in contemporary art in China and the West. The panel will explore different media such as film, video and photography as well as their connection to traditional literary narratives and the mutual construction between the two.

10:00-11:30 Guest Talks

From Representation to Collage: Aesthetic Turn of Postmodern Photographic Narrative

Speaker: Long Diyong (Professor of Art Theory, Department of Art, Southeast University)

Observations from a Meta-perspective: History, Media and Science Oriented Practices

Speaker: Wang Ziyun (Curator, Researcher, PhD Candidate at Tsinghua University)

Measured Narratives

Speaker: Yang Beichen (contemporary art & film researcher, a lecturer at the Central Academy of Drama)

Photographic Image and Its Dwellings: A Pictorial History of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Speaker: Zhu Xinwei (English Professor, School of Foreign Languages, Beijing Forestry University)

11:30-11:45 Coffee Break

11:45-12:20 Panel Discussion

Guests: Wang Huan, Long Diyong, Wang Ziyun, Yang Beichen, Zhu Xinwei, Yang Yuanyuan, Chen Min, Dong Yuxiang, He Yining


Panel II: Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative 

Time: 14:00-16:30

Moderator: He Yining (Writer, Curator)

Communicating meanings through elaborately constructed images and incorporating photos into macro- or micro-narratives by freeing them from their representational functions and reordering them are both strategies used by creators of contemporary photographic narratives in their attempt to break from traditional narratives. Due to the richness of the photographic language and its complicated relationship with other narrative media, “Vision of Contemporary Photographic Narrative” will focus on a series of questions closely related to contemporary photographic narratives: Can we use postmodern theories on narrative in the formulation of a set of analytic strategies for image narratives? Why should we construct narratives through photography when video art has been fully developed? What do photographic narratives have in common with literary and cinematic narratives and what are the differences? Does the popularity of photobooks worldwide play an important role in the current trend of photographic narratives?

14:00-15:30 Guest Talks

The narrative in the Single Photograph: When, How and Why?

Speaker: Greg Battye (Adjunct Professor, University of Canberra, School of Art and Design)

1+1=3: The Mechanics of Photobookwork Practice

Speaker: José Luís Neves (Lecturer in Photography, the University of Ulster in Belfast, UK)

Publishing: “Artificial Landscape” in Contemporary Image Art

Speaker: Shi Zhen (artist, independent publisher)

Fictional Narrative: Photography as Pseudo-Archive

Speaker: He Bo (Artist, Editor of Chinese Photography magazine)

15:30-15:50 Coffee Break

15:50-16:30 Panel Discussion

Guests: Greg Battye, José Luís Neves, Shi Zhen, He Bo, Li Lang, Zhu Lanqing, He Yining

 Abstracts of Speeches

Long Diyong: From Representation to Collage: Aesthetic Turn of Postmodern Photographic Narrative

Since the invention of photography, it has been recognized as a way of representing external reality in the form of an image. Nevertheless, a single photograph can rarely tell a story clearly in all its complexity. More often than not, photographic narratives (such as photojournalism reports) tell stories with ordered series of photographs instead of individual photographs. In traditional photographic practices, authenticity is required for both individual photographs and ordered series; in other words, when it comes to visual narratives like photojournalism reports, deceit is strictly forbidden, and photographers have to ensure that every photograph represents the reality of each narrative as faithfully as possible.

With the emergence of the digital image and its wide application, however, aesthetic doctrines of traditional photographic practices have gradually come undone. At the same time, a new concept of photographic narrative with characteristics of postmodern aesthetics begins to develop. “Through appropriation, transformation, reprocessing and re-synthesis, digital images give meaning and value to calculated, ready-made objects; we have entered the age of digital collage.”  According to Fredric Jameson, digital collage is one of the most prominent features/techniques of postmodernism. As a matter of fact, photographic narratives—in a very specific way—testify to the essential characteristics of postmodern narratives with their diverse narrative devices and ever-changing visual styles.

Wang Ziyun: Observations from a Meta-perspective: History, Media and Science Oriented Practices

In recent years, theories and practices of contemporary art have been evolving in an ever more fluid environment. We are caught in the colorful chaos that has resulted from our changing understanding of narratives. On one hand, history-oriented narratives have freed themselves from simple ways of representation based on time periods, biographic information and events, etc. and turned toward subtler and more complicated dynamics, and they tend to follow the logic of “documents & archives” and “little narratives”. On the other hand, the “implosion” of information based on internet media is creating a new kind of time-space relationship and subjective consciousness that play out both internally and in social mechanisms with the help of the internet- and media-based artistic practices. Finally, the integration of science and art gives birth to new ways of visualizing and perceiving the world, which constantly incites our curiosity and excitement toward new things. Whether we are heading toward trouble or progress, we are at a pivotal point in our investigation of biopolitics. Based on these premises, this talk will explore specific issues such as artistic creation, artwork and concept, exhibition and display, as well as an institutional practice.

