UCCA Beijing

A Day of Peripheral Thinking—Kentridge in China: From Shadow Procession to Notes Towards a Model Opera


Location:  UCCA Pavilion
Language:  Chinese with English translation

William Kentridge first exhibited in China in 2000, when, at the Shanghai Biennale, he presented Shadow Procession. Incorporating his historically informed social criticism and preserving the sketch-like, handmade quality of his previous animations, the work was a shock to many Chinese artists, whose art education was still solidly rooted in the study of realism. Since then, Kentridge has become a touchstone for young Chinese artists as they approach international contemporary art practice.

For this forum, UCCA invites historian of Chinese visual culture Alfreda Murck, artist Liu Heung Shing, and artists Wang Jianwei and Qiu Zhijie to discuss Kentridge's contributions to Chinese contemporary art, as well as his new work Notes Towards a Model Opera, a work inspired by the Cultural Revolution.

Ticketing & Participation:Free


*Collect your ticket from reception 30 minutes before the event begins.

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Alfreda Murck

Historian of Chinese visual culture Alfreda Murck has lived in Asia for more than two decades. While in Beijing from 1997 to 2013, she was a consultant to the Palace Museum in the Forbidden City and a fellow at their Painting and Calligraphy Research Center. She taught graduate students at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Peking University. From 2000 to 2013, she worked with the Henry Luce Foundation on a series of workshops supporting the development of art history as a discipline in China. Major exhibitions to which she contributed include "The Three Emperors, 1662–1795" at the Royal Academy, London; "Eccentric Visions: The Worlds of Luo Ping (1733–1799)" at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, and the Metropolitan Museum, New York; "Mao's Golden Mangoes and the Cultural Revolution" at the China Institute, New York, and the Museum Rietberg. She authored Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent (Harvard University Press, 2000) and has published numerous articles in English and Chinese on China's visual arts and poetry. Prior to living in Asia, Murck was the associate curator of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum.

Wang Jianwei

Wang Jianwei (b. 1958, Sichuan) is a pioneering figure in Chinese contemporary art currently based in Beijing. Major solo exhibitions include "Time Temple" (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 2014-2015); "...the event matured, accomplished in sight of all non-existent human outcomes" (Long March Space, Beijing, 2013); and "Yellow Signal" (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2011).

Qiu Zhijie

Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969, Fujian) graduated from the printmaking department of China Academy of Art in 1992 and is now based in Beijing and Hangzhou. He is a professor at the School of Trans-media Art of China Academy of Art and a mentor for the M.A. and Ph.D. programs.

Qiu Zhijie's diverse multimedia artworks touch upon calligraphy, ink painting, photography, installation, video, and performance art. He links Chinese literary traditions with contemporary media to convey themes of social integration and individual expression. Major solo shows include "Unicorn and Dragon" (Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venice, 2013); "Blue Print" (Witte de With, Rotterdam, 2012); "Twilight of the Idols" (Haus of World Culture, Berlin, 2009); “Breaking Through the Ice” (Ullens Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, 2009); and "A Suicidology of The Nanjing Yangzi River Bridge 1 - Ataraxic of Zhuang Zi" (Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, 2008).

Liu Heung Shing


Adam Bai



Philip Tinari

Director, UCCA