The East Village was an artist’s quarter in the outskirts of Beijing. The area reached international fame in the 1990s when musicians, artists and critics, who were looking for free space, began to live there. A great deal of innovative and experimental art works have been made and developed there, the performance work in particular has gained a lot of international attention. During this period the artists worked on their own individual projects but also began to produce collaborations. . “To add one meter to an anonymous mountain” is one of the most well known collaborative events performed by artists from that area, Yingmei Duan participated in this piece.
At that time Duan was focusing on painting self portraits. However being based in the East Village widened her horizons and prompted her curiosity, which led to her interest in performance art. The final turning point came when she began to study at the HBK Braunschweig in Germany, where she got to meet the seminal performance artist Marina Abramovic. Since that time Yingmei Duan has dedicated herself to performance as artistic expression.
(Artists in the East Village include: Cang Xin, Duan Yingmei, Gao Yang, Kong Bu, Li Guomin, Ma Liuming, Ma Zongyin, Rong Rong, Tan yeguang, Wang Shihua, Xu Shan, Zhang Binbin, Zhang Huan, Zhu Ming, and Zuoxiao Zuzhou)