Yang Beichen:  Narrative of Scale


“Scale” has always been the driving force behind narratives, though we may easily overlook its significance. From the ocean in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick to the description of fossil fuels in Victorian literature, and to the high value placed on object-oriented aesthetics in contemporary art and literature, an entanglement of scales between human and nonhuman entities can always be found in the undercurrent. The confrontation between geological time and individual time, as well as that between deep time and the political/ethical time of the human world, give birth to a contemporary consciousness of speculative history that keeps pushing us to reconsider the meaning and structure of the time we are living in on a planetary scale. In this talk, I will use the works of several artists and writers as examples to discuss the evolution and potential of scale as a narrative form/chain and to analyze how concepts like the Anthropocene has become a new kind of narrative prototype.

Zhu Xinwei: Photographic Image and Its Dwellings: A Pictorial History of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published in London as an illustrated children’s book in 1865. Although it was written for children, the book has provided generations of readers with unlimited room for imagination. Even today, the story is still being retold and rewritten in literature, drama, films, paintings, plastic arts, video games and pop culture. Alice’s story not only fascinates readers, audiences and participants alike, but also serves as an inspiration for artists such as Salvador Dali, Yayoi Kusama and Jan Švankmajer. Carroll’s work even caught the attention of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. In an essay titled “Lewis Carroll”, Deleuze argues that Alice keeps moving between surfaces. In Logic of SenseDeleuze discusses several philosophical issues using Carroll’s literary works as examples. He believes that, in addition to Carroll’s wordplay and utilization of linguistic absurdity, the relationship between Alice’s story and image has also raised a few questions that are worth exploring. In this talk, we will start from images based on Alice’s story and proceed to explore the relationship between image, object and movement through close readings of literary materials, photography, early films and stop-motion animations.

Greg Battye: Narrative in the Single Photograph: When, How and Why?

This talk addresses a specific question raised by the project “Picturing Histories: Historical Narratives in the Contemporary Chinese Photograph,” namely: what does photographic narrative have in common with literary and cinematic narrative, and what are the differences?

While narratives may be attached to photographs in a number of different modes and circumstances, the main focus of this talk is a relatively unusual phenomenon: the self-contained narrative in a single photograph. Using comparisons with the established tradition of narrative painting, this talk will first examine the conditions under which a single picture of any kind, without support from textual information or from other pictures in a sequence, might have narrative qualities. An interdisciplinary framework is applied to several examples to show why it is more difficult for a single photograph to be a narrative than it is for a painting to be a narrative. And from this discussion, some attributes are derived that might allow particular kinds of a single photograph to be genuine — though very limited — narratives. To further clarify the significance of narrative as a quality that inhabits a wide variety of media, but which works differently in each medium, the nature of narrative in films and novels is compared, and briefly contrasted with photographs.

José Luís Neves: 1+1=3: The Mechanics of Photobookwork Practice

Despite the numerous photobook surveys published in the last decade – mostly focused on expanding the geographical and thematic classification of photobook practice proposed by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger in The Photobook: A History (2004, 2006) – not many studies have attempted to trace and expose the inner workings of this particular type of photobook. This lecture attempts to uncover the potential grammar of this practice by focusing on what Alex Sweetman has called ‘photobookworks’, that is, photographic books in which photographic images and sequences compose the core narrative of the book. The talk, which will examine three specific artistic and historical punctuations, will begin by investigating the early stages of photobookwork practice and the development of narrative montage during the 1920s. This analysis will be followed by an investigation of photobookwork practice during the 1960s and 1970s and the impact of appropriation and conceptual art upon the artistic use of photographic images in book form. The final segment of the lecture examines contemporary photobookwork practice vis-à-vis the above punctuations. It will attempt to interpret current bookmaking methodologies and understand how narrative montage, structural investigation and discourse based on sampling and remix practices have shaped a complex and multiform contemporary photobookwork field.

Shi Zhen: Publishing: “Artificial Landscape” in Contemporary Image Art

La Maison de Z is an artistic research project based on image publishing with the goal of discovering and exploring the possibilities of image narrative through editing and publishing practices. As an artist publisher, La Maison de Z is not only the “ferryman” between artists’ books and their readers in the traditional sense of publishing but also the creator of the “artificial landscape” of narrative. Based on these premises, the speaker will use the publication process of several artists’ books as examples to discuss the similarities and differences between photographic narratives and narratives in literature and film, as well as how we can incorporate other art forms, such as music, architecture, drama and dance, in the narrative agent of artists’ books.

