June 2, 2019 - OCAT Shenzhen - Cheng Xinhao: The Fool’s Gold
June 2, 2019

OCAT Shenzhen

Cheng Xinhao, There they return again. ©️ OCAT Shenzhen.

Cheng Xinhao
The Fool’s Gold
June 6–August 18, 2019

OCAT Shenzhen
F2 Building, OCT-LOFT
Enping Road, Nanshan
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–5:30pm


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OCAT Shenzhen is honored to present the first museum solo exhibition of Kunming artist Cheng Xinhao. The exhibition continues the artist’s core creative thread since 2013, which has revolved around two marginal groups: the Mang People, an ethnic minority group living along China's border with Vietnam; and the laborers at the Sanhe Labor Market, new migrants living in the Shenzhen Longhua Industrial District. By following and becoming involved in these groups for long periods of time, and engaging in multiregional, multidisciplinary and multimedia artistic methods, the artist presents and discusses an implicit thread contained within the ever-expanding system of global capital. The exhibition is curated by OCAT Shenzhen Researcher Chen Baiqi, who spreads the artworks along the terrain of a winding simulated mountain environment in an attempt to make visible and sensible the relationships between these new proletarians, and to link the imagery of this exhibition with the issues it aims to discuss.

A doctor of chemistry who entered the sights of contemporary art by winning the Shiseido Photography Award, Cheng Xinhao will use this exhibition to sift through and present his artistic practices and thoughts on humanity over the past several years. The exhibition artworks take the form of multichannel videos and films. The swinging objects, the repetitive motions, and the hints of a nonexistent orderplaced into the frame, alongside the sounds of nature and production line machines echoing through the exhibition space, lead the viewer to trough a line of inquiry. That line of inquiry is about how a minority group on China’s frontier has been pulled into the system of global capital, and about how the expansion of this system has inevitably produced relationships between Yunnan and Shenzhen, China’s hinterland and its coastal development zone. Once entirely unrelated things, due to accidents of mismanagement, have one by one come to engage in active choices and received passive outcomes that have resulted in natural connections forming in unfamiliar places. Facing such a system, do any effective strategies for resistance remain? The fundamental practical logic has perhaps been completely altered.

The exhibition has received generous support from OCT and the Nanshan District Bureau of Culture, Sports and Tourism. Special thanks to the Skyworth Company for their support and assistance.


About the artist
Born in 1985 in Yunnan Province, Cheng Xinhao received a Doctorate from the Peking University College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering in 2013. He currently lives and works in Kunming as an artist focused on issues of modernization, the structure of knowledge, and the production of space within a Chinese context.

His works have received the 2017 Abigail Cohen Fellowship, the 2017 Sixth Hou Dengke Documentary Photography Award, and the the 2015 Shiseido Photography Prize; and were shortlisted for the 2017 Arles Author Book Award, the 2016 Aperture PhotoBook Awards, and the 2015 Three Shadows Photography Awards. His works The Naming of a River(2016) and Time from Different Sources: Images from Ciman Village(2017) were published by Jiazazhi.

About the curator
Born in Chenghai, Guangdong Province in 1991, Chen received a dual Master's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2018.

About OCAT
Established in 2005, OCAT (OCT Contemporary Art Terminal), a registered, independent non-profit organization, has become the most influential museum group in Asia. Headquartered in Shenzhen, the museum group comprises OCAT Shenzhen, OCT Art & Design Gallery (Shenzhen), OCAT Shanghai, OCAT Xi’an, OCAT Institute (Beijing), OCAT Wuhan and OCAT Nanjing. The programs of OCAT focus on in-depth surveys, research, publication, and presentation of both individual artists and thematic group exhibitions.

OCAT Shenzhen
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The Fool’s Gold
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