UCCA Beijing

Meridian: UCCA Spring Festival Day Three: Workshop and Talk


Location:  UCCA Salon, UCCA Workshop

In celebration of the upcoming Spring Festival and the transition to the new year, UCCA presents a series of performances, talks, and workshops featuring artists who have reshaped our understanding of traditional Asian art.

Meridian takes its title from Traditional Chinese Medicine’s model of a body crisscrossed by channels that transport qi and blood, an alternative to Western anatomy which continues to be used today. Rather than understanding traditional art mediums as relics, we might view them as a network of intersecting past, present and future concerns. For this three-day festival, members of the public are invited to join artists and performers to explore the novel possibilities of traditional mediums, reexamining their assumptions about these mediums, learning about the ways in which traditional techniques are used in contemporary art, and mapping out the development of these art forms within varying spatial and temporal contexts.

The third and final day of the festival includes a workshop led by Japanese calligrapher Mami, and a panel discussion with dancer and choreographer Hou Ying, artist Hu Xiaoyuan, architect Shuhei Aoyama, and poet Xi Chuan.


2.4 (Sun) 13:00-15:00 Japanese Calligraphy Workshop

2.4 (Sun) 15:00-17:00 Creators Talk: Tradition Revisited

Japanese Calligraphy Workshop

Type of Event: Workshop

Time: 13:00-15:00

Location: UCCA Salon

Event Introduction:
UCCA invites Japanese artist Mami to teach a public workshop comparing and contrasting the development of calligraphy in China and Japan, with a focus on how Chinese characters are the foundation for hiragana, a Japanese alphabet. Participants will join Mami in writing Chinese calligraphy, then transforming the hanzi into hiragana. All materials will be provided, and no experience is required for participants.

Japanese with Chinese and English translation

60 RMB/Adult
30 RMB/UCCA member

*No experience is required;
*All materials will be provided;
*Workshop open to adults and children ages 12 and up;
*Enjoy UCCA Member ticket prices with the purchase of a yearly membership card (RMB 300);
*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.

Ticketing QR Code


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Mami (Calligrapher)
Mami (b. 1990) began learning calligraphy at the age of nine, going on to major in it in at Daito University. After graduating, she began to develop her unique style, a fusion of the visual linguistic art of Shodo, Japanese calligraphy, and graffiti. She now participates in more than 80 events a year in hopes of introducing the world of Shodo to others, as well as creating paintings and other visual art.

Creators Talk: Tradition Revisited

Type of Event: Conversation

Time: 15:00-17:00

Location: UCCA Workshop

Event Introduction:
For the final event in the festival, UCCA welcomes dancer and choreographer Hou Ying, artist Hu Xiaoyuan, architect Shuhei Aoyama, and poet Xi Chuan, renowned figures from different creative fields, to discuss how they each utilize traditional Chinese mediums in their work. How do they choose to reinterpret “preservation” of traditional forms? How have they fused techniques and content from traditional and contemporary Chinese art and writing? What is the value of this integration? How can traditional mediums be revitalized in an ever-shifting world? The talk will be moderated by UCCA curator Yang Zi.

Chinese only


*Seating is limited; participants of the Japanese Calligraphy Workshop, and those who have reserved a place online enjoy priority seating;
*Collect your ticket from reception 30 minutes before the event begins;
*Please no late entry;
*Please keep mobile devices on silent.


Hou Ying (Choreographer)
Renowned dancer and choreographer Hou Ying was born in Jilin, China, and is now based in the US, where she is the founder and Artistic Director of Hou Ying Dance Theater. Hou’s sophisticated, abstract body language reflects her concern with human interiority and spirit. In 1996, her work Spirit of Night was presented at the Russian International Dance Competition, and in 2001 she was awarded a scholarship from the Asian Cultural Council to study in New York. In 2002, she joined Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York, later working as Rehearsal Director of the studio. In 2004, she was named “Year’s Most Outstanding Dancer” by The New York Times. In 2008, Hou Ying returned to China with Shen Wei, and created the dance work “The Picture” for the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. Since 2009, she shifted her focus to Beijing, founding Hou Ying Dance Theater in Beijing in 2011.

