UCCA Beijing

Michael Chow: Voice for My Father


Location:  UCCA Auditorium
Language:  In English with Chinese translation

“Voice for My Father,” the first exhibition opening of UCCA in 2015, and Michael Chow’s first exhibition in mainland China, includes three parallel bodies of work installed in two of UCCA’s exhibition spaces. In the Nave are presented a suite of Chow’s newest paintings, ecumenically employing materials as varied as gold leaf and raw eggs, and characterized by a unique balance between order and chaos, rigor and improvisation, freedom and control. A massive polyptych, nearly twenty meters long, is the centerpiece of this presentation. In the Long Gallery, more of Chow’s paintings will be joined by his iconic portrait collection, which includes works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, Ed Ruscha, and Urs Fischer. Many of these portraits were acquired directly from these artists or given as gifts in recognition of friendship and collaboration with Chow over the years. Alongside these will be shown archival images of Chow’s father Zhou Xinfang (1895-1975), one of the most famous Beijing Opera artists of the twentieth century, positing a connection between the artistic endeavors of father and son. The exhibition, which will travel to the Power Station of Art in Shanghai later in the spring, is held simultaneously with major official celebrations commemorating the 120th anniversary of Zhou Xinfang’s birth.

On the opening day of “Voice for My Father,” UCCA invites Michael Chow and Jeffrey Deitch (curator) to open discussion on the artist's practice. Moderated by Director Philip Tinari, the talk will contribute to the understanding to this exhibition.

Ticketing & Participation: Free, ticket required.


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

*Please don’t be late.


Michael Chow

An expressionist painter firmly rooted in Chinese tradition, Michael Chow (b. 1939, Shanghai) returned to making art in 2012 after a 50-year radical sabbatical. Having grown up in a storied Shanghai household in the 1940s, Chow was sent to London at the age of thirteen, leaving behind everything familiar to him. After studying art and architecture at St. Martin’s and showing his work in the art scene of the 1960s, he went on to open the first of the iconic MR CHOW restaurants that now span the globe. Despite his success, there has always remained a void in his heart that could only be filled with painting. Michael has finally picked up the brush and Yinghua has returned to his childhood home.

Jeffrey Deitch

Jeffrey Deitch (b. 1950, Connecticut) is an American curator who served, between 2010 and 2013, as director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). He is also a dealer in modern and contemporary art and an art advisor to private and institutional art collectors, an art writer and exhibition organizer.

Philip Tinari

Philip Tinari is director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. There he oversees an exhibition program devoted to established figures and rising talents both Chinese and international, aimed at an annual public of more than half a million visitors. Prior to joining UCCA in 2011 he was founding editorial director of the bilingual, international art magazine LEAP, published by Modern Media. He previously served as China advisor to Art Basel, founding editor of Artforum’s Chinese-language edition artforum.com.cn, and lecturer at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He has written and lectured extensively on contemporary art in China, and sits on advisory boards including the Guggenheim Asian Art Council and the Asia Society Hong Kong Center gallery committee. In March, he curated the Focus: China section of The Armory Show in New York.