- Admission Hours
- 10:00 – 19:00
- Monday to Sunday
An integral member of the Chinese avant-garde since the 1980s, Xu Bing is known across the world for conceptual and installation art that engages with visual culture, media technology, and linguistic exchange. His work arises from a rigorous, theoretical foundation: he spends years researching topics like language acquisition, real and imagined writing systems, or surveillance networks, ultimately transforming his thoughts into artworks such as “Book from the Sky” (1987-1991), Ghosts Pounding the Wall (1990), “New English Calligraphy” (1994-present), “Background Story” (2004-present) or the most recent film, Dragonfly Eyes (2017). While continuing to reflect on traditional East Asian culture, he has also proven a vigilant and farsighted observer of the transformations that are occurring in contemporary society on a global scale. Xu’s layered, interdisciplinary approach is evident in his artworks’ multifaceted depth, offering viewers numerous points from which to explore.
This will be the artist’s most comprehensive institutional exhibition in Beijing, showing major works drawn from his artistic career since the 1980s. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Director Philip Tinari and independent curator Feng Boyi.
Musquiqui Chihying is apt at deploying different media including film, photography, and installation to explore the relationships formed by people and objects with public space, as well as the changes that capital has wrought on human life. In recent work he has used historical research to unearth the postcolonial and post-immigrant elements buried in Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese popular culture, using this perspective to investigate contemporary global society. His newest work starts from a group of wooden sculptures shipped from Africa to the institution now known as the National Museum of China during its reconstruction in the years leading up to 2011, combining film and installation art to examine the evolution of economic and cultural exchange between Asia and Africa as the non-aligned ideals of the 1955 Bandung Conference have yielded to a new Sinocentric order.
Cao Fei is among the most internationally renowned artists of her generation. Her first major solo exhibition in Hong Kong centers around the newly commissioned work, Prison Architect. Comprised of a film, installations, and sculptures, the work subtly spreads throughout the three floors of Tai Kwun Contemporary’ s exhibition spaces. Inspired by the somber historical material of Victoria Prison and shot with downtown Central as backdrop, the new work conceives of a scenario where “an architect hesitantly accepts an invitation to design a prison.” In the film, the two protagonists each go through experiences and fantasies of imprisonment in two parallel realities (set in the present day and in an ambiguous past). This dialogue across time and space reflects the artist’s contemplation of our relationship with the world.
Apart from this ambitious film installation, the exhibition also showcases Cao Fei’ s creative practice for the past ten years, touching upon her rich imaginings of different realities—whether apocalyptic, virtual, or populated by unmanned machines. These artworks demonstrate Cao’ s skilled techniques and sensitivity at molding characters; the ways in which dialogic structures evolve into critiques of reality; and the collaborative mode of artistic creation which has become her trademark. Prison Architect, the film commissioned for this exhibition, marks the first collaboration between Cao Fei and the award-winning Hong Kongnese cinematographer Kwan Pun Leung.
From October 13, 2018 to April 4, 2019, UCCA presents “After Nature,” the inaugural exhibition at the UCCA Dune Art Museum, the newest addition to UCCA’s growing portfolio of projects. Included are works by nine Chinese artists who span a range of generations, born between 1942 and 1988. The works on display, by Li Shan, Liang Shaoji, Liu Yujia, Nabuqi, Yang Xinguang, Trevor Yeung, Yu Ji, Zheng Bo, and Zhuang Hui & Dan’er, engage with the question of how humanity discovered—and in some ways invented—the natural world, a question given increased urgency by the release of a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week forecasting climate-induced crises before 2040 if carbon emissions continue at current levels. The exhibition is specifically devised for the singular spaces of UCCA Dune Art Museum, a subterranean building designed by Li Hu and Huang Wenqing of OPEN Architecture, located under a sand dune on a beach in the Aranya Gold Coast Community, 300 kilometers from Beijing. Organized by UCCA curator Luan Shixuan, the exhibition creates a dialogue among the works, the cell-like galleries that house them, the surrounding sand, and the rising sea just beyond.
The title “After Nature” denotes changes in both the physical environment and human conceptions of it. Sustained human encroachment has permanently transformed the environment, leading many scholars to declare an entirely new geological era, the Anthropocene. The Romantic idea of nature as unspoiled wilderness—always ideologically fraught, even spurious—is no longer tenable. With this comes the realization that nature is not a holistic entity, or some secular providence, but simply the multiple, overlapping worlds fashioned by the billions of beings—living and non-living, organic and non-organic—that reside on this earth. Works in the exhibition testify to this strange insight. They evoke received notions of nature such as scenic mountains, green plants, and flowing rivers, only to have them morph seamlessly into “artificial” elements like liquid crystal, plastic, and inkjet printing. Taken together, the artists and works ask viewers to rethink nature, rather than to do away with it; to imagine a new ecology that sees humans and objects in close proximity, mutually influencing and influenced, ineluctably entangled.
In demonstration of its commitment to improving public access to art, UCCA welcomes not-for-profit organizations to submit requests for discounted or complimentary admission to any of UCCA’s exhibitions. Applications must be received at least one week in advance of the intended visiting date. If the request is received at least three weeks in advance, UCCA staff can work with your organization to create a tour that is tailored the specific needs of the group.