top of page


Moment, Moving Moments explores Dashilar through still and moving image. Ten individuals and ten façades are extricated to show the historic and evolving identity of a hutong (ancient city alley or lane formed by traditional courtyard residences) with over 600 years of history. It is a portrait of the individual and its context, of the static and the kinetic, and of facade and its content. This series analyzes modernization and its relationship to tradition. It allows us to imagine what once was, what has become and what potentially can be.

In the portrait videos, the still portrait on the left focuses on the formal qualities of the individual. It contrasts with the moving portrait which prioritizes content over form by superimposing the individual's narrative text on top of their moving video. Still image, moving image and text are orchestrated into one diptych. The same thing can be said with the environmental video where the portrait on the left captures a moment in time, highlighting the formal aspect of the architecture or environment. This compliments the moving portrait on the right where the movement in the city takes precedence over its formal context.

The paradox is when movement appears to be still yet the content of the space is still apparent through light and shadow. There appears to be an atmospheric movement present at this time. An exploration of the facades in both day and night allow for these atmospheric qualities to become more pronounced.

This work was commissioned by Beijing Design Week with Creative Director Aric Chen.

Peking Opera Singer, 2012 © CYJO 
Art Teacher, 2012 © CYJO 
Vintage Bookshop Owner, 2012 © CYJO 

"The factory building that Dashila(b) selected served as a repurposed site for the commissioned work Moment, Moving Moments by the artist CYJO, who conducted ethnographic research in the Dashilar neighborhood. In her diptych, she presented a portrait still and a video of interviews with residents and local business-owners. Her work presents layers of local history, both in the materiality of the walls, preserved from its days as a factory, and in the narratives told through the video. These personal stories focused on the changing neighborhood and the relationship to tradition. This was made perhaps most evident in the portrait of the animal trainer, whose profession (shoyi) relates to the proximity to the imperial palace, which the Dashilar neighborhood is adjacent to. For thousands of years, the animal trainers for the imperial palace resided, trained and passed on their craft in Dashilar. The artwork thus integrated the art space in its physical materiality with the urban space and its local history.” - Jane Ren, Senior Scientist of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Zurich, excerpt from "Engaging Comparative Urbanism | Art Spaces in Beijing and Berlin, Bristol University Press, 2021


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week with Creative Director Aric Chen, Beijing 2012


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2012


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2012


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2012


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2012


The Factory in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2012


Yangmeizhu in Dashilar Beijing Design Week with Creative Director Beatrice Leanza, Beijing, 2013 


Yangmeizhu in Dashilar, Beijing Design Week, 2013 

bottom of page