JINGRU (CYAN) CHENG︎ ︎
Jingru (Cyan) Cheng works across architecture, anthropology, and filmmaking. Her practice follows drifting bodies—from rural migrant workers to forms of water—to draw out latent relations across scales, confronting intensified social injustice and ecological crisis. Cyan is the winner of Harvard GSD’s 2023 Wheelwright Prize, a 2022 Graham Foundation Grantee, and received commendations from the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) President’s Awards for Research in 2020 and 2018. Her film has been awarded Best Short Film at the Venice Architecture Film Festival (2023), and her work has been exhibited internationally, as part of Critical Zones: Observatories for Earthly Politics at ZKM Karlsruhe, Germany (2020-22), Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (2019), Venice Architecture Biennale (2018), among others, and included in the Architectural Association’s permanent collection. Cyan holds a PhD by Design and M.Phil Projective Cities from the Architectural Association (AA), and was the co-director of AA Wuhan Visiting School (2015-17). She co-led the MA architectural design studio Politics of the Atmosphere (2019-22) and currently teaches an interdisciplinary module across all schools at the Royal College of Art in London.
CHEN ZHAN︎ ︎
Chen Zhan is an architect, anthropologist, and independent filmmaker. Trained at the Architectural Association in London, Chen has practised architecture since 2011 working on many award-winning projects across scales and sectors internationally, including Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre in Leeds, UK. As a self-reflexive turn from a designer’s mind, Chen dived into anthropology in search of a different way of seeing the world. Since 2019, Chen began to use film as a collaborative medium to expand beyond architecture to conduct longer-term research-oriented projects. These projects approach the urgent crisis in contemporary societies through the lens of the everyday in situated contexts, including a short documentary ‘AHMAD’ that tells the story of a Lebanese asylum seeker who rebuilds his life through cooking and food-sharing with Londoners; the fictional visual ethnography series ‘ORCHID, BEE and I’ that discusses the ecological crisis and pandemic from the angle of consumption, dwelling and companionship; and ‘RIPPLE RIPPLE RIPPLING’ which explores the bodily non-discursive knowledge embedded in the everyday practices of the rural dissolved household among Chinese floating populations. Chen also co-directs ACROSS Architecture, an independent platform dedicated to initiating and facilitating transboundary conversations about architecture in response to contemporary challenges.
Mengfan Wang is an independent theatre director and choreographer, with training in History of Art at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, and Dance Studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Cologne. Seeking to explore performative expressions of ordinary people, her dance theatre practice engages middle-aged women and children through a collaborative rework of daily acts and recently focuses on ageing bodies by working with retired ballet dancers. Mengfan is selected as “Dance Hopeful (Hoffnungsträger)” by German dance magazine tanz in its yearbook 2018. Her dance works have been invited to VIE Festival Bologna, Beijing Fringe Festival, Wuzhen Theater Festival, among others. Commissioned by the Centre Pompidou and the West Bund Museum Shanghai, her latest work Narrative Fountain was shown as part of Women in Motion 2023. Mengfan’s artist residencies span across Shanghai, Berlin, Copenhagen and Zurich, including working with Theatre HORA supported by the Swiss Arts Council.