Li Ran’s practice ranges across multiple media from installation, performance and writing, to video and painting, with utilization of archival photos, staged photography, vocal mimicry, and sound performance. In recent years, he has been researching into stage art, make-up design, and the production of translated foreign films, in the context of modern China. Simultaneously, he has curated a collection of case studies of the 1930s, featuring the work of satirical cartoonists, leftist and authors of the “Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies” literary school, all of whom in a complex social background. These endeavors connect with the diverse circumstances of those “humble intellectuals” in present-day art industry, and serve as a rich and personal response from the artist.
Li Ran was born in Hubei, China in 1986. He moved from Beijing to Shanghai in 2018. He graduated with a BFA from the Oil Painting Department from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. In 2015, Li held a solo exhibition at OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Xi'an, China. His single-channel video work was screened at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London and The Jewish Museum, New York. He has exhibited in group shows at UCCA Edge, Shanghai, China (2023); Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea (2022); He Art Museum, Shunde, China (2022); Sifang Museum, Nanjing, China (2021); OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shanghai, China (2021, 2019, 2014, 2013); Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, China (2020); HOW Museum, Shanghai, China (2019); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), Beijing, China (2017); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila, Philippines (2016); OCAT Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China (2016, 2013, 2012, 2011); NTU Center For Contemporary Art Singapore (CCA), Singapore (2015); Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA (2014); Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin, Germany (2013); basis door actuele kunst (BAK), Utrecht, Netherlands (2013); Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston, USA (2012) and other venues. His works were featured in Montreal Biennale (2014); Biennale of Moving Images, Geneva (2014); 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014); 2nd CAFAM Biennial, Beijing (2014), 4th ‘Former West’ Project, Berlin (2013), 9th Gwangju Biennial (2012), and 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012). Li was awarded the ‘Best Artist Award’ at the Moscow International Youth Art Biennial in 2014 and was nominated for the ‘Future Generation Award’ by the Pinchuk Arts Center in 2017.
Recent, current and forthcoming projects