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Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

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Holding up a mirror to an awakening art market

by Edo Dijksterhuis
There is a reason why there are no pictures of art works accompanying this article. Tino Sehgal does not allow his work to be documented in the form of script, film, or photograph. Sehgal’s work consists of performances, putting him in the category of ultra-ephemeral, verging on the mythical. When a Sehgal-piece gets sold – his dealer, Marian Goodman Gallery, has them on offer in editions of four or six – the deal has to be sealed by the artist himself in a conversation with the buyer. Resale involves a similar oral contract. And the work can only be “installed” by som... [more]
Posted by Edo Dijksterhuis on 10/31/13
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Strength in Numbers?

by Edward Sanderson
SEE/SAW is billed as the prelude to the show ON/OFF, which will open at UCCA in January 2013. ON/OFF promises to be a rather exciting group show of young Chinese artists over the whole of UCCA’s spaces. SEE/SAW though occupies just a small part of this institution’s gallery spaces, to address the recent phenomenon of artist groups in China. While groupings of artists have always existed, not least in China, this way of working has become a very visible feature of artists’ practice here over the past few years, seeming to gain ground in terms of their sheer number, as well as their increasing... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 12/24/12
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[VIDEO] Yung Ho Chang at UCCA and Che Guevara at Three Shadows, Beijing

by Vernissage TV
In Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents ‘Yung Ho Chang + FCJZ: Material-ism’, the first retrospective of the pioneer of contemporary Chinese architecture. UCCA shows over 6 installations, 40 models and 270 drawings charting the cross-disciplinary work of Yung Ho Chang and his practice Feichang Jianzhu (FCJZ). Chang and FCJZ transform the UCCA Great Hall into six courtyard-like modules inspired by the ‘hutong’, the traditional Chinese neighbourhood network of narrow alleys between tile-roofed courtyard houses. In Caochangdi Art District, Three Shadows P... [more]
Posted by Vernissage TV on 11/15/12
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UCCA Blows Up

by Edward Sanderson
In what might be read as a change in direction for Zhan Wang, the new large-scale installation at UCCA broadens his works’ outlook from the establishment of monuments to the creation of the universe as creative material. In the process, the artist addresses some big questions about our place in the universe, but ultimately manages to lose his sympathetic connection with the human body. His long-running Artificial Rock series of scholars’ rocks recreated in stainless steel now dot the world, playing with the role of the monumental in public space. Critic Huang Du sees them as existing between... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 12/11/11
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Two Artists and a Mentor

by Edward Sanderson
It  feels like curation has become somewhat undisciplined. “Good” curation, in my experience, is distinguished by a thoughtful and productive presentation and response to the works selected. I realise this plays down the more academic aspects related to working with collections in, say, a museum context. But in the environment in China where there is little institutional support for serious curation (at least of contemporary art), you take what you can get. However, that rather negative preamble is by way of introducing a show that ultimately restores my faith in the possibilities of curation. I think we are... [more]
Posted by Edward Sanderson on 8/8/11
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One China, Two Worlds

by David Harrison Horton
With “Inner Ear,” Rong Rong wants us to know that there are two Chinas: the rural and the urban. While making such distinctions often invites invective polemics (especially on Chinese blogs), Rong Rong has chosen, as part of UCCA’s Guest Curator program, artists who embody very different world-views as a method of inviting the audience to find ways of correlating and differentiating the works: One China, two worlds. Qiu’s grainy black and whites come close to documentary photography, giving the viewer a glimpse of life in the Chinese countryside. Several themes run through his work presented here:... [more]
Posted by David Harrison Horton on 1/31/11
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From Factory Town to Silver Screen

by Robin Peckham
Commissioned by the Ullens Center, this exhibition follows painter Liu Xiaodong as he returns to his hometown of Jincheng in northeastern China, painting from life the inhabitants of a place with which he was once intimately familiar as they work, sing karaoke, and wander in a state of perpetual unemployment. As we have come to expect from exhibitions of the artist, this one includes not only painting but also notes, sketches, photographs, and, most notably, a documentary shot by the Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien (Liu was also the subject of a film shot by Jia Zhangke in 2006, begging the que... [more]
Posted by Robin Peckham on 3/7/11
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Garcia-Alix Comes East

by Liang Pu
Where can you find a child, a prostitute, a heroin addict, and a pregnant woman together in the same room in Beijing?  At least for the next week, the main gallery at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art would be your best bet.  The center is currently hosting a handsome collection of black and white photographs by the renowned Spanish photographer Alberto Garcia-Alix who frames the often shocking and extreme lives of his subjects in intimate focus.This is a confrontational show to say the least. Garcia-Alix left home when he was twenty, preferring to live with his camera on the... [more]
Posted by Liang Pu on 11/1/10