RongRong's Diary: Beijing East Village presents a selection of images and diary entries made by Chinese photographer RongRong (born 1968) between 1993 and 1998, within the artistic community known as Beijing East Village—now poignantly described as “a meteor in the history of contemporary Chinese art.”
RongRong’s acutely composed, richly expressive images captured scenes of daily life among fellow young, aspiring artists, and created definitive documents of iconic performance works by Zhang Huan and Ma Liuming, among others. Often highly challenging works, their performances and photographs would send an instant shockwave throughout the Chinese avant-garde, and later the global art scene. Revisiting these texts and images anew for this publication, RongRong has composed a personal narrative of an artist coming into his own. Beijing East Village also serves as an invaluable firsthand record of a burgeoning artistic community, its precarious political context and the real lives behind a pivotal moment in Chinese contemporary art.