“Yingmei Duan · Outside of Art” 2023 NYRCA Annual Solo Exhibition

1994, Yingmei Duan at a prairie in Inner Mongolia, China


I am One of the Luckiest People in the World

Yingmei Duan


I am Yingmei Duan.

I am very lucky my brother influenced me to draw in my childhood, so being an artist has been my dream since then.

I am very lucky I have been able to keep drawing, and finally realize my dream to become an artist while dreaming about art for 3 days in a hospital in Beijing, 1991.

1996, Yingmei Duan in Songzhuang, China


I am very lucky from 1991 to 1998 I lived in Beijing as a freelance artist.

I am very lucky I lived in the East Village, Beijing between 1993-1995 where I made many paintings, got to know something about performance art and participated in two different performances with East Village artists.

I am very lucky I came to Germany to study art in 1998.

I am very lucky that I got to know the performance art teacher Marina Abramovic in 2000. I became her student and learned from her.

1987Yingmei Duan and her classmates at the Northeast Petroleum University, China


I am very lucky to have made many performances which have helped me develop as a person and in my art too.

I am very lucky as a performance artist to be interested in other art forms, because each has their own advantages. So my performance work often involves different art forms such as sound, painting, installation and video.

I am very lucky I have been living as a freelance artist in Germany for more than 20 years. Until now I have followed a few rules for myself: to try to make art every day; to make new work for each exhibition and take great responsibility for each new project.

I am very lucky besides my solo performances I have made more than 100 different collaborative performance art projects in different parts of the world.

Yingmei Duan’s song: “Talk to Myself” (from her album “Forty-Eight Years Ago, the Road an Ocean”)


Besides making performance art, I am very lucky to learn new things each day, like practicing the piano, progressing in my singing, writing calligraphy, and doing exercise. Also I have learned more home management because family has always been very important to me.

I am very lucky to have grown up in a loving family and be able to work as an artist thanks to my parents, my husband and my siblings.

I am very lucky to have a good husband. We have mutual respect and appreciate each other. Each day feels like a holiday for me when I’m at home. We often do many things together such as: cooking, flat cleaning, exercising and watching films.

I am very lucky that I have met so many good people in my life. I would like to thank Mrs Jian Wang and her family who are good friends of my father in Beijing. I lived in their home for a long time when I was starting to make art in 1991. 

1990, Yingmei Duan and her colleagues while working in Daqing Oilfield, China.


I am very grateful to my first art teacher Mr Jianhua Yang. Without him, I might not be an artist today. Also without Marina Abramovic, I couldn’t have entered the world of performance art. Many many people I also need to thank…

I am very lucky because I have almost realized all my dreams.

I am One of the Luckiest People in the World!


1991,Yingmei Duan played a game with her artist friend Guomin Li and others,Beijing,China


Yingmei Duan

Yingmei Duan was born in 1969 in Daqing in China. She is currently based in Braunschweig, Germany.

In 1989 she graduated from the Northeast Petroleum University in China and in 1991 she began her artistic development. She engaged in advanced studies – oil & mural painting, design and sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Central Academy of Art and Design in China. She worked in Beijing as a freelance artist until 1998. In 2005, Yingmei Duan obtained her diploma in Fine Arts at The Braunschweig University of Art in Germany.

1993,Yingmei Duan & the artist Lao Tan were in East Village in Beijing,China.

Yingmei Duan is part of the Chinese avant-garde, working creatively for many years living in the legendary art district of Beijing’s East Village. In 1995 she participated in the performance “To Add One Meter to an Anonymous Mountain” which is considered to be one of the classics of Chinese contemporary art. Being based in the East Village between 1993-1995 prompted her curiosity, which led to her interest in performance art and has had a great impact on her later art career. The final turning point came when she began to study in Germany at The Braunschweig University of Art (HBK) in 2000, where she got to meet the performance artist Marina Abramović. Since that time Yingmei Duan has dedicated herself to performance art as her artistic expression. There, she also studied and worked with the filmmaker and action artist Christoph Schlingensief, participating in several of his large-scale video performance installations.

Yingmei Duan is a curious observer who asks questions of all facets of life in order to continuously learn and develop. For the past twenty-four years she has concentrated her energy and creativity on making performance art and researching the medium. Yingmei Duan has developed her own performance system. She describes these categories as: “Solo Performance”, “Performance Installation”, “Changing Exhibitions“, “Daily Live Art Performance” (DLAP), “Equal Collaborative Performance” (ECP), “Object Interactive Performance“ (OIP) and “Object & Video Interactive Performance“(OVIP). In 2018, Yingmei has combined performance art with more pure singing, Her Music album “Forty-Eight Years Ago, the Road an Ocean“ is published. It is an extension of her performance art.

1993, Yingmei Duan was taught cooking by her landlord in the East Village in Beijing, China.

Within her performances she crosses mediums and often incorporates sound, video and installation. Besides her solo projects Yingmei loves to work with people from different cultures, ages and areas of life and has realised over one hundred collaborative performances. Her artworks, frequently in progress, can stretch over long periods of time.

