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Susanne Clausen, Clement Huang, Chris Zhongtian Yuan (eds)

Home Is Where The Music Is and No Door, One Window, Only Light by Chris Zhongtian Yuan

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ISBN 9798864939451

This publication documents and contextualises two parallel exhibitions by Chris Zhongtian Yuan “No Door, One Window, Only Light” at Macalline Art Center, Beijing and “Home Is Where The Music Is” at Reading International, Reading, as part of a wider UK - China collaborative project.

“No Door, One Window, Only Light” brings together four video works, several installations, and drawings to form a periodic retrospect and survey of recent works and a newly commissioned film. Reading International’s presentation in response is comprised of a series of video, sound and architectural installations responding to the history, architecture and the institutional structure of Brock Keep, a former military barracks built in 1877, which houses the exhibition venue 571 Oxford Road, Open Hand Open Space.

The two exhibitions and related events provide a conversation around Chris Zhongtian Yuan’s architectural and musical approach to engage with the filmic medium. Yuan examines ways in which spaces of exile and absence are politicised. Recomposing vernacular sonic and spatial materials, Yuan’s work investigates narratives and politics simultaneously building and dismantling our everyday spaces. Drawing from a wide range of music genres such as punk, jazz and noise, Yuan uses sound in a way to re-imagine and improvise memory and resistance.

Their works often visit marginalised communities that are subject to neglect or perplexity amid collective histories, rapid growth or grand narratives. These works consist in persistently opposing home and diaspora/exile as conflicting concepts, while making efforts in a space of contradiction and absence to trace various forms of life, feelings and emotions, and weak signals trapped between technological evolutions.

Yuan’s previous projects Close, Closer (2020-2021), Wuhan Punk (2020) shown at Reading International, and 1815(2019-20) examine the complex tensions between collective histories and autobiographical intimacy, centre and margins, and between individuals and institution, normalising the in-between spaces that cross these dichotomies. The newly commissioned three-channel video work, titled No Door, One Window, Only Light (2023), builds on this series of videos by focusing on an artist friend from home who passed away in 2022, to pose questions around home, absence, trauma and sanity.

And interview between Susanne Clausen and Chris Zhongtian Yuan contextualises the exhibition in Reading, Natalia Grabowska reflects in the use and application of sound in the work, May Adadol Ingawanij on generational relations and legacy, Wenny Teo reviews the newly commissioned film No Door, One Window, Only Light  and Clement Huang’s article resumes the exhibition in Beijing.

Contributors: Susanne Clausen, Natalia Grabowska, Clement Huang, May Adadol Ingawanii, Wenny Teo, Chris, Zhongtian Yuan.

168 pages, Text in English and Mandarin
Publication design by Lois Zhang

Published by OnCurating.org

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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