On November 4, UCCA holds its annual gala, gathering over 650 friends and supporters to celebrate its twofold mission of improving lives through art and bringing China into the global cultural conversation. The sixth edition of the UCCA Gala marks a new beginning, or rebirth: In 2018, with the help of new supporters and patrons, the institution underwent a comprehensive restructuring, culminating in the establishment of a museum formally accredited by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture, and the non-profit Beijing UCCA Art Foundation. With these two qualifications, UCCA will deepen its commitment to public outreach and philanthropic initiatives that benefit the larger community, and expand its efforts in specialized research, publishing, and education.
Since opening to the public in November 5, 2007, UCCA has presented some 160 exhibitions and more than 5000 public programs. It has welcomed millions of visitors and participants, becoming one of China’s most cherished institutions of contemporary art and culture. In January, UCCA welcomed French president Emmanuel Macron, in town for his state visit, the latest in a series of sovereigns and heads of state who have looked to UCCA as a window into contemporary Chinese culture. In July, UCCA began a major architectural transformation of its flagship Beijing space, designed by OMA to be completed in early 2019, creating 3000 square meters of new space for exhibitions, programs, research, retail, offices, and visitor services. In October, UCCA opened its first museum beyond Beijing, UCCA Dune, a stunning building by OPEN Architecture buried under a sand dune located in Aranya Gold Coast Community, Beidaihe District, Hebei province, with an inaugural exhibition called “After Nature.” Throughout the year, it presented a rich slate of exhibitions, culminating in “Xu Bing: Thought and Method,” the leading Chinese artist’s most comprehensive retrospective to date and the most visited show in UCCA’s eleven-year history.
UCCA Gala 2018 will offer guests the chance to support UCCA’s work, and to experience one of the most exciting nights on Beijing’s social calendar. For this edition of the gala, artist He Wei (b. 1986, Beijing) and his cross-disciplinary multi-media studio, “Chewing Theory,” will provide creative direction in the form of performances, animations, and interventions running throughout the evening. A recurrent motif will be the ancient Chinese saying “a glimmer through the willows,” echoing the Gala’s overarching theme of rebirth. The UCCA Gala pairs dining with performance, and is divided into five “acts,” inspired by Tao Yuanming’s fifth-century fable, “Peach Blossom Spring.”
The annual UCCA Gala is one of the museum’s most important sources of financial support. This year 37 galleries, art fairs, auction houses, and enterprises, both Chinese and international, will host tables, contributing vital funds. The highlight of the evening is the Benefit Auction, featuring key works by ten artists who have held major exhibitions at UCCA. Listed in alphabetical order, they are: Chen Shaoxiong (1962-2016), John Gerrard, Liu Wei, Peter Wayne Lewis, Sarah Morris, Song Kun, Wang Haiyang, Xie Nanxing, and Zeng Fanzhi, Zhao Gang, and Zhao Yao. Elaine Kwok, Director, Chairman’s Office at Christie’s, Asia, will serve as auctioneer for the second consecutive year.
UCCA Gala 2018 introduces a new way to get involved through a structured donation program. Using a QR code, guests can choose to support the publication of exhibition catalogues, the organization of public programs, the creation of a new art library, docent training, or educational programs for underserved children. Guests can also subscribe to donor groups including the UCCA Contemporary Circle or the UCCA Benefactors. All proceeds from the Gala are used to support exhibitions and academic and philanthropic initiatives, helping to ensure the long-term, sustainable development of both the institution and the field and communities it serves.
The UCCA Gala 2018 Benefit Auction receives auction support from Christie’s; Helu-Trans Group provides art shipment support; AXA Art provides art insurance support. Le Manege Catering provides food and drink support for the Gala Dinner, and Blue Moutai is the exclusive spirits partner. MOSS Design Studio provides floral arrangement support; Action Media is in charge of video production for the Gala. DANVISION Photography Studio is the exclusive livestream provider. IQAir China guarantees clean air for the Gala; support also comes from Glamourflage, Hongri Lighting, JALI Representation, Orchard Farmer, and WinetoChina.
This year’s Gala Dinner receives support from the following institutions or individuals who are hosting tables (in alphabetical order):
ART021 Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair, Beijing DSH Auto, Centurium Capital, Mr. Jack Chen, CulturalAgency, Gladstone Gallery, Gagosian, Hauser & Wirth, JINGART Art Beijing, KWM Art Center, Lisson Gallery, Long March Space, Massimo De Carlo, Michelle Shan Jeschelnig, Sandhill College, West Bund Art and Design, White Cube Hong Kong, David Zwirner
Almine Rech Gallery, Antenna Space, Beijing Commune, Mr. Adrian Cheng, Each Modern, Esther Schipper, Focus Media, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Galerie Urs Meile, Galleria Continua, Holly’s International (HK) Auctions Co. Ltd., Mai 36 Galerie, neugerriemschneider, New Century Art Foundation (NCAF), Orchard Farmer, PHILLIPS, Sadie Coles HQ, ShanghART Gallery, White Space, YT Media
Galerie Chantal Crousel, Tianyue Jiang (Kasmin Gallery), Lehmann Maupin Gallery, Marian Goodman Gallery, Sean Kelly Gallery, Simon Lee Gallery, Yang Xiao