UCCA, A Catalyst for Contemporary Culture in China

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is the international institution at the heart of Beijing’s 798 Art District. Each year it presents a wide range of exhibitions and educational programs, highlighting artists from China and beyond, and encouraging the public to engage with contemporary art and culture. Opened in 2007, UCCA is a non-profit, non-collecting, non-governmental museum sustained by the generosity of numerous patrons, sponsors, members, and visitors, beginning with founders Guy and Myriam Ullens. In everything it does, UCCA aims to elaborate an inclusive, cosmopolitan vision of China in the world.


UCCA’s four main spaces play host each year to around fifteen exhibitions of varying scale. A rich complement of educational and interpretive programs expand the reach of these displays, bringing viewers into closer contact with the ideas behind the work on view. As an international museum operating on Chinese soil, UCCA maintains a special focus on recent developments and historical movements in Chinese contemporary art, pairing this expert engagement with exhibitions devoted to major trends and figures from around the region and the world. Through the rigor of its curatorial standards, UCCA aims to further the development of the art world in China and bring public attention to the very best work being made.

Past Highlights

Since its opening in 2007 till now, UCCA has presented more than a hundred exhibitions and attracted more than 4 million visitors. Beginning its curatorial program with “85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art”, UCCA has continued to make real contributions to the field of art historical research through the large-scale group shows “Breaking Forecast: 8 Key Figures of China’s New Generation Artists” (2009), “ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice” (2013), and “Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names” (2014); while the solo exhibitions “Liu Xiaodong: Hometown Boy” (2010), “Wang Jianwei: Yellow Signal” (2011), “Gu Dexin: The Important Thing Is Not The Meat” (2012), “Wang Xingwei” (2013), “Xu Zhen: a MadeIn Company Production” (2014), and “Liu Wei: Colors” (2015) are also considered critical to the discourse of contemporary Chinese art.

Acting as a catalyst in the development of contemporary culture within China, UCCA has also presented the international surveys “Inside A Book A House of Gold: Artists’ Editions for Parkett” (2012), “Indian Highway” (2012), “DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA” (2013), and “The Los Angeles Project” (2014), bringing to light the latest in global art trends.

UCCA has also served as a platform for the works of Olafur Eliasson, Tino Sehgal, Tatsuo Miyajima, Taryn Simon, and Sterling Ruby, introducing China to these significant figures in contemporary art.

Public Programs

Though its public programs, UCCA offers a meeting place for exchange, communication, study, and the sharing of interest, knowledge, and passion. Offering a wide range of events including talks and forums, art cinema, live performances, workshops, and family and school programs, UCCA’s Public Programs Department takes art as a starting point to provide content in many fields and on different levels, turning the Center into an open classroom for its visitors and an indispensable public space in the city.


Devoted to public art and cultural education, UCCA Public Programs have been awarded:

•”2011 creative leader: culture promotion” issued by The Outlook magazine
•”Best Public Education Program” issued by Art Value Magazine “Chinese Contemporary Art Power”
•”2010 Best public program of Beijing” issued by TimeOut Beijing magazine
•”2010 Best partner for public cooperation” issued by •”2010 Chinese WIKI annual summit”

UCCASTORE maintains China’s leading program of limited editions, having collaborated with over 80 artists and 100 designers to produce specially commissioned works. It also showcases the work of cutting-edge designers, offering a wide range of original products found nowhere else. All UCCASTORE proceeds go to support the Center’s exhibitions and public programs.

UCCA Creative Studio

The UCCA Creative Studio is a flagship art education program for children 2 to 11 years old. Rooted in UCCA’s status as a leading Chinese contemporary art center, the studio’s curriculum incorporates three main components: Regular Classes, Creative Workshops, and the Discovery Area. The curriculum takes a comprehensive approach to cognitive development through learning about perception, reflection, creation, and expression in the arts. At the UCCA Creative Studio, kids not only learn about art; they learn how to perceive, how to reflect, and how to realize their ideas.

Story Café

Story Café makes life an art, selecting the finest coffee blends and ingredients for our baked goods. On 20 August, Story Café officially opens to the public.

Site and History

Spread over three factory chambers built in the early 1950s to Bauhaus-influenced designs, UCCA’s spaces maintain traces of their industrial past. Fully renovated by architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Qingyun Ma in 2007, it is a space capable of hosting international exhibitions of the highest caliber. With a total area of 8,000 square meters, it encompasses four main exhibition spaces including the signature Great Hall, the Central Gallery, the Nave, and the Long Gallery, all of which boast professional lighting and climate and humidity control and support exhibitions of the highest caliber.