He Bo: Fictional Narratives: Photography as Pseudo-Archive

Today, more and more photographic artworks have adopted fictional archives as a narrative strategy to encourage contemplation on two overlapping questions: “How can photography become archive?” and “How can photography forge archive?” This talk will focus on issues related to the strategies, rules and methods of fictional photographic archives, and the discussion will revolve around three main topics: (1) how contemporary photographic artworks question “truth”, including the truth of archival materials; (2) how photographers reengage in history by examining, correcting, rewriting or even modifying archival materials; and (3) the illusion or pseudo-truth artists create with the interaction between text and photographs or other images that can be used as “evidence”.  These strategies also raise questions concerning power, institution, domain, order, history, memory and media, which combine to form the utopia of photography as an archive; in this utopia, the “fictional” is ever searching for an opening to override the lies of “truth”.


About speakers

Long Diyong (b. 1972) was born in Yichun, Jiangxi. He is a doctor of literature and holds postdoctoral degrees in literary science and art. He currently works as a professor and doctoral advisor at the School of Arts at Southeast University and serves as the secretary-general of the narratology division of the China Association for Sino-foreign Literature and Art Theory. His research focuses on narratology, iconology and comparative studies of the image-text relationship. He has led several major projects sponsored by the National Social Science Fund of China and provincial governments and has received several provincial awards. He has published more than 100 scholarly articles in academic journals such as Theoretical Studies in Literature and ArtForeign Literature Studies, Comparative Literature in China and Academic Research, many of which have been republished in Xinhua DigestChinese Social Science DigestChinese University Academic Abstracts and the Renmin University of China database. Long is the first scholar in China to come up with the concept “spatial narratology”. His work, A Study of Spatial Narrative, was included in the National Achievements Library of Philosophy and Social Sciences in 2013. Currently, Long’s research focuses on cross-media narratology between literature and art. Outside academia, Long also writes creatively. He has published a prose collection titled “Searching for the Poetic”.

Wang Ziyun, Curator, researcher, a doctoral student in the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University. Wang Ziyun graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2016, majoring in art criticism theory and practice. The same year, he started and founded Chaos Art Space in Chongqing. He also engaged in exhibition practice, art history research and critical writing. He curated The Second Micro-Curatorial Project Light, Heat, Power! that hosted with Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation in Shanghai, and as a finalist participated in the Emerging Curators Project at Power Station of Art, as a researcher participated in the research program From a History of Exhibitions Towards a Future of Exhibition Making – Curatorial Practices in Asia at Rockbund Art Museum, in 2018. He attended the first and the second HUAYU ART FORUM in 2016 and 2017. His articles are published in Yishu,, etc.

Zhu Xinwei, PhD in Literature (Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, University of Essex, UK, 2018), MA in Anglo-American Literary Theory and Cultural Studies (Foreign Literature Research Institute, Beijing Foreign Studies University, 2013). She is now a lecturer in the English Department, Beijing Forestry University, teaching courses in English Literature. Her research interests are word-image relationship in 19th century English literature, cultural history, material practice and media technology, nature and arts. She was co-editor of the 2017 Long Reading Project Special issue “Art and Waste” for Art World Magazine (Oct 2017)

Greg Battye is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Art and Design at the University of Canberra. He has completed his Doctorate at Wollongong in 2001 on connections between photography and narrative theory. Since then he has branched out further into explorations of narrative forms and structures, in both conventional and non-conventional writing and in areas of cultural production not ordinarily seen as narrative. He has supervised and co-supervised a wide range of Masters and PhD students in areas as diverse as video production, sports history, creative writing (novels and screenplays), classics, psychophysics, and interface design. His publication includes Photography, Narrative, Time: Imaging Our Forensic Imagination.

José Luís Neves is currently a Lecturer in Photography at University of Ulster in Belfast, UK. He completed his PhD at the same institution in 2017 under the supervision of Prof, Paul Seawright, Prof. Donovan Wylie and Prof. Martin Parr. Before his current work and research in Belfast, he completed the Photographic History and Practice postgraduate programme at De Montfort University, in Leicester. Between 2010 and 2012 he worked at the Wilson Centre for Photography in London as a cataloguer and assistant curator. His main areas of research include the history and historiography of the photobook, artist’s book history and practice, photographic technology, photographic history and visual narrative. His current research work focuses on understanding the historical and material development of photobook and photobookwork practice.

