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102a Albion Drive, London E8 4LY

Image courtesy of Asymmetry Art Foundation

We are pleased to announce that Ye Funa has been selected as our next Librarian-in-Residence commencing this spring. Following the heels of the inaugural edition of the Librarians-in-Residence initiative in 2023, we warmly welcome Ye as she unfolds her thematic project ‘Get Low, Like Bumpkin Cannon’ (土炮之书) which will encompass the research and acquisition of books, printed matters and underground zines for our growing library collection, recurring reading group and public workshops with an array of collaborators, as well as an online publishing series.

'Get Low, Like Bumpkin Cannon’ (土炮之书) delves into the realms of Lo-Fi (low fidelity) aesthetics and DIY culture in the Sinophone world, embracing a grassroots ethos that is grounded in the handmade and inexpensive embodiment of technology and the subsequent technologisation of the body. Its practical attitude strives for authenticity, a direct connection between the object and its maker that is unmediated by the glossy industrialisation of subjectivity formation and identity consumption.

In its conscious rejection of the sophistication of the Hi-Fi habitus, the ‘Lo’ of Lo-Fi relates to the ‘lowbrow’, the ‘vulgar’, the ‘unworldly’, and the ‘bumpkin’, or the term ‘土’ (Tǔ), which literally means earth, soil or dirt in Chinese. The term ‘土炮’ (Tǔ Pào), the Bumpkin Cannon, thus conjures the proud earthiness of locality heard in the bombastic bragging of ‘This is who we are!’. As a locus for unhinged self-expression and gathering like-minded individuals, the raw and playful Lo-Fi as a collective aesthetic category thus becomes a political matter of grassroots ingenuity, anti-authoritarianism, and individual freedom.

Over the next four months, the Librarian-in-Residence and her collaborators will blast through a constellation of key ideas ranging from the critical intersection of art and labour in the practice of Shanzhai; and underground self-publishing as part of the history of text processing and printing in China; to the material formation of subspecies, folk-tales and local identity.

More details on the first cycle of events will be announced shortly in the recurring Librarians' newsletter and via our online channels.


Ye Funa, born in Kunming, Yunnan, is an artist and researcher who lives and works in London and Beijing. Her practice critically engages with the realities of daily life and the perceived nexus between authority and various societal domains, such as differing power structures and marginalised groups. Her politically charged art uses pastiche to critique and satirise cultural uniformity. Ye’s recent work incorporates new technologies and engages with various ethnic communities, developing participatory, internet-based projects like ‘Exhibitionist: Curated Nail’ and ‘Smart Master’, probing the integration of art systems into personal and communal spaces. As a passionate advocate for self-publishing, Ye co-founded the independent publishing brand ‘MondayOFF’, editing and authoring artist books like ‘Shamate zine’ and ‘Fire Golden Flowers’.

Ye has had solo exhibitions at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art and Nottingham Contemporary, as well as participating in group exhibitions in institutions such as the Museum für Fotografie, Berlin; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei; esea contemporary, Manchester; Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Chronus Art Center, Shanghai; Art Center Nabi, Seoul; and Rhizome of the New Museum, NYC. Ye is a teacher in the Experimental Art and Sci-Tech Art Department, Beijing's Central Academy of Fine Arts, and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.