Li Ran was born in Shiyan, Hubei in 1986, moved to Fuzhou, Fujian with his parents in 1997, and graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in 2009. He lived and worked in Beijing after 2010 and moved to Shanghai in early 2018. Having lived and worked in Shanghai over the last two years, Li Ran gradually realized the city's “apolitical” urban texture. Like all newcomers, he often compares this city to the rifts and bonds among Chinese cities, and from where he explores and represents these conditions in his artistic practice.
Li Ran’s single-channel video works have been screening in Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016, 2017), Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015), The Jewish Museum, New York (2014) and Video Bureau, Beijing (2014). He has also participated in Montreal Biennale (2014), Geneva Biennale de I’Image en Mouvement (2014), 4th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2014), 2nd CAFAM Biennial (2014), 9th Gwangju Biennial (2012) and 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012). He was also awarded with the ‘Best Artist’ prize in the 4th Moscow International Biennale For Young Art in 2014, and nominated in Future Generation Art Prize by Pinchuk Art Center in 2017. His works have been exhibited at London Institute of Contemporary Arts, Utrecht basis voor actuele kunst (BAK), San Francisco Kadist Art Foundation, Guangdong Times Museum, Beijing Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Canada Remai Modern, Bangkok Jim Thompson Art Center, NTU Center for Contemporary Art Singapore, Kiev Pinchuk Art Centre, Berlin Daimler Contemporary, Nanjing Sifang Museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, The Museum of Moscow, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, Berlin Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.