Yi Lian, Yuge Zhou, Cheng Xinhao, Ruth Maclennan

Project:Arbitrary Doors

ProjectArbitrary Doors

Exhibition Time: 2022.02.12 – 2023.01.20

Location: B2 Elevator Halls

At a time when people are not able to travel far physically, we suggest finding a passage in arts — the sensibility used for seeing art, as well as the unique perspective presented in the works, allow us to look around and beyond the world through artists' eyes, and thus travel within imaginations.

In 2022, the four screens are defined as "Arbitrary Doors" and will present four distinct modules throughout the year: "Right Here, Right Now"; "Easy Come Easy Go"; "Sky and Earth" and "To the past, to the future." You will be able to move through different territories and dimensions, breaking through the present barriers through any of the ever-changing doors, allowing for a quick release of the spirit.


2022.2.12 - 4.15 | Right Here, Right Now

Yi Lian

Up and Down


Single Channel Video, Colour, Sound, 09'00''


Up and Down is filmed in the OōEli, which presents the experience of a security guard carrying a bucket and an umbrella as he moves through different spaces.

The artist's inspiration comes from a collective emergency repair event in a rainstorm that he learned when chatting with the security guard of the OōEli, and therefore applies the element of water to narrate throughout the entire film. "Up and down" correspond to the concept of the space - viewers can follow the security guard to shuttle through different spaces from high to low, feeling the openness of the roof tea garden, the comfort of the distant mountains, and the complex access to the basement, which is dark, damp and echo. The spaces of the OōEli are thus reassembled, which unfolds the rough spatial structures that bear the rich stories beneath the delicate surface, and reveals the vivid individual experiences behind the machine-like operating system. At the end of the film, the artist reflects his imagination of the streetwise on the smooth concrete wall to create a contradictory but poetic collision. Throughout the film, the artist metaphorically describes the process of life by expressing the space in terms of upper and lower, width and narrow, and dim and bright.


Screenshot from the artwork

2022.4.16 - 6.30 | Easy Come Easy Go


"Easy Come Easy Go" is often used to describe the unhesitating state of deciding to start a journey. It represents the physical instinct to break through restrictions and run towards freedom and reflects the wisdom of being able to react quickly and overcome difficulties. During a journey, people form new stories by projecting their own experiences and emotions into the still scenery. At the moment, "Arbitrary Doors" in the four elevator halls show two sets of works. Among them, Zhou Yuge, a Chinese base in the United States, drags her suitcase around to draw "moons" in the snow in front of her apartment and on the beach by Lake Michigan every winter and summer starting from 2020 to express nostalgia. Cheng Xinhao walks along the Yunnan-Vietnam Railway to the border, picking up a piece of gravel from the rails and carrying it with him every kilometre. He walks, writing and exploring his relationship with the land under his feet and body. Please come to the different elevator halls to watch the works:


On Exhibit in Hall 1 and 2:

Yuge Zhou

Moon Drawings


Double videos

7’46’’, 13’34’’


Screenshot from the artwork


On Exhibit in Hall 3 and 4:

Cheng Xinhao

To the Ocean


Single-channel video



Screenshot from the artwork


2022.7.16 - 10.15 | Sky and Earth

Ruth Maclennan



Video series, colour, sound, loop - 14 laps in total


Horizons was created during the Coronavirus pandemic for the collective art project, The Crown Letter. Like so many, British-American artist Ruth Maclennan felt her horizons simultaneously shrink to the size of her neighbourhood and her home, and expand as her thoughts and dreams were filled with events and places far away. So she decided to make a collective film, inviting the Crown Letter artists, friends, family and others from around the world to film a panning shot of a horizon they could see and send it to her. She then edited the clips together to form a continuous, potentially endless landscape film. The film not only allows us to imagine the other side of the horizon-earth, but it also offers a vision of overcoming barriers and reconnecting with people across the world.


During this exhibition, BY ART MATTERS and the artist launched a call to collect "Horizons" from our audience. After receiving submissions, Maclennan used the collected Horizons and created a new work. The work is on display from October 1-16. The artist solicitation letter and shooting guide are attached.


"I would like to create a collective, continuous – potentially infinite – landscape film.  I want to see what happens when we follow a horizon line. The instructions are simple:

Use a phone or a video camera, hold it horizontally and find a horizon line. It can be just a line – a break between up and down, foreground and background. Holding the camera steady, slowly pan from left to right and/or right to left. Try, if possible, to begin and end your clip with a dividing line visible in the middle of the shot – the horizon.

The horizon might be a distant view of hills or sea, or buildings, or sky – but equally, your landscape could be your kitchen counter, your bookshelf, the kerb, a leaf or rock. Your interior or internal landscape is perhaps the nearest to hand, the most vivid, the horizon that holds your attention right now.

Please send me your video and audio clips – between 5 and 45 seconds – and I will sew them together. Please choose the highest resolution settings on your camera. If you can, please also record the ambient sound, or you could record some other sounds or voices separately, to go with your horizon.  Please send a few words to accompany your moving images, and importantly, include your location and name. If you wish to remain anonymous, please say so.  

Thank you. I look forward to seeing your horizons!"

————Ruth Maclennan

Collected “horizons” from BY ART MATTERS audiences


2022.10.16 - 1.20 | To the Past, to the Future

"To the past, to the Future" is the final chapter of the annual project "Arbitrary Doors". This year, we have explored our surroundings, examined the relationship between the journey and the body, and connected with people from all over the world. Eventually, we will relook at the boundary between the self and consciousness, completing an internalized, metaphysical journey. "To the past, to the Future" presents two works of British artist Sapphire Goss, ATTIC WINDOWS OF THE INFINITE and SOMEWHERE BETWEEN UP THERE & DOWN HERE. Presenting images of the city and the universe through the texture of the expired film, the works explore the stagnation of time and the dissociation between memory and illusion, but also form a collision between distance and rhythm, constructing a drifting and blurred dream, guiding us to shuttle between the tangible and intangible, time and space.




Digital film from analogue 35mm & 120mm negatives





Single-channel video







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