Shi Zhen is an artist and independent publisher. She has produced a diverse body of work comprising photographs, artist’s books and videos. Her work has been included in exhibitions and festivals in China and Europe, more recently at Lianzhou Photo Festival, Lianzhou, China (2018), Beijing Zhengguan Art Gallery, Beijing, China (2018), Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, Beijing, China (2018), OCAT Shanghai and Shenzhen, China (2017 & 2018), Festival La Gacilly, France (2017), Festival Circulation(s), Paris, France (2017), Espace Emergency, Vevey, Switzerland (2017), Les Rencontres d’Arles, France (2016), etc. Shi Zhen was received Emerging Photographer in Festival Photo La Gacilly, France (2017), and Tribew Awards, France (2016). She was nominated for Les Rencontres d’Arles Photobook Award (Photo-Text), France (2016), Mack First Book Award, UK (2016) and the 10th Three Shadows Photography Award, Beijing, (2018), Foam Paul Huf Award, Netherlands (2019).

He Bo is an artist and editor of Chinese Photography magazine. Born in Deyang, Sichuan province, China, in 1989. He studied at Nanchang University, Beijing Film Academy and the University of Paris VIII and graduated from Beijing Film Academy with an MA in 2015. Working as an editor in Chinese Photography magazine, he planned several feature stories which revolve around themes such as “The Recreation of Found Images“, “Contemporary African Photography”, “Photography as Tool”, “Thomas Ruff”, etc.. His practice in art focuses on subject matters including found image, amateur photography, disasters and incidents of violence, approaches ideas of the narrative relationship between images and text, as well as the fictive nature of archives and memories. He was shortlisted in the Foam Talent Call 2018 (the Netherlands) and the 9th Three Shadows Photography Awards (China). His articles have been publishing in magazines and publications such as FoamChinese PhotographyDigital PhotographyPhotographers’ CompanionPhoto WorldPhotography Is ArtChinese PhotographersAnalysis of Personal Cases of 100 Chinese Post-85s Photographers from Natural Growth.

About moderators

Wang Huan is a Beijing-based writer, curator. He has tried practising a kind of anti-stylistic writing and has published a series of art reviews in various public media such as ARTFORUM, LEAP Magazine, Jiazazhi Magazine, Art World Magazine, ARTSHARD and Ray Art Center’s Reviews. He has also curated a list of exhibitions including Objects That Have Been Intruded (a programme of Jimei Arles International Photo Festival 2016), Finalist Exhibition of 2016 New Talent Award (Chronus Art Center (CAC), 2017), etc. He won the first prize of the 5th International Award for Art Criticism (IAAC) in 2018.

HE Yining (born. 1986), curator and writer of photography. Graduate of London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. In 2010, she began to work as a curator, translator, and writer specializing in photography and visual culture. Her work is principally focused on the way in which photography is able to freely straddle the boundaries of contemporary art, responding to and raising questions about contemporary and historical social issues through effective, diverse, and interdisciplinary means. Yining’s exhibitions have been held in museums, art museums and galleries, and other institutions in China and Europe. Her publications include “Photography in the British Classroom,” and “The Port and the Image,” among others. Further information and detailed descriptions of her work can be found on her website,




时间:2019年3月8日 10:00-16:30








10:00-11:30 主题发言







11:45-12:20 圆桌讨论







14:00-15:30  主题发言


















“尺度”(Scale)从来都是叙事发生的动力,只不过我们很可能对此视熟视无睹——从梅尔维尔(Herman Melville)《白鲸》(Moby Dick)中的海洋,抑或维多利亚时期小说中对于化石能源的描述,到今天当代艺术与文学对于以客体为导向美学(object-oriented aesthetic)的推崇,其背后都酝酿着某种介于人与非人(nonhuman)间的“尺度纠缠”(entanglement of scales)。地质时间(geological time)与个体时间、非人的深层时间(deep time)与人的政治/伦理时间的遭遇与对峙,催生出一种当代的思辨历史意识,其不断促逼着我们在行星尺度(planetary scale)上重新思考所处时代的意义与结构。在此次的讨论中,我将借助若干艺术家与写作者的工作,探讨尺度作为一种叙事形式或链条的演变与可能性,并分析如“人类纪”(Anthropocene)这样的概念如何成为新的叙事原型。








尽管过去十年间有海量的摄影书调查报告出版——大部分聚焦于拓展马丁·帕尔(Martin Parr)和格里·巴杰(Gerry Badger)在《摄影书的历史》(The Photobook: A History)中提出的基于地理与主题的摄影书实践分类——鲜少有研究试图探索与揭示这种特殊类型的摄影书的内在机制。此次讲座通过关注亚历克斯·斯威特曼(Alex Sweetman)所讨论的“摄影书作品(photobookworks)”,暨由摄影图像与摄影序列构成了核心叙事的摄影书,以揭开此种实践的内在语法。整个发言将考察三个特别的艺术与历史节点,首先将研究“摄影书作品”实践的早期阶段及1920年代叙事蒙太奇的发展。随后将对20世纪60年代和70年代的摄影书作品实践进行调查,并且考察挪用和观念艺术对于艺术家以书本形式,艺术化地使用摄影图像的影响。演讲的最后一个部分将考察与以上节点相关联的当代“摄影书作品”实践,试图解释当下书籍制作的方法论并理解叙事蒙太奇、结构研究以及基于样本和混合实践的话语是如何塑造了一个复杂而多样的当代摄影书作品的领域。


