To Add a Meter to an Unknown Mountain: An Iconic Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photography

To Add a Meter to an Unknown Mountain: An Iconic Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photography

Exhibition Information

Opening Day22 September 2011, Thursday, 7pm
Guest of HonourMs Jane Ittogi, Chairperson of Singapore Art Museum
Period23 September - 30 October 2011
Location 51 Waterloo,

To Add a Meter to an Unknown Mountain: An Iconic Collection of Contemporary Chinese Photography features the works of four Chinese artists whose bold, conceptual art challenges the conservative society that they grew up in. As internationally renowned artists, CangXin, Ma Liuming, Liu Wei, and Zhan Wang are all important figures in the rising contemporary Chinese art scene that is taking the world by storm. In their respective styles, each of these contemporary Chinese artists expresses social critiques of the world as they see it. From the impermanent state of human actions to the harmony between nature and mankind, the photography in this exhibition highlights the relationships between man and nature, new and old, and modernity and tradition. In a rapidly urbanizing world, their work serves to capture significant moments of interaction between two starkly different worlds.

Programme Documentation

Programme Media

About the Collaboration


Born in the Heilongjiang Province in 1967, the renowned artist Cang Xin (b.1967, China) is known for his performance art and photography, both of which reflect his shamanistic belief that all living and non‐living things transcend each other through their spiritual essence. He studied at the Tianjin Academy of Music, and his work has been exhibited worldwide in London, Barcelona, Russia, Australia, and Italy. Cang Xin currently lives and works in Beijing.


As a contemporary Chinese artist, Liu Wei (b. 1972) has no trademark or uniting element in his work; rather, he engages in mixed media and a wide variety of mediums and art forms such as video, painting, installation, sculpture, photography and drawing. He was born in Beijing in 1972 and studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. His works have been featured in numerous exhibitions worldwide, including the Pompidou Center in France, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, and the International Center for Photography in New York. He currently resides and works in Beijing.


Ma Liuming (b.1969, China) is an internationally renowned performance artist who is most widely known for his controversial nude persona, Fen‐Ma Liuming – an androgynous figure with a female face and male body. Born in Hubei province, China in 1969, he joined the avant‐garde art movement that took hold in the Beijing East Village in the 1990s although his radical work often gained the unwanted attention of the Chinese police. His solo performances and exhibitions have been showcased around the world in Europe, the USA, and Asia. He currently lives and works in Beijing.

Zhan Wang (b.1962, China) is an internationally recognized Chinese sculptor whose works examine the relationship between old and new, modern and traditional, and synthetic and natural. Born in Beijing in 1962, Zhan Wang is the first contemporary Chinese artist to have his work included in the permanent collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art. His studies at the Beijing Industrial Arts College led him to experiment with his surrealist technique in the early 1990s. His exhibitions have been held worldwide in Japan, Italy, France, and Singapore. The artist currently lives and works in Beijing.

Programme Outreach

Saturday 24 September 2011, 3pm

By Dr. Britta Erickson,
an independent scholar and curator from the United States to give a specialist talk on contemporary Chinese Photography.

Programme Publication