Ou Ning

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Ou Ning
Ou Ning in Beijing, 2008

Ou Ning (simplified Chinese: 欧宁; traditional Chinese: 歐寧; pinyin: ōu níng) is an activist, writer, curator and artist. As an advocate to ruralism in China, he founded Bishan Commune and School of Tillers in Bishan Village, Huangshan, Anhui, two spaces for intellectuals and practitioners who devote to rural reconstruction movement in China. As an activist, he founded U-thèque, an independent film and video organization in 1999. He also edited and designed New Sound of Beijing. As a curator, he initiated the biennale exhibition Get It Louder in 2005, 2007, and 2010. For the 2010 exhibition he chose Sharism as the overarching theme.[1][2][3] Additional curator duties have involved launching the sound project in China Power Station, co-organized by Serpentine Gallery and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art; As an artist, he is known for the urban research projects such as San Yuan Li, commissioned by 50th Venice Biennale (2003), and Da Zha Lan, commissioned by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. He is a frequent contributor of various magazines, books and exhibition catalogues and has lectured around the world. In 2009, he was appointed the chief curator of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (09SZHKB), and was chosen to be the jury member of the 8th Benesse Prize at the 53rd Venice Biennale. He is now the curator of The Solutions: Design and Social Engineering for the 2011 Chengdu Biennale and founded a new literary bi-monthly magazine Chutzpah (Tian Nan in Chinese) (2011-2013). He was the director of Shao Foundation and member of Asian Art Council 2011 at Guggenheim Museum. He has been based in Bishan Village since 2011.


Media and interviews[edit]

  • CinemaTalk: A Conversation with Ou Ning, By Dan Edwards from RealTime Arts magazine in Australia, March 2011, Beijing
  • NAi Interview, by Julia Linsen from NAi (Netherlands Architecture Institute), 24 September 2009, Rotterdam
  • Wallpaper Interview, Wallpaper, Made in China issue, June 2009
  • In Practice: Q&A between Magnus Ericson and Ou Ning, published by IASPIS (International Artists' Studio Program in Sweden), 2008, Stockholm
  • The Past Has Said Goodbye to Us: Q & A between Sonja Ernst and Ou Ning, http://www.bpb.de, launched by Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung, 2008, Germany
  • Talk Goes On: Interview with Hou Hanru, On The Mid-ground, April 2002, Timezone 8
  • Get It Louder: Voice of China’s New Design, with Modern Weekly

Social thought[edit]

  • Agrarian Utopia: An Artistic Experiment in Chiang Mai, an observation of an artist experimental land project in Chiang Mai, Thailand, March 13, 2011
  • Where is China Heading?, Explorations and Propositions from the Shenzhen Marathon, 17 March 2010, Beijing
  • "The “Commons” of Common Spaces" essay published by the Goethe-Institut China, January 2016

Visual works and exhibitions[edit]

  • An Arrow, a critical writing for 3 Years Arrow Factory 2008-2011, published by Sternberg Press, 2011, Berlin
  • The Experience of Family and Social Change: Song Dong's Home and Art, published in Song Dong: Dad and Mom, Don't Worry About Us, We Are All Well, Yerba Buena Center for Arts, 2011, San Francisco
  • Design and Social Engineering, curatorial statement for The Solutions: International Design Exhibition, 2011 Chengdu Biennale
  • A City Called Shenzhen: Exhibition Narrative of 09SZHKB, introduction to the main exhibition of 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, composed of "In the South", "Losing the Countryside", "City-Building Fever", "Back to the Streets", "The Amusement Park" and "Future City-State"
  • Odyssey: A Wanderer's Manifesto, a fictional-styled foreword for the Odyssey: Architecture and Literature Project, 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture
  • City Mobilization: Towards Another Kind of Biennale, Curatorial Statement for 2009 Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture
  • Everyone is a Curator, curator's introduction to Get It Louder 2007, a large-scale touring biennial for Chinese new generation of designers and artists
  • Is London Still the Center of the World?, Everything Material, Something Immaterial: UK Chapter of Get It Louder 2007, published by British Council, 2007, China
  • Neo Photography and Media Industry in Guangzhou, 3030: New Photography in China, edited by John Millichap, 2006, Hong Kong
  • Rewriting Asia, The Global Identity of Contemporary Asian Art, Credit Suisse: Art & Entrepreneurship, exhibition catalogue, published by Credit Suisse, 2008, Zurich

Urban studies[edit]

  • City Regeneration and Its Opposition, 7–16 February 2008, Beijing, essay for Spectacle and the city - urbanity in popular culture and art in East Asia, 4–5 June 2010, Amsterdam, IIAS/ASCA Seminar One
  • The Social Flux and Spatial Politics of the Pearl River Watershed, October, 2010, Commissioned by The River Project, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney
  • Street Life at Da Zha Lan, Urban China, 2006, Shanghai, a poetic anthropological study on Da Zha Lan, a nest for the underprivileged and outcomers of Beijing; it is currently a district reconstructed in urban renewal
  • Offline City, an evocative description of people's living forms and status at Da Zha Lan; "offline" is a smart invention for the district under the impact of postmodern informational society
  • Shadows of Time, Yishu, Spring Issue, March 2004, Vancouver, on an earlier project San Yuan Li, a well-known village-amidst-the-city case in Guangzhou, South China
  • The Story of Zhang Jinli, Kulturstiftung des Bundes Magazine vol. 7, 2006, Germany; Volume 8: Ubiquitous China, Archis+AMO+C-LAB+NAi, 2006, Rotterdam; Totalstadt: Beijing Case, Verlag, Koln, 2006, an ordinary man with his fate closely bound to Meishi Street of historic Beijing where he lived


  • The Country Where Dreams May Come True, ICON Magazine, Issue 057, March 2008, London
  • Who is Designing for the Poor?, Plugzine, Issue 1, 2005, Beijing


  • The Revolutionary Imagination and its Cultural Praxis, Published in CHiE! Culture Sieges Politics, 2008, Para/Site, Hong Kong


  • Liu Xiaodong and the Sixth Generation Films, Liu Xiaodong, 2006, Map Publishers, Hong Kong
  • Revealing Keys To The Riddle Of Reality: Moving Images Of The Pearl River Delta From 1999 To 2003, Yishu, Summer Issue, June 2004, Vancouver, on the independent DV filmmaking in Guangdong after the introduction of DV technology to Guangdong around 1999
  • Being As Surrealistic as Reality: Chinese Independent Cinema after the Fifth Generation, Metropolis M, October 2004, Amsterdam
  • Digital Images and Civic Consciousness, Argos Festival 2004, Catalogue, October 2004, Brussels
  • The U-theque Organization: An End or a Beginning?, Yishu, Summer Issue, June 2003, Vancouver


  1. ^ "Get It Louder 2010". Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  2. ^ "Get It Louder: China's Most Influential and Closely-Watched Exhibition of Emerging, Young Talent". Retrieved May 25, 2012.
  3. ^ "Ou Ning on Get it Louder – new voice in China's visual arts scene". Retrieved May 25, 2012.

External links[edit]