UCCA Beijing

Xu Bing: Thought and Method —— An International Conference

2018.8.25 - 2018.8.26

Location:  Auditorium
Language:  English with Chinese Translation

Accompanying the artist’s retrospective this summer, UCCA will hold a major academic symposium entitled “Xu Bing: Thought and Method——An International Conference” on 25 to 26 August, 2018. The bilingual program convenes many of Xu Bing’s closest interlocutors from China and abroad to deliver prepared remarks surrounding three broad themes: his artistic experimentation and thinking; his methodologies, in particular his use of diverse mediums and materials; and his unique position as one of the first Chinese artists to live abroad and work extensively with international art institutions. The conference is chaired by Wu Hung, Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History at the University of Chicago.

Xu Bing is a maverick within his pioneering generation: from his first days as a visual worker in Beijing and the surrounding countryside; to his output, at first traditional, then abruptly radical, within the avant-garde movement in 1980s China; and finally, as a key figure in an emerging discourse of global contemporary art in 1990s New York and post-Olympics Beijing. Just as “Xu Bing: Thought and Method” brings together works spanning four decades and every period of the artist’s career, this symposium seeks to elucidate the self-consciously global practice that emerges across these widely disparate times and mediums—the highly refined ways Xu Bing engages, manipulates, and imagines cultural systems, and the equally sophisticated conceptual underpinnings to these specific forms.

The symposium is divided into afternoon and morning sessions. The first three sessions will begin will keynote speeches by Wu Hung; Hans de Wolf, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel; and Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Senior Advisor, Global Arts, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. Their addresses are followed by shorter prepared remarks introducing new facets to these themes, followed by a moderated discussion between the participating scholars. The final afternoon session comprises a dialogue between Xu Bing and UCCA Director Philip Tinari and a summative discussion between the attendees on the artist’s exhibition history and his project-based way of working across cultures and locales. The contributions to this conference will be incorporated into a major retrospective catalogue to be published in 2019.


10 RMB / Adult

Free / UCCA Member

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August 25th Morning Session


Opening Remarks

Session Theme: Artistic Thinking and Experimentation

Keynote Speaker: Wu Hung

Moderated Discussion Between Participating Scholars

August 25th Morning Session Live Stream

August 25th Afternoon Session


Session Theme: Media and Method

Keynote Speaker: Hans de Wolf

Moderated Discussion Between Participating Scholars

August 25th Afternoon Session Live Stream

August 26th Morning Session


Session Theme: Xu Bing and the Global Art World

Keynote Speaker: Alexandra Munroe

Moderated Discussion Between Participating Scholars

August 26th Morning Session Live Stream

August 26th Afternoon Session


Session Theme: Xu Bing’s Exhibition History and Project-centered Practice

Xu Bing in Conversation with Philip Tinari

Summative Discussion

August 26th Afternoon Session Live Stream

Ticketing QR code