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叠层与漂砾 Stratums and Erratics Part1 (2023-2024), Single-Channel Video (color, sound), 33'36"



This is an art project about roads and places. The perception of a place is often inextricably linked to the embodied perception of how to enter that place, which in turn is linked to the kink of technology, nature and discourse at a certain period. Artist Cheng Xinhao will throw his body and a stone into such a kink: he attempts to kick a stone and walk more than 900 kilometres along the Burma Road from Kunming to the China-Myanmar border, traversing the stratum of the roads as well as the histories. The National Road 320 overlays the Burma Road, the Burma Road overlays the post roads of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the post roads overlay the earlier Western Yunnan Horse Road and the Bonan Mountain Road... Furthermore, parallel to these is a section of the Chengdu-Kunming Railway, the Hangzhou-Ruili Highway, and the never-finished Burma-Yunnan Railway. These road systems are layered vertically with the terroir in which they are situated.  And the artist and his stones will move laterally like erratics, in a constant state of wear and tear, appearing in fortuitous encounters, reembodying the obscured history and nature and the places they form together.


These roads appear in this video:



The Western Yunnan Horse Road - Yongchang Road (Bonan Road) was part of the ancient Southwest Silk Road, which had existed more than 2,000 years ago. The Western Yunnan Horse Road connected Kunming with Dali, and the section extending from Dali to Myanmar was known as the Yongchang Road or Bonan Road. During the Western Han Dynasty, the central government attempted to control and renovate the Bonan Road to open up the southern route to the Central Asian countries but failed. The earliest labour ballad of Bonan Road was created during this period: "The Han Dynasty had a broad vision, and tried to open up strange territories. Over the Bonan Mountain, and crossing the Lanjin Ferry. Crossing the Lancang River, and all the hard work became exploits for others." The road was renovated over the dynasties, and until the construction of the Burma Road, it was the most important road connecting central and western Yunnan.


滇缅公路(史迪威公路) 1924年开始修建,昆明至大理间的路段1935年通车。大理至畹町间的路段从1937年12月开工,1938年8月即通车。是在二战背景下连通中国内地与印缅以获得国际援助的重要工程,也是云南工程师自主设计、云南各族人民独力修建的道路。

The Burma Road, or the Stilwell Road began construction in 1924, with the section between Kunming and Dali opening in 1935. The section between Dali and Wanchang started in December 1937 and opened in August 1938, which was an important project to connect inland China with India and Burma for international assistance in the years of World War II. It was also a road designed by Yunnan engineers and built by the people of many ethnic groups in Yunnan.


滇缅铁路 1938年开工,1942年因日本占据上缅甸而停工。1959年,昆明至一平浪之间的路段建成,但在成昆铁路建成后又被重新拆除。其中部分路基被改造为公路。

The Yunnan-Burma Railway's construction began in 1938 and was halted in 1942 due to the Japanese occupation of Upper Burma. The section between Kunming and Yipinglang was completed in 1959, but was dismantled again after the completion of the Chengdu-Kunming Railway. Part of the roadbed was converted into a motorway.


成昆铁路 云南昆明与四川成都之间的铁路。1958年开始修建,1971年通车。是连通云南与中国内地的第二条铁路。被作为社会主义建设时期的成就而被广为歌颂。


The Chengdu-Kunming Railway is a railway between Kunming in Yunnan Province and Chengdu in Sichuan Province. Its construction began in 1958 and the railway was opened to traffic in 1971. It is the second railway connecting Yunnan with inland China. It is widely celebrated as an achievement of the socialist construction period.

Stratums and Erratics (7).jpg

320国道 即沪瑞线,连接中国东部城市上海与云南西部边境城市瑞丽。修建于20世纪70年代,并在21世纪后扩建改造。从昆明开始,320国道基本上是在滇缅公路的基础上改造而来。

National Highway 320, or Shanghai-Ruili Road, connects the eastern Chinese city of Shanghai with the western border city of Ruili in Yunnan Province. It was built in the 1970s and expanded and renovated in the 21st century. Starting from Kunming, National Highway 320 is basically a reconstruction of the old Burma Road.


杭瑞高速 即G56高速公路,连接中国东部城市杭州与云南边境城市瑞丽。21世纪后分段建成。

The Hangzhou–Ruili Expressway, or G56 Expressway, connects the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou with the Yunnan border city of Ruili. It was completed in sections in the 21st century.


昆楚大铁路 连接昆明、楚雄、大理的高速铁路。2007年开工,2018年通车。

The Kunming-Chuxiong-Dali Railway is a high-speed railway connecting Kunming, Chuxiong and Dali. Its construction began in 2007 and was completed and opened to traffic in 2018.


大瑞铁路 连接大理与瑞丽的高速铁路。2008年开工,2022年大理与保山之间路段通车。

The Dali-Ruili Railway is a high-speed railway connecting Dali and Ruili. Its construction began in 2008 and the section between Dali and Baoshan opened to traffic in 2022.

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