Tang Nannan's Art
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VIDEO|4 minute 50 seconds black and white single frequen


What does homesickness mean to our the homeless modern people? Odyssey Smoking is a clear set of images gradually revealed: a train is removing in the undulating sea with hesitation, shoring the wave. After a long clinging struggle, the train resolutely bears up for the vast ocean.

The name Odyssey Smoking came from the story of Bo Ya Learning to Play the Guqin : Bo Ya wanted to learn the Guqin from tutor Cheng Lian for three years, but he didn’t make it. Cheng Lian said: "My teacher Fang Zi chun is in the East Sea, whose music could move human beings." But once on board, Cheng left the ship with no excuse, and never came back. Bo Ya waited, but there was no one back, only the tempest-tossed sea, blew trees by wind and chirping birds. Bo Ya felt quiet sad, then he created a beautiful song which was known by everyone.

Through his video, TangNannan told us about the traditional Chinese culture: about waiting,close friends, ocean, boat trip… He built a train, which can move on water-a machine akin to a sea serpent. The main idea of this project transcends a single dimension: it shows how traditions rooted in the past are sometimes unpredictable and mysterious, like fate or destiny. TangNannan firmly holds to the virtue of Asian  people, to the feeling of sympathy and to love; fantastical space of this work is the artist’s boundless spirituality. The line between the sky and the sea is also an object of his harmonious narrative. Virtuous spirit and machine age merge together, becoming the main theme of this project. Black and white, light and shadow are indistinguishable ,it is impossible to understand in which year and age the action is taking place.




VIDEO|5 minute black and white single frequency video 20


It was Dec.31st, 2012, my birthday. The temperature of the water was 7 degree, accompanied with high wind, huge waves, and a vague bird in distance. The breath became deeper and deeper, gradually fading into the water sound.

Finally the bird was close, with her wings flapping. A huge wave drowned us.

She floated on the water like a fish, even dipped her head into the water, cleaning her feathers, and thought. She made a great effort to get rid of the water, ahead of the next wave overwhelming her.

All of a sudden, a heavy object tied on her feet showed up, which dragged her down to the water. I turned back and swam to check, only to find a white bone. The feathers of her wings appeared indistinctly in waves. Inevitably, the huge wave came along, sweeping the white bone, me and the gasp together into the sea…





West of Northern Sea/Land of Poet Qu

It is home to the Bird of Wonder/Her name, Phoenixalis

Her shape, mimicking a kingfisher. With tiger-marked feathers

She blows like a bubbling spring/Feeds on wind/Sips from dew

Dances when the sun rises/Weeps in sight of knowledge

Oh… her destiny/Once stumbling upon humanity

Is to drown in the sea/Leaving the earth


Phonixalis bird of wonder is the bird in Legends of Mountains and Seas. It’s my long-cherished dream to understand and elaborate the mystery and chaos in the book: the dissolving text, the falling airplane, and the giant hand that suddenly showed up, all of them were resonating the fate and the unyieldingness of the bird. Everyone’s is a carefree person inside their own lives……



VIDEO|4 minutes 42 seconds color single frequency video


When I was wandering at the West Lake (in Hangzhou) at dusk, I saw a wine bottle drifting upright towards me, which reminded me of my late friend Fang Nan, as if he had toasted me, greeting me smilingly.

“About old home to old friends you just nothing say,

To start a new fire and make new tea will be fine

It is to youth that verse and wine incline.”

Su Dongpo’s poem visualized a picture of wine and sunset. It seemed everyone who loved life was greeting us, giving Li Bai, Fang Nan, and every free man a wave.


Billennium Waves

VIDEO|4 minutes 03 seconds color single frequency video


When I saw the waves while sailing in the Pacific ocean.

it came to my mind that it took only 2 seconds for wave to rise and vanish. However it would take 3 billion years for Himalaya mountain to form and collapse.——Transcending the time, the mountain would be wave of the earth and wave would be the water mountain of the sea.

The primitive lives left ocean for land, and the primitive people who were from the land set off for the ocean; a blot of lightning flashed at the horizon, and the earth quaked heavily, when the first time that the eyes saw the sea, that the mind thought about the waves.



VIDEO|4’26'', Color video, 2013


The video originated in the “Thus do things flow away!”quoted from the Analects of Confucius. 

When arriving on set and taking out the prepared props: an ice-cold skeleton, an imposing snake, a cunning turtle which had escaped, a butterfly vanishing in an instant, and petals of peach blossom flying up and down.

we were in shock, for all stuff ought to had flowed away were now going against the current. Facing the huge waves, they struggled and soared.

With great astonishment, I changed its name into Soaring.





VIDEO|4’06'', white&black video, 2016


Icarus flied through the cloud and mist, watching all the rising things flowing away. Though struggling to survive, the turtles, long pavilions and helicopters vanished eventually. 

All things disappear. There is a long way to chase the sun, while sunlight always before our eyes. With more vanished things coming to us, we feel the light in front of our eyes.