UCCA Offsite

Voluntary Garden

2019.10.17 - 2019.12.9


Location:  Fusion Art Center, Beijing

Fusion Art Center, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Modern Sky's BADHEAD Records, and COART are proud to present “Voluntary Garden,” a special project by Colin Siyuan Chinnery. This project takes the form of two parts, performance and exhibition, all in the unique setting of Fusion Art Center’s Suzhou-style courtyard.

This program is curated by Zhang Xiaozhou, director of BADHEAD Records (Modern Sky’s imprint for alternative music), and You Yang, Deputy Director of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art. Together with Colin Siyuan Chinnery, they have invited more than 30 musicians to perform and record together. From October 17 to 24, for eight days the musicians will take to the stage, performing live and improvising according to their personal styles, in doing so providing an image of the current state of contemporary Chinese music and its diversity.


The content to be performed is a cross-section of music being produced in China today. Chinnery was informed by the opera stages that are traditionally part of Suzhou gardens, and transposed that idea to the Fusion Art Center, located right next to the Forbidden City in Beijing. At the center of the garden is a pond, and Chinnery has built a floating stage for musicians to perform upon. However, this is not a concert. Musicians will play their music one by one, responding to the recordings made by other musicians who played before them, and the process will be filmed and recorded. From Chinese folk and classical music, to jazz, rock, metal, electronic, experimental, noise, and avant-garde music, the musical content documented in “Voluntary Garden” crosses the gamut of musical creativity in China today. Chinnery has also invited renowned actress Tan Zhuo to serve as a special audience member, recording her reactions to the music.


This is the first part of the project. Chinnery will then create a four-screen video installation from the filmed musical performances, and weave the disparate musical elements together to form a kind of music that could not have been intended by any of the musicians involved. A kind of music that doesn’t obey the rules of style or content, that constantly changes so as not to be the same piece of music from one moment to the next. This video installation will also be presented at the Fusion Art Center from November 10 to December 9, 2019, in the place where the work was performed and filmed.

About the Exhibition

“Colin Siyuan Chinnery: Voluntary Garden” is a collaboration between Fusion Art Center, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Modern Sky’s BADHEAD Records, and COART. Together with Chinnery, curators Zhang Xiaozhou and You Yang have invited more than 30 musicians to perform and record. There is also a special collaboration with actress Tan Zhuo. Support for this exhibition is provided by SNOWPLUS, Sennheiser, and New Century Art Foundation. The project is to be implemented in the Suzhou-style garden of Fusion Art Center over two phases: recording from October 17 to October 24, 2019, and exhibition from November 10 to December 9, 2019. Access to “Voluntary Garden” is available through reservation or invitation only.

 To make reservation please contact: members@ucca.org.cn

Please follow UCCA’s Weibo account for any performance schedule updates.


Performance and Recording Schedule

October 17, 2019

 Feng Jiangzhou: New media artist, multimedia performer, founder of The Fly band.

 Feng Mengbo: Multimedia artist.

 Guan Fei: Drummer. He has played with The Fly, Again, No. 43 Baojia Street, Hangtian, and Thin Man, among others.

 Nathaniel Gao: Saxophonist and composer.

 Wu Na: Guqin player and educator.


October 18, 2019

Cao Yang: Independent musician, former lead singer of Exit A.

Liu Xiaosong: Renowned percussionist and drummer.

Lü Zhiqiang: Artist, electronic musician, and manager of Tunnel Records.

Shao Yanpeng (SHAO): Electronic music artist, composer, and sound designer.

Wang Xiaofang: Dulcimer player, rock singer. Previously a member of the band Cobra, currently in Mu Liang Wen Wang.


October 19, 2019

 Feng Le: Independent electronic musician.

 Lu Yan: Singer and keyboardist of the bands AV Okubo and Hardcore Raver in Tears.

 Li Yi: Artist, musician. Keyboardist of Xue Wei.

 Na Linhu: Artist, curator, founder of Groundless Camp.

 Zhou Fengling: Guitarist, singer, founder of the band Mr. Zhou.


October 20, 2019 

Deng Boyu: Drummer, electronic musician. Member of the band Red Scarf.

Li Honglin: Erhu player.

 Liu Yucao: Lead singer of the band JaJaTao.

 Yang Haisong: Musician, producer, poet, lead singer of P.K.14, and manager of Maybe Mars Records.

 Yu Weimin: Drummer, member of Xue Wei.


October 21, 2019

Li Jianhong: Noise/improvisation guitarist. Member of the bands Vagus Nerve and Mind Fiber. 

Wang Chenhuai: Jazz bassist.

 Wei Wei: Noise/free improvisation laptop performer. Member of the bands Vagus Nerve and Mind Fiber.

 Wen Zhiyong: Independent musician and producer. Previously a member of Buyiding, Red Hand Jazz Band, and Chaojian.

 Yan Jun: Sound performer, poet, and curator.