“真姨书房(La Maison de Z)”是一个基于影像出版的研究型艺术项目,试图通过编辑和出版实践不断挖掘与探索影像叙事的可能性。作为艺术家的出版人(Artist publisher)在某种意义上既是传统出版中作品与读者间的“摆渡人”,也是叙事这一“人造风景”的建构者。在此基础上,发言人将通过数个出版案例探讨摄影与文学、电影叙事的异同,以及如何将音乐、建筑、戏剧、舞蹈等其他艺术形式运用到“书”这一叙事载体中。





王子云,策展人、研究者,清华大学美术学院博士生,现居北京。2016年毕业于四川美术学院美术学系艺术批评理论与实践专业,同年发起并创办灰空间(Chaos Art Space)。主要从事策展实践、艺术史研究与批评写作。2018曾策划杨锋艺术与教育基金会主办的第二届“微征集”项目“Light, Heat, Power!”(留下空间,上海),并入围上海当代艺术博物馆“青策计划“;作为“亚洲策展实践项目”研究员,参与上海外滩美术馆关于1990年代展览史的课题研究。参加首届及第二届华宇艺术论坛(2016、2017)并撰文;也曾为《艺术论坛》(Artforum)、《Yishu(典藏国际版)》等媒体供稿。

杨北辰,当代艺术与电影研究者。先后毕业于法国巴黎第十大学与北京电影学院,以论文《作为档案的电影》(Film as Archive)获得电影历史与理论博士学位;并作为资深编辑在《艺术论坛》(Artforum)中文网工作多年;现任教于中央戏剧学院,并担任新世纪当代艺术基金会特约研究员。他长期致力于当代艺术与电影研究之间的跨领域工作,曾发起并策划多项运动-影像的展览与放映活动,如“世界的散文”(OCAT当代艺术中心,深圳)、“现代性巫术或偶像破坏者”(中央美术学院美术馆,北京)、“王兵:经验与贫乏”(魔金石空间,北京),“新冶金者”(Julia Stoschek Collection,杜塞尔多夫)等;并担任过北京独立影像展(2012)、中国独立影像展(2013)、FIRST青年电影展(2016)与北京国际短片联展(2017)的评委,以及“拜德雅•人文丛书”与“新迷影丛书”的编委会委员。目前主要从事当代运动-影像理论、媒体考古学与新物质主义方面的研究。其博士论文《作为档案的电影》即将付梓。




石真,艺术家,独立出版人。现居巴黎,以摄影、手工书及混合材料为媒介进行创作。石真的作品在国内外广泛展出,近期展览包括连州摄影节(2018),北京正观美术馆(2018),北京三影堂摄影奖作品展(2018),上海/深圳OCAT“听我说”(2017&2018),法国La Gacilly摄影节(2017),巴黎Circulation(s)摄影节(2017),瑞士沃韦Emergency艺术空间(2017),法国阿尔勒摄影节(2016),上海abC艺术书展(2016)等。曾获法国La Gacilly新锐摄影奖(2017),台北Wonder Foto Day评审奖(2017),法国Tribew摄影奖(2016),阿尔勒摄影节摄影书奖提名(Photo-Text Award)(2016),英国Mack First Book Award提名(2016),入围第十届三影堂摄影奖(2018),并入选2017年度挪威Sunnhordland美术馆艺术家驻地项目。

何博,艺术家,《中国摄影》杂志编辑。1989年出生于四川德阳,北京电影学院艺术学硕士,2014年赴巴黎第八大学艺术、哲学与美学学院交流。曾围绕“现成图像的再创作”“当代非洲摄影”“作为工具的摄影”“托马斯·鲁夫”等主题为《中国摄影》杂志进行专题策划。艺术实践涉及现成图像、业余影像、灾难与暴力事件、记忆与虚构等方向。入选荷兰Foam Talent Call 2018,2017年第9届三影堂摄影奖等。作品和文章发表于《Foam》《中国摄影》《数码摄影》《摄影之友》《摄影世界》《摄影是艺术》《中国摄影家》《自然生长:百名85后中国摄影师个案剖析》等刊物。




Symposium II

Re-Imagination in Visual Narrative: History, Memory and Archives

Time: April 14, 2019

Venue: Auditorium, 1st Floor, OCAT Institute

The second symposium of Abode of Anamnesis aims to investigate the complex relationship between history, memory and visual narratives, to explore the different strategies contemporary artists have adopted in order to enter historical narratives with images, and to conduct contextual analyses on the causes that led to this trend. The symposium also attempts to examine the connection between these artists’ strategies and their works, and to navigate the unique perspective photography has contributed to historical narratives from different viewpoints.

