Beijing Xingwei : Contemporary Chinese Time-Based Art

Meiling Cheng


7.5 x 9 inches, 420 pp, 100 color plates, 50 halftones. 2014

ISBN : 9780857420879

Rs  1500.00 (HB)
$40.00 (HB)
£26.00 (HB)

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From cannibalism to light-calligraphy, from self-harming to animal sacrifice, from meat entwined with sex toys to a commodity-embedded ice wall, the idiosyncratic output of Chinese time-based art over the past twenty-five years has invigorated contemporary global art movements and conversation. In Beijing Xingwei, Meiling Cheng engages with such artworks created to mark China's rapid social, economical, cultural, intellectual, and environmental transformations in its post-Deng era.


Beijing Xingwei—itself a critical artwork with text and images unfolding through the author’s experiences with the mutable medium—contemplates the conundrum of creating site-specific ephemeral and performance-based artworks for global consumption. Here, Cheng shows us how art can reflect, construct, confound, and enrich us. And at a moment when time is explicitly linked with speed and profit, Beijing Xingwei provides multiple alternative possibilities for how people with imagination can spend, recycle, and invent their own time.


'Will be a must read for anyone studying performance . . . Meiling Cheng is a brilliant and original thinker and writes with a lively, engaged and engaging poetic style through which she attempts to enact the very passion and performativity that she explores in her objects of study.'—Amelia Jones, author of Body Art/Performing the Subject.


Born and raised in Taiwan, Meiling Cheng is a noted performance art critic and poet and has published widely in both English and Chinese. She is associate professor in the School of Theater at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and the author of In Other Los Angeleses: Multicentric Performance Art (2002).