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Art Lovers Movie Club: Chris Zhongtian Yuan, ‘Wuhan Punk’

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Welcome to Art Lovers Movie Club, where you’ll find a selection of artists’ videos available exclusively online at artreview.com.

Over the past year, the city of Wuhan has become synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic. But screening this month in ArtReview’s Art Lovers Movie Club, Chris Zhongtian Yuan’s Wuhan Punk (2020) blends archival, drone and animated footage into a portrait of memory and resistance, to tell another story of the city: how it became a crucible for China’s punk music scene.

Wuhan Punk follows the disappearance of Chinese punk icon Mai Dian – frontman of the band Si Dou Le – interwoven with observations on the city’s fast-shifting landscape, and its spaces of rebellion and resistance. You can watch Chris Zhongtian Yuan discuss the making of Wuhan Punk with ArtReview’s En Liang Khong, part of The Courtauld’s lecture series ‘Asian Art After Quarantine’, organised by Dr Wenny Teo – available to view here.

Chris Zhongtian Yuan (b.1988, Wuhan) is an artist based in London. Guided by an immersive period of research and performative component, their recent video works have explored the hunting of a mutated species within the entangled web of ecology, human construction and migration, a musical medium’s supernatural channeling of colonial narratives, and the search of memory, resistance and nostalgia surrounding a disappeared Punk musician. These ephemeral sonic and narrative materials aim to rewrite and dismantle the archaic, oppressive power structures. Recent presentations include: Wuhan Punk, Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy, Somerset House, London (2021); Wuhan Punk, 5th Documentary Exhibition of Fine Art Triennial, Hubei Museum of Art, Wuhan (2020); Wuhan Punk, Film & Video Umbrella, London (2020); Banal Objects, DIY Aesthetics, OCAT Institute, Beijing (2020); 1815, K11, Wuhan (2020); Counterfictions, York Art Gallery (2020); Counterfictions, Architectural Association (2019); Ghost Towers, Architectural Association (2018); City of Objects, Venice Architecture Biennale Greek Pavilion (2018) among others. Yuan is the recipient of 2020 Aesthetica Art Prize and OCAT Institute Research-based Curatorial Project Award.

Screening dates:
Chris Zhongtian Yuan, Wuhan Punk, 2020:
11 June – 2 July 2021
Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella

Previous films in Art Lovers Movie Club include Luis Roque’s Heaven, screened 18–25 March 2020; Wong Ping’s An Emo Nose (2015), screened 26–31 March 2020; Laure Prouvost’s Shed A Light (2018), screened 2–9 April 2020; Alex Da Corte’s TRUƎ LIFƎ and BAD LAND (2017), screened 9–15 April 2020; Stine Deja’s 4K ZEN (2017), screened 17–23 April 2020; Daniel Steegmann Mangrané’s Fog Dog, screened 24–30 April 2020; Ivens Machado’s Versus (1974), screened 11–19 May 2020; Roger Hiorns’s BENIGN (2005), screened 15–21 May 2020; Jennet Thomas’s ANIMAL CONDENSED>>ANIMAL EXPANDED#2 (2018), screened 5–12 June 2020; Larry Achiampong’s The Expulsion (2019), screened 12-22 June 2020; Shezad Dawood’s Leviathan Cycle (2017-2018), screened 21 May–26 June 2020; Heman Chong’s Changi Airport Terminal 3 (Singapore Circuit Breaker Day 10, 16 April 2020) 4K 60 Binaural Walk 263 (2020), screened 26 June–3 July 2020; Berwick Street Film Collective’s Nightcleaners (1975), screened 3–17 July 2020; Tuan Andrew Nguyen’s We Were Lost in Our Country (2019), screened 17–31 July 2020; Grace Schwindt, Only a Free Individual Can Create a Free Society (2014), screened 721 August 2020; Hayoun Kwon, 489 Years (2016), screened 2–16 October 2020; Tulapop Saenjaroen, People on Sunday (2019), screened 16 October–2 November 2020; Grada Kilomba, A World of Illusions (2017-2019), screened 4–25 November 2020; Shen Xin, Provocation of a Nightingale #1 (2017), screened 15 January – 8 February 2021; Charwei Tsai, Hear Her Singing (2017), screened 8 February – 1 March 2021; Gelare Khoshgozaran, Medina Wasl: Connecting Town (2018) and Men of My Dreams (2020), screened 2 – 23 March 2021; Lu Yang, Delusional Mandala (2015), Delusional Crime and Punishment (2016) and Delusional World (2020), screened 24 March – 14 April 2021; Xiaowen Zhu, Oriental Silk (2015), screened 23 April – 14 May 2021; Alia Ali, Mahjar (2020), screened 20 May – 10 June 2021.

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