Floating Chinese Musicians

Floating Chinese Musicians began as a modest collaboration between WAZA and ChART Contemporary during a visit to Wuhan in February 2009. We had not anticipated that the trip would evolve into an art commission supported by Karen Smith and 2-year traveling exhibition. Floating Chinese Musicians was first exhibited publicly in Wuhan and traveled to Shanghai where it was shown during the inaugural exhibition at the Minsheng Art Museum. Most recently, this project was included in Fat Art 2010 - an annual Beijing based exhibition organized by The Today Art Museum.

Please contact us if you would like more information about Floating Chinese Musicians or want to support another ChART project.

Project Overview

Floating Chinese Musicians is conceptualized by WAZA, produced by ChART Contemporary and supported by IA. This project is an installation and media archive of roaming folk musicians who are preserving a dying tradition while surviving on China’s periphery. Since March 2008, WAZA has focused on the reality within China’s inland regions and has had extensive contact with roaming folk musicians to document their lives, performances and creation process. Through this investigation, WAZA has compiled an extensive archive of primary materials including photographs, interviews, sound recordings, video, and text. WAZA has selected 30 musicians to represent the reality of China’s inland roaming folk musicians. The goal of this media archive is to realize a multimedia installation that creates a library to preserve this material while raising awareness about a disappearing art form.

This project is a multimedia installation created from recycled wood, mp3 players, speakers, sound recordings and a metal frame.

Floating Chinese Musicians on view in Beijing from April 24 - May 16, 2010.

Floating Chinese Musicians floated from Wuhan to Shanghai in 2009.

Exhibition Dates and Venues:
Field: August 14 – 16: Wuhan (East Lake, former Drive-in movie theatre)
Lab: August 18 – September 12: Shanghai (Minsheng Art Museum)


FAT ART Venue - Beijing
Detail – Beijing
Installation view with The Opposite House Hotel in the background – Beijing
Detail - Shanghai
Installation View from outside - Shanghai
Detail - Shanghai
Installation View - Shanghai
Detail - Shanghai
Detail - Shanghai
Installation view, Wuhan
Detail of Installation, Wuhan
Side view, Wuhan
Opening in Wuhan
Visitors explore archive material, Wuhan
1949 - 2008 p video with sound, Wuhan
KC Vienna, ia team, Hu Ge and Wang Huan, Karen Smith (ia), Megan Connolly, Wuhan
Day two in Wuhan Megan, Wang Huan, KC and Hu Ge

Day two in Wuhan, Installation at sunset