Yingmei Duan has shown her performance and performance installation art in, amongst other places the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam (2005), La Biennale di Venezia in Italy (2007), Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Germany (2009), Guangzhou Live in China (2010), Lilith Performance Studio in Sweden (2011), Hayward gallery in London (2012), Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea in Wales (2013), He Xiangning Art Museum in China (2014), The 19th Biennale of Sydney in Australia (2014), Wiener Festwoche in Austria (2016), Capsule Shanghai in China (2017), M Plus Museum Hong Kong in China (2018), Dimensions Art Center in Chongqing, China (2019) and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia (2021-2022).

2011 ,Yingmei Duan in Bluebell wood children hospice for an art project, UK






我很幸運,我一直畫畫。 1991年,在北京的一家醫院裡,我做了三天的藝術夢。終於實現了我做藝術的夢想。



1997, Yingmei Duan and her friends were at Xiaolin Wang’s home






我很幸運,作為自由藝術家在德國20 多年了。這些年我給自己定了些小規則:每天要嘗試做藝術工作;為每個新展覽創做新的藝術作品,對每件新的藝術項目都要付有責任心。

Yingmei Duan’s song: “Sixteen” (from her album “Forty-Eight Years Ago, the Road an Ocean”)


我很幸運,除了做個人行為藝術作品,我還在世界各地進行了 100 多個不同的行為藝術合作項目。




2010, Yingmei Duan was invited for an art project by the Goethe-Institute in Georgia


我很幸運,在我的人生旅途中,我遇到了那麼多的好人。感謝我父親在北京的好朋友王健阿姨一家。 1991年在開始學習藝術時,我在他們家住了很長的一段時間。








2011, Yingmei Duan implemented the “Polygamy” art project in collaboration with artist Nelson Mapako in Swaziland, Africa

段英梅代表著中國前衛藝術的一部分。她曾在傳奇的藝術區——“北京東村”生活和創作過多年,並在1995年參與了被認為中國現代藝術的經典之一,“東村”藝術家集體行為藝術作品《為無名山增高一米》的創作和表演。可以說,1993年至1995年在“北京東村”的生活,使她對行為藝術產生了極大的好奇心及濃厚的興趣,並對其後來的藝術生涯有很大的影響。其藝術創作的轉折點,是2000年她在德國布倫瑞克造型藝術學院學習期間,師從瑪麗娜•阿布拉莫維奇學習行為藝術,在她的影響下,段英梅成為了一名純粹的行為藝術家。求學期間她還曾跟隨電影人、行為藝術家克裏斯托夫•施林根基夫學習和工作, 並參與了他導演的多部大型行為裝置藝術作品的創作和表演。

段英梅是一個充滿好奇心的觀察家,她對生活的方方面面都有著濃厚的興趣,喜歡提出各種各樣的問題。在過去的24年裏,她將全部精力和創造力專注於行為藝術的創作和研究,並提出了以下幾個獨立的術語,即 “個人行為”、“行為裝置”、“變化的展覽”、“日常行為藝術(DLAP)”、“平等合作(ECP)”、“物件互動行為作品 (OIP)” 及“物件 & 影像互動行為作品(OVIP)”。 2018年,把行為藝術和更純粹的歌唱形式進行結合。出版了個人歌唱專輯《四十八年前路途是海洋》,是其行為藝術實踐的又一個延伸。

2013 Yingmei duan’s portait by Egle Oddo



段英梅的行為藝術作品和行為裝置藝術作品先後在荷蘭阿姆斯特丹凡高博物館(2005)、意大利威尼斯雙年展(2007)、德國柏林世界文化宮(2009)、中國廣州國際現場行為藝術節(2010)、瑞典馬爾默莉莉絲行為藝術工作室(2011)、英國倫敦海沃德美術館(2012)、英國斯旺西格林維維安美術館(2013)、中國何香凝美術館(2014)、第十九屆澳大利亞悉尼雙年展(2014) 、奧地利維也納藝術節(2016),中國膠囊上海畫廊(2017)、中國香港M+美術館(2018) 、中國重慶十方藝術中心(2019)及俄羅斯莫斯科車庫美術館(2021-2022)等展覽及機構展出。

Yingmei Duan’s song: “Floating” (from her album “Forty-Eight Years Ago, the Road an Ocean”)


New York Research Institute of Contemporary Art is a non-profit art organization based in New York. Through international programs, the institution promotes opportunities for creating, exhibiting, researching, and critiquing art, in the mission of advancing the dialogues of contemporary art in the United States and Greater China. With a focus on art curating, the organization seeks to exhilarate young artists to enrich their creative practices with a global perspective by providing a platform for ideas and dialogues around art creation. The projects include the most pioneering art exploration and experimentation in the forms of multidisciplinary research and presentation, as well as artist residencies and educational activities in the United States and the Greater China regions. Surveying art forms and social issues of current concerns, the projects responding to a breadth of artistic creativities, while bringing art closer to the public.




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