Panel I: Historical Narrative and Memory Reconstruction

Time: 10:00-12:20

Moderator: Chang Mengsu (PhD Candidate in History, Stanford University)

“Narration” refers to the incorporation of historical events in a fixed linguistic structure; its goal is not only to “represent” history, but also to secure the right to interpret historical events. 40 years ago, Jean-François Lyotard already examined the decline of grand narratives in the postmodern world in his book, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Within the field of contemporary art, artists’ attempts to narrate history with various media and strategies are manifestations of their efforts to reexamine the authenticity of history and memory, and of the possibilities of rewriting history and reconstructing memory.

10:00-11:30 Guest Talks

The Imaginary of the Image

Speaker: David Bate (Artist, Writer, Professor of Photography, Westminster School of Arts, University of Westminster)

Bio-Archiving: Shenyang Underground Music and Chinese Art in the 1990s

Speaker: Dong Bingfeng (Curator, Researcher of Cross-Media Art Institute, China Academy of Fine Arts)

Picturing Histories: Re-writing Family Album

Speaker: He Yining (Writer and Curator)

Anthro-Photographic Studies: Narrating the Past with Imaginations from the Future

Speaker: Yang Yunchang (PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University College London)

11:30-11:45 Coffee Break

11:45-12:20 Panel Discussion

Guests: Chang Mengsu, David Bate, Dong Bingfeng, He Yining, Yang Yunchang

Panel II: Re-writing Archives in Contemporary Art

Time: 14:00-16:30

Moderator: Hu Hao (Writer, Curator)

When we walk into exhibition halls, flip through documents and read the news, it’s easy to notice that what we see as “archive” or “archival art” is gravitating naturally toward highbrow concepts such as knowledge, libraries and museums in the way it carries itself. It moves ever closer to solemn topics such as history, memory and trauma in its flesh and blood, as if—by being tactile—an archive is valuable simply by being present, or at least by its automatic ability to be serious and profound in a “high-quality” way… But because this is taken for granted, archives and the art behind it now find themselves in an awkward position under this scam wherein superficial perspectives are also caught in games of jargon. In this panel, curators, artists and writers will talk about “archive fever” in the context of global culture since the 20th century from different perspectives, and explore questions like the definition of “archive” and “archival art”, and how we should go about “practising archives” in the context of contemporary art.

14:00-15:30 Guest Talks

What is an archive? What is archival art?

Speaker: Hu Hao (Writer, Curator)

Reliving the History through Archives: A Case Study of “Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu” and “The Lonely Spirit” and “The Lonely Spirit” exhibition

Speaker: Su Wei (Senior Curator, Inside-Out Art Museum)

Why Rewrite? Speaker: Li Ran (Artist)


Speaker: He Wenzhao (Writer, Curator)

15:30-15:50 Coffee Break

15:50-16:30 Panel Discussion

Guests: Hu Hao, Su Wei, Li Ran, He Wenzhao, He Yining

Abstracts of Speeches

David BateThe Imaginary of the Image

How does a spectator navigate the meaning of an online or offline image? When does archive fever” play a role in developing a historical imaginary? Where does a memory of the observer intersect with the meaning of an image? Why does the composition of a photographic image matter as a strategy for the production of the imagination of the viewer?

Dong BingfengBio-Archiving: Shenyang Underground Music and Chinese Art in the 1990s

“Shenyang Underground Music 1995–2002” is not only an exhibition project (shown at Taikang Space and the Art Gallery of Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in 2017), but also a textual project that aims to conduct critical research on artists, artworks and visually-oriented narratives of art history from art under the influence of marginalized concepts and alternating modes. At the same time, “Shenyang Underground Music 1995–2002” entails a variety of cross-disciplinary exhibition and performance modes, such as underground music, performance art, independent films and experimental theatre, which correspond to the trends of institutional experiment and self-organization in the 1990s Chinese art scene. Together, they combine to form a unique historical narrative and “bio-archiving” in memory. This talk will focus on Dong’s latest research projects.

He Yining: Picturing Histories: Re-writing Family Album

In the past decade or so, Chinese photographic practices that utilize vintage photographs in the biographic construction of individual and family histories in having illustrated the importance of family albums in the artistic exploration of personal, family and collective memory, as well as the numerous possibilities for artists to enter historical narratives through the rewriting of family photos. This talk will focus on the works of four Chinese artists who use photography as their main medium, and reexamine three ways family albums are transformed into works of art: first, through the investigation, organization and reenactment of images found in family albums; second, through the attribution of new objectives as a result of rewriting family albums; and third, through the artists’ continuous exploration of the connection between collective history and individual memory, which has been divided in the collective consciousness.

