Zheng Yuan was born in 1988 in Lanzhou and currently lives and works in Beijing. He received his master’s degree from School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2015. Working primarily in time-based media, Zheng often operates at the intersection of fiction, documentary, and investigative research. His work focuses on the relationships between identity and value systems within different historical, social, and political conditions. In 2017, he began the “China Northwest Airlines” project, an attempt to process the history of China’s recent economic transformation through the prism of the civil aviation industry, in particular the story of a failed airline based in his home region of northwestern China.

His recent solo exhibitions/projects include “Forward, Backward”, MadeIn Gallery, Shanghai, 2020; “Up in the Air”, Taikang Space, Beijing, 2017; “An Open Studio” Practice, New York, 2016. Selected group exhibitions include: “Film”, Art Basel Hong Kong, Hong Kong Arts Center, Hong Kong, 2023; “The Future is Here, Are You Coming?”, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago, 2022; E-flux Screening Room, New York, 2022; “Between Sci-fi and Illusory”, MAXXI Museum, Rome, 2022; “Future Tense: Microcinema event”, Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, 2022; “Double Vision”, Tai Kwun, Hong Kong, 2022; “Action as Gesture I”, Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts, Nanjing, China, 2022; “Feeling the Stones”, Diriyah Biennale, Saudi Arabia, 2021; “A Show about Nothing”, BY ART MATTERS Museum, Hangzhou, China, 2021; “A Long Hello – Huayu Youth Award Exhibition”, UCCA, Beijing, 2020; “everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of the planet”, Angewandte Innovation Lab, Vienna, Austria, 2020; “An Impulse to Turn”, Beijing Inside-out Art Museum, Beijing, 2020; “UN/ CONVENTIONAL: OCAT x KADIST Emerging Media Artist Exhibition“, OCAT Shanghai, Shanghai, 2020; “Cosmopolis #1.5: Enlarged Intelligence”, Chengdu, 2018; “OFFLINE BROWSER”, The 6th Taiwan International Video Art Exhibition, Hong-gah Museum, Taipei, 2018; “New Metallurgists”, Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf, 2018; “Long March Project – Building Code Violations III Special Economic Zone”, Long March Space, Beijing, 2018.

His works are also screened at film festivals and online platforms, including Daata Fair, 2021; Visions du Réel, 2021; Arkipel Festival, 2021; “Crashing into the Future”, e-flux Artist Cinemas, online, 2021; “Hasty Falling Time”, 5th floor, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, online, 2020; “Out of Blueprints”, Serpentine Galleries x NOWNESS, online, 2020; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 2019; Kasseler Dokfest, 2019; 25 FPS Festival, 2019; Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2017.

He has won funding from the “Art Production and Exhibition Support Program” in 2022-23 of New Century Art Foundation and was awarded the Jury Award at the 8th Huayu Youth Award 2020.