UCCA Beijing

Book Design and the Language of Art


Location:  The Bookworm Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing
Language:  English with Chinese translation

New York/Berlin-based designers Philipp Hubert and Sebastian Fischer (Hubert & Fischer) discuss art books, from concept and image editing, to material choices, format, and typography, as well as their recent project, the catalogue Rauschenberg in China accompanying UCCA’s exhibition (12 June – 21 August 2016). Hubert & Fischer take audiences through a brief visual history of their work (45mins ~1 hour), followed by Q&A.

Rauschenberg in China has a unique three-in-one design, dividing the book by topic and format. Book one, read in portrait format, includes several essays analysing The 1/4 Mile Piece and the UCCA exhibition in depth, including ten glosses that break down various themes and techniques from the artist’s oeuvre. Book two switches to a landscape format to display The 1/4 Mile Piece, the first time the work has been published in full. Finally, book three reverts back to portrait format and focuses on Rauschenberg’s time in China, including his rare color photography project Studies for Chinese Summerhall.

Rauschenberg in China is published on the occasion of the exhibition at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. This catalogue features two bodies of work by the iconoclastic American artist Robert Rauschenberg (1925–2008), who was the first contemporary Western artist to exhibit in Mainland China following the Cultural Revolution.

Rauschenberg’s first visit to China in 1982 was a major inspiration for his Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange (ROCI, 1985–91), a touring exhibition to eleven countries promoting peace through artistic exchange and collaboration. During his initial sojourn in China, the artist shot over fifty rolls of color film that resulted in Study for Chinese Summerhall (1983), which documents a country on the precipice of change. In 1985, the Beijing exhibition, ROCI CHINA, became a cultural touchstone for the first generation of Chinese contemporary artists, helping to liberate them from the dual impasses of Socialist Realism and traditional painting.

Simultaneously, the artist was working on a project of a very different nature but equal in historic ambition. The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece (1981–98), which embodies all the major themes and techniques of Rauschenberg’s groundbreaking oeuvre, is a single artwork comprised of 190 parts made over the course of nearly two decades. A masterwork often viewed as a self-contained retrospective, this monumental painting inspires an experience that is at once active and immersive.

Rauschenberg in China reproduces The 1/4 Mile in full for the first time, accompanied by an essay by Helen Hsu, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation curator, and ten glosses unpacking the finer details of the artist’s kaleidoscopic practice. With additional texts by Philip Tinari, Ullens Center director; Susan Davidson and David White, exhibition co-curators; Hiroko Ikegami, Kobe University professor; Felicia Chen, UCCA assistant curator; Julia Blaut, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation curator; and Jennifer Sarathy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation research assistant, this bilingual volume is the most comprehensive examination of the artist’s engagement with China, a pioneering project of cultural exchange more relevant today than ever.

Ticketing (includes 1 drink):

RMB 50 per person

RMB 40 for UCCA and Bookworm members


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

* Please no late entry;

*Seating is limited, and tickets must be collected individually;

*Please keep mobile devices on silent.


Philipp Hubert & Sebastian Fischer (Designers of the Rauschenberg in China catalogue)

Philipp Hubert and Sebastian Fischer founded Hubert & Fischer, a design studio with offices in New York and Berlin with a global client base. The studio specializes in creating editorial design, type design, visual identity, print, application, websites and e-commerce design from concept to production. Hubert & Fischer has been recognized by publications and organizations promoting design excellence, including D&AD, Page, the Art Directors Club New York, IdN, Gallery Mag, Computer Arts and Type Directors Club.


The Bookworm