MengCheng 梦城团 Collective






Not For Sale


  • Dreamflying

    LiLi Nacht and Yidan Zeng

  • postcard for memory

    LiLi Nacht


    LiLi Nacht

  • Hunka Hunka Burning Beansprouts

    Thandi Cai and Yidan Zeng

  • Scallion Forest

    Thandi Cai and Yidan Zeng


About the Artist

The MengCheng 梦城团 Collective includes LiLi Nacht, Yidan Zeng, Neena Wang, and Thandi Cai.

  • The work of artist and teacher LiLi 丽丽 Nacht explores current issues through the spiritual framework of ancient traditions. Her practice, rooted in meditation as well as ritual, draws from Daoism and traditional 山水 (mountain water) ink painting. In this juxtaposition of present and past, LiLi 丽丽 utilizes a variety of media ranging from performance to painting to explore the complexities of chosen versus inherited national/sexual identities. Working primarily on a project-to-project basis, LiLi 丽丽 integrates historical research, interviews, personal narrative and storytelling to generate intimate dialogue. 


  • Yidan Zeng 曽一丹 is a Chinese-American artist stitching together textiles and participatory performance towards an embodied practice of attention and care. Her works are continually woven webs with no center, seeking only to make tangible the invisible threads in our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the natural world. She currently works with food waste dyes, meditative rituals, found natural materials, and discarded objects, practicing the transformative magic of turning detritus into portals for connection.
  • Neena Wang 王媛 is a multimedia artist who works in ceramics, photography, video, painting, sculpture, and performance. Her work draws from an academic background in history and international relations to explore unseen connections across time, space, and the sensory landscape. As a queer femme of color living in a modern, globalized and postcolonial environment, her existence rests on the edge of many borders and boundaries and she observes carefully how these facades are created and upheld. Her work seeks to make visible the nonlinearity of history and time, point to the deep entanglement of seemingly isolated events, and unsettle our collective human memory and imaginary.

  • Thandi Cai (they/them) is a queer, Indonesian, Chinese American artist from the American South exploring the futurities of Asian diasporic identity through critical dialogue, textiles, performance, film, graphic design, and print media. At the core of their creative and socially engaged practice is a desire to steer the world into a future that breaks free from the oppressive colonial systems of gender binaries, nation-states and capital. The goal of their work is to arouse imagination, pleasure, and improvisation to ideate new paths forward. Cai is immersed in researching and riffing off of histories where they find themselves and other Asian Americans absent (despite their irrefutable presence) to fabulate speculative fiction in which they are centered. In 2020 Cai co-founded Meng Cheng Artist Collective in service of collective artmaking and dialogue in the Memphis community.  They are currently collaborating with the Chinese Historical Society of Memphis & the Midsouth in the creation of Bluff City Chinese, a documentary about the expansive voices of the Chinese diaspora in Memphis.

Artist Statement

MengCheng 梦城团 Collective (pronounced “muh-ng chuh-ng”) is an invitation into intergenerational dialogue, communal healing, and empowerment by sharing the Chinese-American experience of living in the American South. MengCheng 梦城 “City of Dreams” is inspired by the Chinese phonetic name for Memphis, or mèng fēi sī 孟菲斯. As artists and makers who grew up in Memphis, we formed this collective to challenge the way our cultural histories have been collected, disseminated, or made invisible. Through an art making process centered around food, ritual, and gathering, we create spaces to involve the Southern Chinese-American community in their own archive making, healing, and resource building. We aim to create transformative processes that allow the Chinese-American community to not only see ourselves in the history and future of the Mid-South, but also to claim our agency in enacting change in the region.