Through video, sound, architecture and performance, I investigate the ghostly traces of more-than-human histories through which our worlds are made and unmade. Guided by research, my practice examines the messy web of history, ecology, mythology and geopolitics. Acknowledging the entanglement between human and nonhuman, living and nonliving, past and presence, I uncover oral histories, folklore tales, rumours, footages, sounds and music of specific sites. Through a precise process of editing, I stitch together both the found and the original to construct new collective myth: from an anarchist group occupying a reservoir in Wuhan, to the rumour of a mutated species in the U.S.-Mexico border, for example. Storytelling is not longer the backdrop of the work but instead the work itself.
       I want to challenge the dominant presence of the Anthropocene by inventing objects, figures, and worlds that provoke our sonic imagination. Through narration, sound and music, my work builds new worlds where multiple places, identities and time periods collide. I am interested in using exhibition spaces as site-specific and fictive spaces, allowing liminal and overlapping experiences to emerge.
       Born in Wuhan, China, I am currently based in London, UK. I studied at University of Minnesota, Rice University and the Architectural Association in London. Previously, I have worked with Bjarke Ingles Group in Copenhagen, Denmark and Neri&Hu in Shanghai, China. My videos, collages, installations and performances have been exhibited/presented at the Architectural Association, Venice Architecture Biennale, London Met, Campo Space, London Zoo, Rice Gallery, K11 Art Foundation and Metropolitan Design Center.

       Chris Zhongtian Yuan


© 2019 All rights reserved.

Counterfictions is a sound, architecture piece that constructs alternative realities on the border after the construction of Trump’s  wall proposal. The story starts with a journalistic comment on Donald Trump’s wall, and ends with a haunting myth of biologists tracking a genetically mutated species along the U.S.-Mexico border. Counterfictions weaves together information from scientific facts, Trump’s quote, fictional literature and mythology.

Single channel video, sound, 10’39”, research map

*Text by Claire Shiying Li for MODA Curate at Wallach Gallery, Columbia University 

Aesthetica Emerging Art Prize Winner, York Art Gallery, 13 March to 18 July, 2020

Open Sound 2020, Outpost Gallery (forthcoming)

AA Project Review
London, UK
Single channel video, sound, color, 3’20”

The digital collage video shows the dream of a London regeneration council officer. Ghost towers are skeletal highrises, empty follies and leftovers of neoliberal desires –dream structures of false progress. 


In the post-Documenta context of Athens, a privately-funded art institution proposes an open-gated, 24/7 curriculum in order to both embrace the existing street life, and bring catalyst to ongoing crises in the city. Through curating a series of programmed architectural objects in the city, the new institution hopes to bring high and low, art and commerce, academia and everyday life together.

Presented at Venice Architecture Biennale Greek Pavilion, 2018
Digital collage, physical model, drawing, various dimensions

A series of collages and texts that explore the uncertain boundaries between things.

Connecting Future Group Exhibition, K11, Wuhan, China, 2014
Digital collage, text, various dimensions

The video installation consists of a documentary film on a Wuhan-based anarchist group living on a natural reservoir that is facing environmental changes.

Young Video Artists Group Exhibition, K11, Wuhan, China, 2010

Single channel video 8’35”, animation projection