UCCA Beijing

UCCA x Artforum: Before the Afterimages


Cinema Arts
Location:  Auditorium
Language:  Chinese

In conjunction with the ongoing exhibition “The New Normal: China, Art, and 2017,” UCCA invites artforum.com.cn to organize a series of four events in the Pavilion of Exception (UCCA Nave). The wide range of events aim to encourage further discussion about the exhibition from a rich array of perspectives.

In Beyond Good and Evil, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote: “Given some stimulus, our eyes find it more convenient to reproduce an image that they have often produced before than to register what is different and new about an impression.” Images often appear in waves, falling and rising, with mutual pursuit and destruction occurring between each crest, and the traces of what was lost slowly revealed by the ebbing tide. Meanwhile, images also often transform into afterimages, combining with other waves to create an overlapping impression. Traversing media, styles, techniques, and ways of thinking, afterimages force us to relive some hazy memories. Declarations and attempts to carve distinct divisions prove useless. The only thing we can now experience is indistinguishable yet ever-present tacit understanding. It is an inevitable journey one will have to take, an echo and advance mutually keeping each other at arm’s length.

Perhaps the eight short films in “Before the Afterimages” will reveal to us such moments—or perhaps they cannot, because creators always attempt to evade and expel afterimages, or transform them into, as Nietzsche termed, “new impressions”. However, the arrival of afterimages is often unexpected. Even as a weakening persistence of vision, or a fleeting look into each other, once they are caught, they can be re-stimulated to enter the viewers’ consciousness, thus clearing the seemingly irremovable obstacle that seems to exist between one individual and other, between the inner self and outside world. The afterimages are endlessly separating and combining moments in time.

Ticketing: Free


*Collect your ticket from reception 45 minutes before the event begins;

*Please no late entry;

*Seating is limited, and tickets must be collected individually;

*Please keep mobile devices on silent.

About the Film

Message to the Future (2017)

Director: Ma Haijiao

Runtime: 9 min 23 sec

Backyard – Hey! Sun is Rising (2001)

Director: Yang Fudong

Runtime: 13 min

Refuge Island (2015)

Director: Tang Chao

Runtime: 15 min 31 sec

Untitled (Festival) (2011)

Director: Liu Chuang

Runtime: 5 min 14 sec

Blow-up (2014)

Director: Zhu Changquan

Runtime: 9 min 26 sec


Director: Tao Hui

Runtime: 31 min 1 sec

The Trial (2013)

Director: Yao Qingmei

Runtime: 9 min 24 sec

Today I Rest (2016)

Director: Shi Qing

Runtime: 19 min 10 sec


Yang Beichen (Senior editor of artforum.com.cn, PhD candidate at Beijing Film Academy)




14:30–14:50 Ticket pick-up at the reception desk (for UCCA members who RSVPed)

14:50–15:20 Exclusive UCCA members-only guided tour

15:00–15:30 Ticket distribution at the reception desk (for UCCA members who didn’t RSVP and non-members)

15:30–17:30 Screening

*Please arrive promptly.