Cheng mainly focuses on new media and his artworks are mostly videos and films. Cheng's works are created by applying basic cinematic techniques like simple cutting, rearranging, montage, full length shot and so on. Usually, his videos do not have complete and coherent storylines, and sentiment is the main part to show.
In 2012, Cheng Ran participated in artist Michael Lin's exhibition "Model Home" at Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai. Working with Lin, Cheng recorded the whole process of the preparation and the construction work of the exhibition and then presented the videos in the final show.
Cheng Ran is represented by LEO XU Projects.
In 2011 he won the "Best Video Artist" in Dead Rabbit Awards held by online art magazine Randian. The winning piece "Chewing Gum Papers” is a simultaneously hypnotic and sinister combined with Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech as the background sound; and it is also a piece of commissioned work for LEO XU PROJECTS's inaugural show "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)". In 2019 Cheng won the Nomura Emerging Artist Award, valued at 100,000 USD.
- "Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood", Galerie Urs Meile, Beijing-Lucerne, Beijing
- "Circadian Rhythm", Qingying Gallery, Hangzhou
- "Immersion and Distance", Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing
- "Chinese photographer Cheng Ran exhibits three-month residency at New York's The New Museum". British Journal of Photography. 12 October 2016.
- "Ocean Wave by Cheng Ran".
- "Cheng Ran".
- "Light Source".
- The exhibition details on RAM website Archived 2012-03-25 at the Wayback Machine
- "randian". www.randian-online.com.
- Greenberger, Alex (21 May 2019). "Cheng Ran, Cameron Rowland Win $100,000 Nomura Emerging Artist Awards".
- Radar, Art. "New York Out of Character: Chinese artist Cheng Ran at New Museum, New York - Art Radar".
- "ArtAsiaPacific: Diary Of A Madman". artasiapacific.com.
- Review of "Hot Blood, Warm Blood, Cold Blood" in Timeout Beijing Website Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
- "CHENG RAN - CIRCADIAN RHYTHM – 艺术界 LEAP". www.leapleapleap.com.
- Article of "Immersion and Distance" in UCCA's website