Yang Yunchang: Anthro-Photographic Studies: Narrating the Past with Imaginations from the Future

The history of anthropologists’ encounters with photography is a history of “taming” the wildness of this medium of modernity. While much effort has proven to fail, anthropologists and visual culture scholars have provided us with an alternative approach to understanding photography—to confront the exorbitance and contingency of the Photograph, as to liberate the medium from singular definitions and static discourses and relocate it as a social actor that bridges historical narratives and future imaginations.

Hu Hao: What is an archive? What is archival art?

Although we can often spot artworks that look like archives in appearance or that have actually appropriated what’s classified as archival material in many self-defined surveys of contemporary art, it is far from wise to equate these artworks with archival art. As a noun that has never been clearly defined but has hurriedly acquired an unreserved philosophical air, “archive” itself is obviously not enough to be the only prerequisite for the imagination, description and even judgment (which can be called criticism) of an “archivist.” Aside from the unacceptability of the disconnection between this approach and the artworks, its ambiguity is also problematic in itself. With archival art, can the question of “archive” as “archive” really be so unimportant? Is it really so self-explanatory that “archivists” can delve right into it and patter in miscellany? I think we only have the right to judge the value of “archive” in relation to archival art and critiques of archival art when we have clarified the concept of “archive.”

Su WeiReliving History through Archives: A Case Study of “Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu” and “The Lonely Spirit”

The evolution of consciousness and value in historical archives, individual cases in history and historical progression has received renewed attention from art researchers as well as public and private art institutions in recent years. In the context of this trend, what has resurfaced is not only the desire to dig into the past along other miscellaneous reasons but also basic questions related to research, the core of which lies in our perspective and urgency to reexamine and catch the individuals and moments that have largely remained silent in archives. When we try to reimagine the condition of archives back in the days, we have to restore their “vitality” while introducing today’s zeitgeist and uncertainties, rather than falling into the sentiments evoked by a solemn, distant past. I hope to share my approach to archives in “Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu” (Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, 2018) and “The Lonely Spirit” (Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, 2018–2019). These two exhibition projects I curated last year heavily rely on archival research. I wish to share my thoughts with art professionals on the ways to translate a facet of history into exhibition making.

Li Ran: Why Rewrite?

When we are once again faced with the application of “archive” in creative and curatorial practices, we must see that it is not a type of categorization in art. So how should we understand the involvement of this practice as a phenomenon? Some artists have called it a fight for the right to speak, but then the question becomes—how should we understand its political nature? Who is the enemy we are fighting against? If we win, where will this right to speak take us? I’m afraid we have to admit that, if we don’t clarify the definition of “archive,” it will remain an abstract fragment of data without direction. But if we define “archive” as a piece of evidence that has already become normalized historical expression, it will look like we have new objectives and questions when we reprocess this data from the past… in this “political” act, along with the careful examination of the data, we can complicate the situation further. In my work, the sources of historical photographs, documents, and other materials already come with fragments of data that are formal and informal, unknown and well-known, so the individual capacities needed in the process of organizing and editing must take place together. The process is full of complications that come with experience and history. When it comes to this realm, I think we no longer look at a tug-of-war between concepts of historical writings, but something more like an entry point outside preexisting frameworks. Here, “outside” does not refer to a kind of otherworld found in literature and poetry, but rather to more specific creative demands…In this talk, I will use two recent works as examples to explore artistic creations involving “archives.”

He Wenzhao“Archive”Reflexivity

People tend to forge, or tend to obsess. But “archive” is neither. It is much more composed, goal-oriented, and determined. It forgets and remembers not as a result of human negligence, but as a result of its instrumental nature and technological ethics. As an instrument of power, a set of governing accessories that come from, point to, or identify with others, “archive” needs to be clear, logical, readable, and ready for enlistment whenever it’s required. We have good reasons to often suspect that “archives” actually control and own the truth. It is responsible not only for collecting and outputting selectively reliable versions of reality but also for arranging and allocating powers of ordinary and unusual phenomena in discourse. In some extreme cases in history, it even appears as a form of oppressive discourse in charge of escorting different bodies to different execution grounds. When I try to “objectify” archive in my teaching and emphasize its effectiveness as “methodology,” I merely share the right to abuse a certain kind of administrative strategy with many artists. Although the ascent of power that accompanies technological uprising is coming at us with full force, our blustering with outstretched necks and reddened faces is just a haphazard imitation of real power and historical configuration. We are fooling ourselves by self-indulging our avoidance of this context. I will discuss my present doubts regarding “archival art” from my own ruminations and experience of the exhibition.

