On September 6, 2017, the press conference for “Deutschland 8” was held in the Auditorium of CAFA Art Museum. “Deutschland 8: Deutsche Kunst in China”, is an important exhibition in the cultural program for the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany, it has been organized by Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. (Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn) and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, with Prof. Fan Di’an, President of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and Prof. Dr. Walter Smerling, Chairman of the Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V as general curators. “Deutschland 8” includes seven academic thematic shows and a thematic forum, which will open in seven art museums in Beijing on September 15, going through to September 17, 2017.
From “China 8” to “Deutschland 8”
The press conference for “Deutschland 8” was officially held at 10am. Shi Mingde, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Germany, Michael Clauß, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to China, Zheng Hao, Deputy Director-General of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations at the Ministry of Culture, Prof. Fan Di’an, General Curator of the “Deutschland 8: Deutsche Kunst in China”, Prof. Walter Smerling, Chairman of Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. (Foundation for Art and Culture Bonn) and General Curator of the“Deutschland 8: Deutsche Kunst in China”, Prof. Dr. Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft and President and CEO of Volkswagen Group China, Wang Jie, Deputy General Manager of the Marketing Department at Air China Ltd., as well as the seven museum directors – Dr. Wang Chunchen, Deputy Director of CAFA Art Museum, Yue Jieqiong, Executive Director of the Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Zhou Xujun, Director of Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Yan Shijie, Director of Red Brick Art Museum, Dr. Gao Peng, Director of Today Art Museum, Gu Yan, Director of Yuan Art Museum, Sun Yongzeng, Director of Whitebox Art Center attended the press conference. The press event was moderated by Qin Jianping, Director of CPC Publicity Division of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.
At the press conference, Shi Mingde, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Germany introduced the origins of “Deutschland 8” – in May 2015, Fan Di’an and Walter Smerling served as general curators for the “China 8: Contemporary Art from China Along the Rhine and Ruhr” exhibition, is presented in nine museums across eight cities in the Rhine and Ruhr region of Germany, and the program was warmly received by the German and European public. After seeing “China 8,” former President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, said in a media interview that he hoped that Germany would be able to hold a large-scale exhibition in China. Through the combined efforts of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V., “Deutschland 8” has been formally launched – in a sense, “Deutschland 8” is the continuation of “China 8,” Michael Clauß, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to China, said that the “Deutschland 8” program created many real “first times”, using 300 art exhibits to comprehensively show the overall view of the development of German art since the 1950s, it was a very important project for German foreign cultural policy, with seven exhibitions held in several museums in Beijing at the same time, which is an high-quality display of German art in China, opening the door for a direct dialogue between Chinese and German artists. Zheng Hao, Deputy Director-General of the Bureau for External Cultural Relations at the Ministry of Culture, also said that, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany, it fully reflected the confidence and resolution of these two governments in continuing and strengthening cultural exchanges and partnerships. As always, the Chinese Ministry of Culture supports the development of exchange and cooperation between art institutions, festivals and artists in the two countries, steadily promoting a new stage in the bilateral cultural relationship.
As a general curator for both “China 8” and “Deutschland 8”, Prof. Fan Di’an said that, “Deutschland 8” activities were supported by both China and Germany, which means that China and Germany were committed to exploring a new way in terms of cultural and artistic exchanges. The stability and development of the relations between the two countries is an important prerequisite for cultural exchange, while the innovation of cultural exchanges establishes new directions for more fields in both countries. Seven art museums in China work together to create “Deutschland 8” which is a pioneering work and also a response to the “China 8” held in Germany in 2015, Fan Di’an said: “from ‘China 8’ to ‘Deutschland 8’ ”, it is the result of innovative exploration and innovation.”
Since the 1950s, modern and contemporary German art has developed rapidly. A group of important artists in a range of artistic fields influenced the development of international contemporary art and culture. “Then, how do we describe German art?” Prof. Dr. Walter Smerling, general curator of “Deutschland 8,” introduced the basic content and meaning of the exhibition, he said that the holding of “Deutschland 8” created an excellent dialogue mechanism between China and Germany, as well as between Asia and Europe, and the seven exhibitions allow the Chinese audience to systematically understand the development of German art over the past 50 years.
Seven Art Museums Launching Seven Thematic Shows & an Academic Forum
“Deutschland 8” is the largest show of German contemporary art in China to date, presenting nearly 320 works by 55 of the most influential German artists since the 1950s. The pieces will be shown at seven independent yet interlocking exhibitions across CAFA Art Museum, Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Red Brick Art Museum, Today Art Museum, Yuan Art Museum, and Whitebox Art Center, together with an academic forum.