October 22, 2019

Feng Hao: Sound artist. Member of experimental music group Walnut Room, and new media art collective Drowyek.

 Li Xing: Guitarist and producer. Member of the bands Red Scarf and String&Wind.

 Pei: Electronic musician and Bye Bye Disco label manager.

 Xia Yuyan: Pipa player.

 Zhang Meng: Musician, sheng player. Member of the band String&Wind.


October 23, 2019

Lao Dan: Saxophone and bamboo flute performer. Member of the band Red Scarf.

 Meng Qi: Pioneering synthesizer designer, musician, and music lecturer.

 Qiu Ye: Leader, singer, and bassist of Ziyue.

 You Yang: Curator, art institution staff member, musician.


October 24, 2019

Huang Jin: Drummer, percussionist, and electronic musician. Drummer of Re-TROS, and member of the multimedia project Noise Temple.

Mamer: Musician, member of the bands IZ, Kunakar, 51-RAYON, Mekrop, TAT, and Bande.

Zhang Mo: Film producer and guitar player. Previously member of the bands Hyonblood and Ritual Day.

Zhang Shouwang: Musician. Member of the bands Carsick Cars, White+, and “Maybe Ensemble,” the avant-garde chamber music group of the experimental music label Maybe Noise.


About the Artist

Colin Siyuan Chinnery is an artist and art critic based in Beijing. Chinnery graduated in Chinese Language and Civilisation at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in 1997. From 1998 to 2002 he worked at the British Library's International Dunhuang Project, a project dedicated to facilitating international research of the voluminous collection of ancient manuscripts discovered in Dunhuang, setting up the project’s Beijing office at the National Library of China. 


In 2002 Chinnery moved to China and began exhibiting widely as an artist in China, Europe and the US. Currently he is developing a major new work titled Sound Museum, a multi-faceted artwork including a history of social sounds, sound art, online social engagement, and collaborative projects.


Chinnery was Director in 2009 and 2010 of ShContemporary Art Fair in Shanghai, and between 2006 – 2008 he was Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, playing a central role in setting up China’s first major contemporary art institution. Between 2003 and 2006, as Arts Manager for the British Council in Beijing, he initiated major projects in experimental theatre, live art, sound art, and visual arts, bringing a wider public into contact with experimental practice. Chinnery writes regularly about contemporary art and is contributing editor for Frieze magazine.


About UCCA

UCCA Center for Contemporary Art is China’s leading contemporary art institution. Committed to the belief that art can deepen lives and transcend boundaries, UCCA presents a wide range of exhibitions, public programs, and research initiatives to a public of more than one million visitors each year. UCCA Beijing sits at the heart of the 798 Art District, occupying 10,000 square meters of factory chambers built in 1957 and regenerated in 2019 by OMA. UCCA Dune, designed by Open Architecture, lies beneath the sand in the seaside enclave of Aranya in Beidaihe. Formally accredited as a museum by the Beijing Cultural Bureau in 2018, UCCA also operates non-profit foundations, licensed by the Beijing Bureau of Civil Affairs and the Hong Kong government. UCCA’s commercial ventures include the retail platform UCCA Store, the children’s education initiative UCCA Kids, and collaborations and projects under the rubric UCCA Lab. Opened in 2007 and revived by a committed group of Chinese and international patrons in 2017, UCCA works to bring China into global dialogue through contemporary art.


About Fusion Art Center

Fusion Art Center is an art institution that emphasizes involvement with space. It advocates that space makes art better and is a medium for in-depth communication between people and art. The center reproduces a Suzhou-style courtyard representing the spirit of ancient Chinese scholar-bureaucrats, located next to the Forbidden City, as a carrier for its exploration of space and art.



BADHEAD was established by Shen Lihui—the founder of Modern Sky. It is Modern Sky’s subsidiary record label for alternative music, and began to release records in 1999. In this era albums by NO, Tongue, The Fly, Hu Mage, Chen Dili, Muma, Lure, Xiao He, and Wan Xiaoli were met with an enthusiastic response and had a profound impact on the contemporary music scene. In 2008, BADHEAD went on hiatus.


In 2014, BADHEAD restarted under leadership of Zhang Xiaozhou. To date, BADHEAD has released 61 albums. BADHEAD is dedicated to forward-looking and artistically inclined music, and is increasingly involved in the contemporary art community and associated practices.



The COART Art Institute is an independent art and cultural institution founded by Li Yapeng under the umbrella of China Investment Holdings. COART's core values are that art transcends forms to break the boundaries of form, stimulating each other; to strive for “symbiosis with art”; to let art return to life, to let art leave the academy and return to life; that everyone is an artist; that art shows strength and action. COART holds that the positive energy of culture and art can influence and shape positive values in young people.


Participating Musicians and Sound Artists:

Special Collaborator: Tan Zhuo

Recording Engineer: An Jiguo

Videographer: Ren Jie

Photographer: Song Xiaohui

Installation Views

Installation Views

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