About speakers and moderators

Michelle Mengsu Chang is a PhD Candidate in History at Stanford University, where she studies totalitarianism in the 20th century. Her research focuses on the interface between state and individual under totalitarianism, as well as how economic organization and material reality influence political consciousness and identity. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, she worked as a researcher at the Global Public Policy Institute in Berlin. Michelle received an MA in International Relations from Yale University and a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Beyond academia, Michelle also works as a photographer. Her first exhibition—“The Atlas of Stranger”—which features her street photography work from the past seven years, opened in Beijing last November.

David Bate is an artist and writer with a well-known international reputation for his work on photography, visual arts history, theory and culture. He is a Professor of Photography at the University of Westminster, supervising PhD work and teaching in the MA Photography Arts programme. He is also an editor of the international photography theory journal Photographies started in 2008:

Dong Bingfeng is a curator and producer based in Beijing. He is a research fellow at the School of Inter-media Art, China Academy of Art. Since 2005, Dong has worked as a curator at the Guangdong Museum of Art and the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Deputy Director of Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, Art Director of Li Xianting’s Film Fund, and Academic Director of OCAT Institute. In 2013, Dong was awarded the “CCAA Chinese Contemporary Art Critic Award”. In 2015, he was awarded the Chinese Contemporary Art Critic Award of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. In 2017, he was awarded the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant.

HE Yining (born. 1986) is a curator and writer of photography. She is a graduate of London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. In 2010, she began to work as a curator, translator, and writer specializing in photography and visual culture. Her work is principally focused on the way in which photography is able to freely straddle the boundaries of contemporary art, responding to and raising questions about contemporary and historical social issues through effective, diverse, and interdisciplinary means. He’s exhibitions have been held in museums, art museums and galleries, and other institutions in China and Europe. Her publications include Photography in the British Classroom, and The Port and the Image, among others. Further information and detailed descriptions of her work can be found on her website,

Yang Yunchang holds an MA degree in Anthropology of Media from SOAS, University of London (2014) and an LLB in Anthropology from Sun Yat-sen University (2013). He is now a PhD Candidate in Material and Visual Culture at the Anthropology Department of University College London (UCL). His research area includes inter-disciplinary studies across photography and anthropology, and visual culture and arts from early modern to contemporary China.

Hu Hao is a writer, curator, researcher at Taikang Space. He graduated with a BA in philosophy (2013) and an MA in aesthetics (2017) from the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China. His essays were shortlisted for the International Awards for Art Criticism (IAAC) in 2016 and 2017. In 2017, his research project was selected for the inaugural “Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Greater China Research Grant: Research Workshop”. His curatorial projects include “Border Resonance” (with Zhang Wenxin, Goethe Institut, Beijing 2018), “Metamorphosis: Art Practices Now Activating Archives and Public Memories” (exhibition preview, with Liu Zhangbolong & Nie Xiaoyi, OCAT Institute, Beijing 2018), and “The Card Players” (Lianzhou Foto, Lianzhou 2018).

Su Wei is a curator and art critic based in Beijing. He is the Senior Curator of Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.

Li Ran 1986 Born in Hubei, Li Ran currently lives and works in Shanghai, China. Graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Oil Painting Department with BFA. Li Ran has exhibited at the Center Pompidou, Paris; basis voor actuele kunst (BAK), Utrecht; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston; Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal; The Museum of Moscow, Moscow; Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (CCA), Singapore; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila; Sifang Museum, Nanjing; OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Shenzhen, Shanghai and Xi’an; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing; CAFA Museum (CAFAM), Beijing; and other venues, He has held solo exhibition at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Xi’an (2015). He won the “Best Artist Award” at the 2014 Moscow International Youth Art Biennale and was nominated for the “Future Generation Award” by the Pinchuk Art Center in 2017.

He Wenzhao is a writer with an ongoing interest in local practices and social art, and guest lecturer at various institutions.


4月14日 10:00-16:30





 10:00-11:30  主题发言







 11:30-11:45  茶歇

 11:45-12:20  圆桌讨论




14:00-15:30  主题发言







 15:30-15:50  茶歇

 15:50-16:30  圆桌讨论
































写作者,策展人,泰康空间研究员。他于2013 年毕业于中国人民大学哲学院,获哲学学士学位,于2017 年毕业于中国人民大学哲学院,获美学硕士学位。他撰写的文章分别于 2016 年、2017 年入围国际艺术评论奖(IAAC)。2017年,他的研究项目获选首届“何鸿毅家族基金中华研究奖助计划:研究工作坊”。他策划的群展主要包括,“边界共振”(与张文心合作,歌德学院,北京,2018)、“重组/演绎:激活档案与公共记忆的当代艺术实践”方案预展(与刘张铂泷、聂小依合作,OCAT研究中心,北京,2018),“打扑克的人”(连州国际摄影年展,连州,2018)。








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