Chris Zhongtian Yuan: No Door, One Window, Only Light


Artist: Chris Zhongtian Yuan

Curator: Clement Huang

“No Door, One Window, Only Light” marks the first institutional exhibition of artist Chris Zhongtian Yuan in China, bringing together four video works, several installations and sketches to form a periodic retrospect and survey of their recent works. The exhibition will also present for the first time their latestcommission by Macalline Art Center—an eponymous film, No Door, One Window, Only Light (2023).

Chris Zhongtian Yuan takes an architectural approach to engage with filmic medium and attempts to create a new language of films. Their works often visit the marginalized communities that are subject to neglect or perplexity amid collective histories, rapid growths or grand narratives. These works consist in persistently opposing home and diaspora/exile as conflicting concepts, while the artist makes an effort in a space of contradiction and absence to trace various forms of life, feelings and emotions, and weak signals trapped between technological evolutions.

Their previous projects Close, Closer (2020-2021), Wuhan Punk (2020), and 1815 (2019-20) examine the complex tensions between collective histories and autobiographical intimacy, center and margins, and between individuals and institution, normalizing the in-between spaces that cross these dichotomies. The newly commissioned three-channel video work, titled No Door, One Window, Only Light (2023), will build on this series of videos by focusing on an artist friend from home who passed away in 2022, in order to pose questions around home, absence, trauma and sanity. Meanwhile, the artist has created a newly commissioned series of sculptural objects and architectural score drawing, in which they poetically and comfortably capture, amplify, and analyze the spaces—whether mundane or institutional—within their videos. As such, they give physical quality to transient, forgotten space and landscapes. In the act of reconstructing spaces where the ghosts have lived, they want to ask: how to forget and remember simultaneously during moments of both personal and collective amnesia?

“Chris Zhongtian Yuan: No Door, One Window, Only Light” is curated by Macalline Art Center’s curator Clement Huang, and generously funded by the British Council “Connections through Culture” program. This exhibition inaugurates the first chapter of a two-part UK-China transnational exhibition, followed by the second chapter opening in Reading International, Reading, UK in June. On occasion of our exhibition, Macalline Art Center is pleased to publish Chris Zhongtian Yuan’s first exhibition catalogue in collaboration with international nonprofit organization Please follow our official WeChat account to receive the latest updates on the exhibition and exhibition catalogue.


About the Artist

Chris Zhongtian Yuan

Chris Zhongtian Yuan graduated from the Architectural Association in London and University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Their practice examines the ways in which spaces of absence and exile are politicised through sound and texts. Recomposing vernacular sonic and spatial materials, interwoven with explorations into the structure and technique of moving image, their work investigates narratives and relations simultaneously building and dismantling our everyday spaces. Solo exhibitions include Home Is Where the Music Is, Reading International, Reading (2023); All Trace Is Gone, No Clamour for a Kiss, V.O Curations, London (2022); 1815, K11, Wuhan (2020). Recent group exhibitions and screenings include International Film Festival Rotterdam, Somerset House, Surplus Space, Whitechapel Gallery, Power Station of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, York Art Gallery, OCAT Institute, Videoex Zurich, Venice Biennale of Architecture Greek Pavilion among others. Yuan is the recipient of Aesthetica Art Prize and Film London's FLAMIN Fellowship.


About the Curator

Clement Huang

Born queer and rebellious, Clement Huang is an innovative curator based inBeijing. With a deep commitment to avant-garde ideals and a passion forsubversion, he tirelessly pursues the creation of strikingly beautiful andintellectually stimulating environments that confront the status quo, even in themost challenging social conditions. As an aesthete and anarchist, his curatorialpractice is marked by an unwavering desire to produce a poetics that pushesthe boundaries of what is possible in the contemporary art world.

Deeply informed by his interest in religious grand narratives, which he sees askey to overcoming the mental trauma inflicted by oppressive and authoritarianregimes, Huang perceives art as a form of sublimation. He endeavors tocompensate for the shortcomings of modernity with ab ontology for spirituality,and aims to establish environments that provide a transformative andredemptive encounter, challenging the dominant narratives of our era and fostering novel prospects for thinking and acting. Recent presentations include:Macalline Art Center, Beijing; I Imagine Angels (2022), The Cloisters Project,Macalline Art Center, Shanghai; The Elephant Escaped (2022), Macalline ArtCenter, Shanghai; Cacotopia (2021), Macalline Art Center, Online; The DeficitFaction (2020), Long March Project, Beijing, etc.

The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.