Ou Ning

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Bishan Community: How to Create Your Own Utopia

Ou Ning is a curator and artist. In one of his Moleskine notebooks, he begins research toward the founding of an experimental microstate, a utopia, by intellectuals. The Moleskine records the conception of an ideal community in Bishan Village, Yi County, Guizhou Province. Since the publication of "How to Start Your Own Country" by Erwin S. Strauss, more than 150 microstates founded by individuals and organizations have come into being.  Ou Ning's intended community in Bishan Township follows the idea that intellectuals return to the countryside and revitalize its public life. The goal is to spark a renaissance for rural areas in face of the hardships caused by pressing urbanization and the impact of global agricultural capitalism. Designers have been invited to sketch their vision of the Bishan Community, its living facilities and construction. Ou Ning will bring his plan into fruition in near future.

Ou Ning's artistic endeavours encompass multiple disciplines. As an activist, he founded U-thèque, an independent film and video organization. As an editor and graphic designer, he is known for his seminal book, New Sound of Beijing. As a curator, he initiated the biennale exhibition Get It Louder (2005, 2007) and launched the sound project in China Power Station, co-organized by Serpentine Gallery and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. As an artist, he is known for the urban research projects San Yuan Li, commissioned by the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), and Da Zha Lan, commissioned by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. In 2009, he was appointed the chief curator of Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture, and was chosen to be a jury member of the 8th Benesse Prize at the 53rd Venice Biennale.