Gallery film and contemporary Chinese art : on Yang Fudong’s Beyond GOD and Evil-First Chapter and Endless Peaks

  • Bingxi WANG

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


Gallery films are cinematic installations assembled and displayed in an art gallery as a combined exhibition of moving images and contemporary art. As such, a gallery film signifies the evolution of film presentation from a black-box screen to a white-cube space, a characteristic of contemporary art. This research examines Yang Fudong’s (b. 1971) two exhibitions Beyond GOD and Evil-First Chapter (Suzhou Museum, September to December 2019) and Endless Peaks (ShanghART Gallery, November 2020 to January 2021) by employing theories from art history as well as film and media studies, including theories of Chinese landscape painting, discourses on the picturesque and spectatorship, and works by such thinkers as André Bazin and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Following Gene Youngblood’s “expanded cinema,” I argue that Yang has extended the boundaries of film viewing by integrating Chinese landscape ink painting and video art into his gallery films. Yang’s creative strategy, specifically his use of multiple screens and classical Chinese landscape painting in creating a stylistic shift of cinematic viewing in the white cube setting, distinguishes him from other gallery film artists. This type of gallery film is characterized by ambiguity, an epistemological void that invites a hermeneutic interpretation. Gallery film is vital to the understanding and appreciation of Yang Fudong’s works and my study seeks to fill in the gaps of prior studies which tend to focus on the exhibition’s socio-political aspects and do not provide any indepth analysis informed by concepts of gallery film and contemporary art.
Date of Award3 Jan 2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Lingnan University
SupervisorYu-Chieh LI (Supervisor) & Yueh Yu YEH (Supervisor)

Cite this