At the press conference, seven directors of art museums respectively delivered a speech, and introduced the content and opening time of the seven thematic exhibitions in detail. CAFA Art Museum will host “Paradigm of Art: Contemporary Art from Germany,” showing nearly 90 works by 17 artists spanning painting, sculpture, photography, and installation. The work of some of the world’s most broadly influential German contemporary artists will be shown together in the exhibition spaces, engaging in an exciting dialogue; the Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum is presenting important works by influential German contemporary artists in “Traces of Memory: Masterworks of Contemporary German Painting,” to create a dialogue “crossing the ancient and modern, China and Germany”; Beijing Minsheng Art Museum will launch “The Language of Photography and the Dusseldorf School”, which is China’s first and most systematic presentation of German contemporary photography, serving up a visual feast of an high scholarly caliber for Chinese viewers to enjoy; Red Brick Art Museum will present “Prologue: German Informel Art”, aimed at fully presenting the unique features of German Art Informel and giving the Chinese public a special German art experience; Today Art Museum, which has curated the “Future of Today”, is about to present the “Arrested Time: New Media Art from Germany” this highlights the characteristics of new media art as represented by video art; Yuan Art Museum will launch the “Dialogue: The Spatial Dimension of Color,” to present work by Katharina Grosse and her teacher Gotthard Graubner; this started from the young art in Germany, Whitebox Art Center will launch the “Next Generation: Young German Art”, with six representatives from the young generation of German artists who were chosen for this exhibition. Their works span painting, sculpture, installation and photography, as well as various subject matters and styles.
In addition to the seven exhibitions, a forum entitled “The Development of German and Chinese Contemporary Art in the Context of Globalization” will be held at CAFA Art Museum on September 18, and the primary purpose of combining keynote speeches with roundtable discussion is to be able to invite cultural scholars and artists from both countries to analyze and discuss issues related to the development and exchange of contemporary art and culture between the two countries. The forum will particularly emphasize the deep symbiosis between exhibitions in “Deutschland 8” from the perspectives of cultural theory and artistic thought.
Text by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO
Photo by Hu Sichen/CAFA ART INFO
About the Exhibitions
Deutschland 8: Deutsche Kunst in China
Exhibition Dates: September 2017 to November 2017
Supported by: Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany,
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Federal Republic of Germany
Organizers: Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V., Central Academy of Fine Arts
Co-Organizers: CAFA Art Museum, Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum, Beijing Minsheng Art Museum, Red Brick Art Museum, Today Art Museum, Yuan Art Museum, and Whitebox Art Center
General Curators: Fan Di’an, Walter Smerling
Deputy General Curators: Zhang Zikang, Yue Jieqiong, Li Peng, Zhou Xujun, Yan Shijie, Gao Peng, Gu Yan, Sun Yongzeng, Peter Weibel
Executive Curators: Xu Dan, Feng Xue, Gao Gao
Exhibition & Forum Information:
CAFA Art Museum: “Paradigm of Art: Contemporary Art from Germany”
Exhibition Dates: September 16 to October 29, 2017
Opening: September 16, 2017, 2:30 p.m.
Artists: Franz Ackermann, Horst Antes, Stephan Balkenhol, Abraham David Christian, Hanne Darboven, Thomas Demand, Katharina Fritsch, Isa Genzken, Jörg Immendorf, Hubert Kiecol, Martin Kippenberger, Imi Knoebel, Uwe Kowski, Albert Oehlen, Daniel Richter, Andreas Slominski, Rosemarie Trockel
Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum: “Traces of Memory: Masterworks of Contemporary German Painting”
Exhibition Dates: September 18 to October 20, 2017
Opening: September 17, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
Artists: Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Günther Förg, Anselm Kiefer, Markus Lüpertz, A.R. Penck, Sigmar Polke, Neo Rauch, Gerhard Richter, Günther Uecker
Beijing Minsheng Art Museum: “The Language of Photography and the Dusseldorf School”
Exhibition Dates: September 16 to October 22, 2017
Opening: September 15, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Artists: Bernd and Hilla Becher, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Andreas Mühe, Thomas Ruff, Katharina Sieverding, Thomas Struth
Red Brick Art Museum: “Prologue: German Art Informel”
Exhibition Dates: September 16 to October 22, 2017
Opening: September 16, 2017, 5:00 p.m.
Artists: Peter Brüning, K. O. Götz, Gerhard Hoehme, Bernard Schultze, Fred Thieler, Emil Schumacher
Today Art Museum: “Arrested Time: New Media Art from Germany”
Exhibition Dates: September 17 to November 12, 2017
Opening: September 17, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Curator: Peter Weibel
Artists: Harun Farocki, Jürgen Klauke, Marcel Odenbach, Julius Popp, Julian Rosefeldt, Hito Steyerl, Clemens von Wedemeyer
Yuan Art Museum: “Dialogue: The Spatial Dimension of Color”
Exhibition Dates: September 16 to October 31, 2017
Opening: September 16, 2017, 10:30 a.m.
Artists: Gotthard Graubner, Katharina Grosse
Whitebox Art Center: “Next Generation: Young German Art”
Exhibition Dates: September 15 to October 31, 2017
Opening: September 15, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
Artists: Alicja Kwade, Sebastian Riemer, Michael Sailstorfer, David Schnell, Jorinde Voigt, Matthias Weischer
CAFA Art Museum: “Forum on the Development of German and Chinese Contemporary Art in the Context of Globalization”
Date: September 18, 2017
Keynote Speeches: Walter Smerling, Ferdinand Ullrich, Dieter Ronte, Peter Iden, Fan Di’an, Xu Jiang, Zhu Qingsheng, Wang Huangsheng, Zhang Zikang
Panel Discussion: Uwe Kowski, Andreas Mühe, Katharina Sieverding, Michael Sailstorfer, Sebastian Riemer, Yu Ding, Zhang Guolong, Deng Guoyuan, Ma Lu, Miu Xiaochun, Liu Yonggang, Li Di, Ren Rong