Home is Where the Music Is – Chris Zhongtian Yuan

Chris Zhongtian Yuan, Wuhan Punk (2020)

Chris Zhongtian Yuan, Wuhan Punk, video still, 2020

Home Is Where the Music Is

Reading International presents a new solo project by Chris Zhongtian Yuan comprising a series of video, sound and architectural installations responding to the history, architecture and institutional structure of Brock Keep, a former military barracks built in 1877, which houses the exhibition venue 571 Oxford Road, Open Hand Open Space.

Chris Zhongtian Yuan’s practice examines ways in which spaces of exile and absence are politicised. Recomposing vernacular sonic and spatial materials, Yuan’s work investigates narratives and politics simultaneously building and dismantling our everyday spaces. Drawing from a wide range of music genres such as punk, jazz and noise, Yuan uses sound in a way to re-imagine and improvise memory and resistance.

The project showcases two recent films, Wuhan Punk (2020) and Cloudy Song (2022), as well as Wuhan punk archival footage, sound recordings, an architectural model alongside site-responsive interventions through re-appropriating found, architectural materials on site. The exhibition also features a new video by students from the Reading School of Art, developed during a workshop led by the artist. The project explores how a space from distant memory and geography can be rebuilt through sound and storytelling, producing potential resonance and contradiction which in turn reconfigure the gallery space. 

Yuan’s project takes its title from exiled musician Hugh Masekela’s 1972 album name. Home Is Where the Music Is considers possibility of archiving, fictionalising and reconstructing home and memory through music and sound. During a time when the space between home and exile constantly shifts between the intimate and the frictional, we are also confronted with the recurring question: can we work with the inherent negation in identity to work towards collective resistance in our new home? 

Chris Zhongtian Yuan’s project marks the re-launch of Reading International’s programme. The project is the second part of a two-part transnational exhibition, with first  part opening at Macalline Art Center in Beijing in May, 2023. The project is accompanied by a screening programme at Reading Biscuit Factory on June 26th, and a fully illustrated catalogue published by OnCurating.org later in the year.

Chris Zhongtian Yuan (b. 1988, Wuhan) is a graduate of the Architectural Association. Solo exhibitions include No Door, One Window, Only Light, Macalline Art Center, Beijing; All Trace Is Gone, No Clamour for a Kiss, V.O Curations, London; 1815, K11, Wuhan. Recent group exhibitions and screenings include International Film Festival Rotterdam, Somerset House, Surplus Space, Whitechapel Gallery, Power Station of Art, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Hubei Museum of Art, OCAT Institute, Videoex Zurich among others.


Exhibition Opening
Thursday 8 June, 6 – 9pm.

Opening Times
2 – 5pm, Open Thursday to Sunday, 9 June – 2 July

Screening and Panel Discussion with invited guests
Monday 26 June, Reading Biscuit Factory

This project is funded by the British Council’s UK-China Connections through Culture (CTC) Grants.



Marker Location:

571 Oxford Road, Open Hand Open Space,
571 Oxford Road ,
RG30 1HW