Hu Xiaoyuan (Artist)
Hu Xiaoyuan was born in Harbin, China in 1977, and graduated with a degree in Communication Design from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2002. In 2007, she was the first female Chinese artist invited to participate in Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany. She participated in the New Museum Triennial in New York in 2012, and the Taipei Biennale in 2014. She has exhibited abroad at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, Kunsthaus Graz in Austria, Orange County Museum of Art in California, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Hu has exhibited locally at the Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Minsheng Art Museum (Shanghai), Power Station of Art (Shanghai), Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), Video Bureau Beijing, Beijing Commune, and Pace Gallery (Beijing). Her work has been collected by M+ Museum (Hong Kong), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai), Hammer Museum (California), Power Station of Art (Shanghai), and other art institutions. Images of her work have been published in various printed media, including China Art Book by DuMont Buchverlag, The Ungovernables by Skira Rizzoli, and Moving Images in China: 1988-2011. In 2018, Flash Art will publish her new catalog.

Shuhei Aoyama (Architect)
Shuhei Aoyama is the founder and principal architect at B.L.U.E. (Beijing Laboratory for Urban Environment) Architecture, and lectures at the School of Architecture and Art at the North China University of Technology. He obtained a Bachelor’s from Osaka University in 2003 and a Master’s from Tokyo University in 2005. From 2005 to 2012 he worked at SAKO Architects, and was the principal architect for the ZIGZAG renovation of an international elementary school in Tanggu. In 2008 he was awarded second place for the 2008 Japan Commercial Space Design Awards. Aoyama began lecturing at the North China University of Technology in 2012, and founded B.L.U.E. Architecture in 2014. In 2016, he was named one of the top ten emerging talents in interior design by the China Building Decoration Association, and in both 2016 and 2017 he was included in a list of 40 Under 40 Outstanding Young Architects. In 2017 he was picked to be one of the Yicai Brilliant 20. His main projects now include “Renovation of Multi-household Compounds in Nanluoguxiang” (winner of second prize for architectural design from the Architectural Society of China in 2016), “Dengshikou L-shaped House” (winner of the Jintang Prize from the 2016 China Interior Design Awards), “Lost and Found,” “house vision,” “400 Box Community,“ and “With Wheat.”

Xi Chuan (Poet)
Xi Chuan is a Chinese poet, essayist, and translator. Born in 1963 in Jiangsu province, he graduated from the English Department at Beijing University in 1985. Previously a visiting adjunct professor at New York University (2007), an Orion visiting artist at University of Victoria, Canada (2009), and professor of Chinese Literature at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing,he is currently a professor of Beijing Normal University. Xi Chuan has published nine collections of poems, including Depth and Shallowness (2006) and A Dream’s Worth (2013), two books of essays and two books of critical writings, in addition to a play and numerous translations of Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Czeslaw Milosz, Gary Snyder and others. His awards include National Lu Xun Prize for Literature (2001), and Cultural China: Person of the Decade (2001-2011) by Shanghai Oriental Morning Post. He was also one of the top ten winners of the 1999 Weimar International Essay Prize Contest in Germany. His work has been widely anthologized, translated, and published in more than twenty countries. His book of poems in English translation Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems (tr. Lucas Klein) published by New Directions, New York, 2012, was awarded ALTA’s 2013 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, and was shortlisted for the American 2013 Best Translated Book Award.


Yang Zi (UCCA Curator)
Yang Zi received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Nanjing University, and is currently a curator for UCCA. Yang Zi has worked in art criticism and curation for nearly ten years, starting with his participation in the YCCA project at UCCA in 2008, which introduced him to art criticism and writing. Prior to joining UCCA, Yang Zi was an editor of LEAP, and he has written extensively for a range of publications, including LEAP, Artforum China, Art Bank, and Art Time, among others. He acted as executive editor on a series of UCCA catalogues, including Wang Yin: The Gift, Liu Wei: Colors, Xu Zhen: A MadeIn Company Production, and Zeng Fanzhi: Parcours. His curatorial projects include “La Chair” (A+ Contemporary, Shanghai, 2016) and “Secret Chamber” (am Art Space, Shanghai, 2016).

Special Thanks to

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