Li Ran
(b. 1986, China)
Li Ran graduated from Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Oil Painting Department. He has exhibited extensively internationally including at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the ICA, London; Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), Berlin; Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH), Houston; The Museum of Moscow, Moscow; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and across China and other venues. He has held solo exhibition at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), Xi'an (2015); His works have also been featured in Montreal Biennale (2014), 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014), 2nd CAFAM Biennial (2014), 4th "Former West" Project (2013, Berlin), 9th Gwangju Biennial (2012), 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012).
A two-channel video composed as a restaged confrontation of found-footage from Chinese movies from the 1950s to 70s and scenes commissioned by the artist, featuring actors from the Uyghur, Kazakh and Muslim minorities assigned to play multiple roles in stereotypical scenarios from various political eras. The video responds to the period of China political enclosure and tense military international relations during which actors of more "western" appearance were hired to play the supporting roles of antagonists in order to fit the image of a foreign enemy in contrast with the national heroes – a propaganda mechanism which is still relevant today.

In a broader sense the "supporting roles" refer to the condition of the art world today, in which the dominant themes in the discourse are the Other, the-center-versus-the-periphery and the-participant-versus- the-observer whereas the actors in the art world feel driven to become the "protagonist".
Li Ran. Retransformation of the Supporting Roles, 2017. 2-channel synchronization video, 12' 00''
Profiles of 21 Artists Shortlisted for the
Future Generation Art Prize 2017