Cheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) b.1981; 1977 / JOSS
Additional images
Cheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) b.1981; 1977 / JOSSCheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) b.1981; 1977 / JOSSCheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) b.1981; 1977 / JOSSCheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) b.1981; 1977 / JOSS
about this work
Commissioned by Visionaire magazine on the idea of 'Good Tidings', “Joss” is a video created by two artists Cheng Ran and Item Idem (alter ego of artist Cyril Duval) during their encounter and stay in Shanghai in the mid of December 2013. 

The title of the video is borrowed from the Joss Paper (also known as ghost money) that are sheets of paper and/or paper-crafts made into burnt offerings which are common in various Asian religious practices including the veneration of the deceased on holidays and special occasions.

“Joss” depicts a series of exploding paper objects traditionally burned at funerals as a way of giving gifts to the deceased. It is intended to function in a multitude of instantiations both on and off line. The video brings into discussion memories, karma, fortune and the present pop cultures. It also examines the multiple significances in various cultures and regions (for instance, the nativity manger in Christian culture for Christmas and the fireworks for Chinese Spring Festival) regarding the fire and burning.

“Joss”, as conceived by both artists, reference two classics in contemporary art and cinema, respectively, the motion and progress in Fischli & Weiss’ “The Way Things Go” and the exploring and burning in Michelangelo Antonioni's “Zabriskie Point”.

“Joss” was shot on December 18th, 2013 that is Cheng Ran's birthday, and released on premiered on Visionarie website, on the New Year eve December 31st 2013, which is on the birthday of Item Idem.

Cheng Ran & Cyril Duval (Item Idem) (b.1981; 1977, Mongolia & France)

JOSS, 2013

Single channel video with sound, 􀀝6 min 02 sec
Edition: 4/6
Variable video work:
Variable video work:
Leo Xu Projects, Shanghai, China Current Location:
Hong Kong - S VideoFar East


Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman
New Museum, NY, USA
October 2016 - 01/15/2017

Inside China
Palais des Tokyo, France
October 2014


Carol Civre, 9 Artists Under 39 To Know at Art Basel 2016
artnet (Online), June 2016
View Publication »

Cheng Ran, Cheng Ran: Diary of a Madman
New Museum (Book), 2016

Sue Wanf, Special Project by Chen Ran on Display at Palais de Tokyo
Cafa Art Info (Online), October 2014
View Publication »

Artwork History
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