OU Ning

San Yuan Li  (2003), video still, courtesy of CAO Fei & OU Ning

San Yuan Li (2003), video still, courtesy of CAO Fei & OU Ning


san yuan li

2003, video, B&W, experimental documentary, 40’

Directed and produced by OU Ning and CAO Fei for the 50th Venice Biennale, the experimental documentarySan Yuan Li explores the paradox between China’s rapid economic growth and its social marginalization. Armed with video cameras, twelve artists from the Utheque, a collective co-founded by OU and CAO, documentedthe evolving landscape of San Yuan Li in its process ofurbanization in Guangzhou. China’s rapid modernizationliterally trapped the traditional village of San Yuan Li within the surrounding high-rises of Guangzhou. San Yuan Li, ablack-and-white film/ poem from the perspectives of cityflaneurs, addresses issues around the debts of history,conflict and mediation between modernization and Cantonese settlement culture, and peculiar architecturesand cultural landscapes in urban villages. San Yuan Li has been showcased around the world and is in the collection ofmajor institutions including MoMA New York, Guangdong Museum of Art, and M+ Art Museum, Hong Kong.


ou ning

Born 1969 in Suixi, lives and works in New York

OU Ning is a multi-disciplinary practitioner. As an artist, he is known for his documentary films San Yuan Li (2003) andMeishi Street (2006). As a curator, he has curated Get It Louder (2005, 2007, 2010), 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture. As a writerand editor, he has published “Odyssey: Architecture andLiterature” (2009), “South of Southern: Space, Geography, History and the Biennale” (2014) and his literary journal “Chutzpah!” (2011-2013). As an activist, he lived in a small village and founded the Bishan Commune (2011- 2016) and School of Tillers (2015-2016), joining the new rural reconstruction movement in China. He has been a jury member of the 8th Benesse Prize at the 53rd Venice Art Biennale (2009). He is a member of the Asian Art Council at the Guggenheim Museum (2011) and a visiting professor at GSAPP, Columbia University (2016-2017).