UCCA Beijing

A Day of Peripheral Thinking-Pulling Numbers: A Ciné-Concert by Philip Miller and William Kentridge


Performing Arts
Location:  Frontier Center

For one of the key public events surrounding the exhibition "William Kentridge: Notes Towards a Model Opera," UCCA invites renowned South African composer Philip Miller to present a two part concert. For the first half, Miller conducts the scores he composed for five of Kentridge's films, including Tide Table and Felix in Exile, both on exhibit at UCCA. For the second half, Miller presents Pulling Numbers, a new work drawn from Chinese history and culture.

Pulling Numbers is inspired by Dahuahui (also known as Jiuhuahui), a gambling game from China's Chaoshan region. Players choose from 36 numbers, each with its own significance that determines the victor. In the nineteenth century, Chinese immigrants brought the game to South Africa, where it has become a popular folk pastime. Miller's piece brings Dahuahui back to China as an audiovisual performance, connecting the two countries in a manner that echoes Kentridge's recent works concerning China.

Philip Miller is a longtime collaborator of William Kentridge, composing the music for The Refusal of Time, Black Box/Chambre Noire, and other pieces. His compositions combine classical and contemporary genres with elements from South African folk music. The China debut of Pulling Numbers is performed by South African singer Ann Masina along with several Chinese musicians.

Ticketing & Participation:

RMB 150 / Adult

RMB 80 / UCCA Member

For booking, please call +86 10 5780 0200 from Tuesday to Friday, 10:00-18:30. Members can also book by sending an email to members@


*Collect your ticket from reception or Frontier Center 30 minutes before the event begins.

* Please no late entry.


Philip Miller(Composer)

Philip Miller is a South African composer and sound artist. His world-renowned work brings together many different mediums, from live performance to film, video, and sound installation. He is a longtime collaborator of William Kentridge, composing music for many of the artist’s films and multimedia installations. Miller’s sound artworks have been shown in the Venice Biennale (2013), Spier Contemporary (2011), and Kaunas Biennial (2009). Miller was previously nominated for an Emmy Award, and he is currently an honorary fellow at the Archive and Public Culture Research Initiative at the University of Cape Town.

Ann Masina(Soprano)

Ann Masina began as a soloist for the Africa Sings Choral Society in 1994. In 1999, she joined the Nico Malan Opera House, now the Cape Town Opera, where she performed to great acclaim in works such as Carmen and Aida. She participated in the 46664 Concert at Hyde Park in London, where she performed for former South African President Nelson Mandela. Since 2012, she has worked with William Kentridge on a number of works, including The Refusal of Time. Masina’s versatile talent allows her to perform in a wide range of musical genres, including opera, classical, gospel, jazz, and pop.

Thuthuka Sibisi(Musical director and conductor)

Chinese Musicians:

Pianist: Li Mei

String Quartet: Bao Renjie, Li Zhuo, Chen Fang, Wang Yiming

Percussionist: Wang Yuhang