On December 29, 2015, the press conference of the “Utopia/Heterotopia: First Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Exhibition” was held in Miyun Theatrical Stage in the ancient Shuibei Town, Beijing. Representatives of the organizer, curators, artists, representatives of the art committee of the exhibition, as well as more than a dozen media personnel from the capital were present and it introduced the curatorial idea and the preparation of the exhibition to the media, in addition to announcing the participating artists and the reconstruction of the exhibition space.
General manager of the organizer, Cultural Wuzhen Co., Ltd. Ms. Chen Yu talked about the long history, the literature and art, as well as the multivariate nature of Wuzhen and the developed tourism that protects the ancient town, in addition to the protection of the traditional historical history and culture, the ancient buildings and residences. Wuzhen had been committed to transforming the previous tourist town and leisure town to the cultural town it is now.
Feng Boyi was the head curator of the exhibition, and he briefly introduced the curatorial idea of the exhibition, artists and the organizing committee. He focused on several statements: firstly, although the exhibition was the first show, it would be a persistent project that would continue. Secondly, he expounded the curatorial concept of “Utopia/Heterotopia”. Feng Boyi believed that contemporary artists were actually engaged in doing things of “utopia” and “heterotopia”, through the visual art that led to the trust of an ideal or to realize criticism and thinking on real problems. This exhibition was a keyword-summary from this perspective. Thirdly, he announced the participating artists. At the press conference, Feng Boyi initially announced the 40 invited artists from 15 countries and regions to the public exhibition. They included the artists with a crucial impact on the concept of global contemporary art in recent decades and the artists creating new consciousness and gaining worldwide attention. Fourthly, he introduced the situation of the art committee of the exhibition, which included Hou Hanru, Leng Lin, Alexandra Munroe, Uli Sigg, Philip Tinari and Wu Hong.
Then, representative of the art committee of the exhibition Philip Tinari and representative of the artists Sui Jianguo also shared their views on the conception of the exhibition from their perspectives, as well as the experiences in participating in the investigation and creative activities together with the media. One of the coordinators Cao Yangdong mainly introduced the transformation progress and results of the exhibition space. The exhibition space is divided into “West Gate Area” and “North Gate Silk Mill” as well as being divided into indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces.
During the preparation of the exhibition, the organizer and curators have successively organized and invited 21 artists to visit Wuzhen, and some artists have resided in Wuzhen for their creations. Combined with the field environment, these works were specially created on the exhibition theme, together with the other invited works to form the richness and integrity of the works. At the press conference, curators Wang Xiaosong and Liu Gang respectively briefed the artists’ investigations and the preparation of the work, as well as the 40 artists at home and abroad.
The exhibition will open on March 28 going through to June 26, 2016, during the exhibition period, it will invite the artists, critics, and experts and scholars from the related fields to hold public educational promotional events including seminars, dialogues, discussions, workshops, etc., the organizer hopes that it will attract more students and audiences to participate in the events. Together they will start an ideal path for Wuzhen to move towards being a centre for contemporary culture and art.
About the exhibition
Artists: Marina Abramovic, Ai Weiwei, Araki Nobuyoshi, Chen Zhiguang, Cheng Dapeng, Choe U-Ram, Richard Deacon, Olafur Eliasson, Ann Hamilton, Oliver Herring, Damien Hirst, Florentijn Hofman, Studio Job, Kishio Suga, John Körmeling, Lai Chih-Sheng, Antti Laitinen, Li Songsong, Li Binyuan, Jaffa Lam, Maya Lin, Liu Jianhua, Mao Tongqiang, Miao Xiaochun, Martin Parr, Peng Wei, Finnbogi Pétursson, Pinaree Sanpitak, Roman Signer, Kiki Smith, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Bill Viola, Weng Yunpeng, Wu Junyong, Xiang Jing, Xu Bing, Xu Zhongmin, Yin Xiuzhen, Zhang Dali
Opening: March 27, 2016
Dates: March 28 – June 26, 2016
Venues: North Silk Factory and West Scenic Zone, Wuzhen, China
Chairman of the Exhibition: Chen Xianghong
Members of the Art Committee: Hou Hanru, Leng Lin, Alexandra Munroe, Uli Sigg, Philip Tinari, Wu Hong
Head Curator: Feng Boyi
Curators: Wang Xiaosong, Liu Gang
Curatorial Assistants: Lu Xin, Zhang Fan, Miao Yu, Ian Yang, Chen Minghua, Sun Zhiyong
Coordinators: Chen Yu, He Guoming, Cao Yangdong, Yao Jianqiang, Sophie Yu, Renee Xu, Ying Zhu
Text by Zhu Li, Photo by Yang Yanyuan/CAFA ART INFO
Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO