Beijing – 11 May 2020 – The fourth edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing (GWBJ) will return from 22 until 31 May with 22 galleries and institutions presenting solo and group exhibitions, public art installations, talks and events across Beijing’s 798 Art Zone and online. Originally scheduled for March 2020, the week-long event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be one of the first art initiatives to relaunch in China and the first gallery weekend since the outbreak internationally. By bringing local galleries and institutions together, the opening of Gallery Weekend Beijing signals the revival of Beijing’s art scene and offers hope to other art scenes around the world.
New to this year’s programme is an expanded digital offering, designed to ensure remote access via a variety of digital channels to visitors around the world. Taking careful consideration on how to engage international audiences unable to travel abroad while prioritising the health and safety of local visitors, partners and staff, Gallery Weekend Beijing has evolved and transitioned its 2020 programme into the digital realm through the development and launch of a new mobile app, featuring a centralised online viewing platform, audio/video content, a live event schedule and map, as well as a series of pre-recorded and live-streamed events, from moderated panel discussions to guided tours of exhibitions, artist studios and prominent collections.
The Main Sector of GWBJ 2020 features world-class presentations by 22 leading galleries and institutions. Under new branding, SPURS Gallery dedicates its two exhibition spaces to Wang Jiajia’s pop-like ‘face-paintings’ and a solo exhibition by Wei Hai, whilst Long March Space opens its first show following recent renovations with Yu Zhu. Galleries return in full swing with multiple exhibitions showcasing insightful exchanges: Hive Center for Contemporary Art opens with solo shows by Duan Jianwei, Pu Yingwei, and Qian Honglin; Galleria Continua celebrates the 15-year anniversary of its Beijing space with four projects by Daniel Buren, Kader Attia, Hans op De Beeck and Qiu Zhijie respectively; Zhao Zhao’s solo presentation and AES+F, a collective of four Russian artists, takes over Tang Contemporary Art’s two locations in the city; with work by Liu Gangshun and Bi Jianye’s first solo exhibition on view at Platform China Contemporary Art Institute’s two spaces. Spotlighting solo presentations, Beijing Commune continues its support of young artists through a solo exhibition by Ge Yulu; Galerie Urs Meile celebrates Chinese landscape painting with work by Qiu Shihua; Ginkgo Space explores Shen Chen’s artistic practice from the 2000s; Gao Suodu contemplates notions of ‘home’ through recent photographs at Hunsand Space; Magician Space showcases paintings by Tang Yongxiang; with John McLean at PIFO Gallery; Wen Ling at Star Gallery and Zhang Dan at Triumph Gallery. This year, GWBJ also welcomes a strong line-up of new members, including: ASIA ART CENTER, CLC Gallery Venture, N3 Contemporary Art, Space Station, TOKYO GALLERY + BTAP and Wind H Art Center. Two awards for the best exhibition will be granted to participating galleries – the Master Prize and the Innovation Prize – with winners announced on May 24 following a panel discussion with jury members.
GWBJ 2020 also marks the reopening of its two non-profit participants: UCCA Center for Contemporary Art and M WOODS. UCCA’s group show ‘Meditations in an Emergency’ brings together 20 artists from China and abroad to address our shared predicament around the outbreak of COVID-19, with an archival presentation on ‘Blue Skye Exposure,’ an exhibition held in Beijing at the end of the SARS epidemic in 2003. Meanwhile, M WOODS will present new physical exhibitions opening to coincide with GWBJ 2020 following its recent online exhibition.
Following a successful debut in 2019, the Up&Coming Sector returns this year with a group exhibition titled ‘Those who see and know all, are all and can do all,’ curated by Hanlu Zhang. This sector is dedicated to young Chinese talents, including both artists and curators, held from 22 May until 20 June, 2020. This year’s programme delves into realms of the sacred and the mystical to explore the relationship between art and spirituality. This group of young creators, to name a few, include ··PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT, Hu Qingtai, Pu Yingwei, Tong Kunniao, Wu Sih-Chin, and Zhang Wenxin, representing a generation shaped by technology and hyper-digitisation. As a whole, the presentation stitches together artworks, topics, and concepts at the exhibition hall in 798 Art Center to create an entangled space for devotion, meditation and enlightenment.
Curated by You Yang, Director of UCCA Lab, the Public Sector showcases outdoor projects and large-scale sculptures across the 798 Art Zone for three months (May 22 until August 20, 2020). Titled ‘Form | Impression,’ the presentation refers to aspects of the creative process, both the materialisation of the work and the connection it establishes with audiences, set within the context and history of public art. Featured artists include Daniel Buren, Cai Lei, He An, Li Weiyi, Liu Wei, Nhozagri, Daniela Palimariu, Timur Si-Qin, Sui Jianguo, Ye Funa, Zheng Lu and more.
GWBJ 2020 sees an enhanced programme of events, including a collaboration with Zurich Art Weekend, to nurture international debate on the challenges and possibilities of crisis. In panel discussions titled ‘This is me!’ and ‘Mapping Mindscapes,’ GWBJ presents conversations with high-profile artists, curators, and collectors, as well as a series of performative talks featuring young Chinese practitioners and artists from the Public Sector. This year’s edition will also feature an Opening Party with artists’ performances. Events will be recorded and available on GWBJ’s website and official app or live streamed through its social media channels.
“Despite the enormous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extremely excited to open Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020. Its return marks an important moment for the arts community in China and around the world as it signals a revival of Beijing’s art scene and the art market. We have worked tirelessly to ensure a strong presentation of cutting-edge contemporary art to showcase the strength of art and culture in Beijing,” says Amber Yifei Wang, Director of Gallery Weekend Beijing.
“UCCA is proud to be an institutional partner in Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020. We look forward to this year’s edition not only for the great exhibitions and programmes it will include, but also as a signal of the return of cultural life to our city. We are delighted to be opening our first exhibition of the year as part of the lineup and committed to providing an engaging and safe experience for all visitors,” says Philip Tinari, Director and CEO of UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.
“Gallery Weekend Beijing is the core of the Beijing contemporary art scene, as well one of the most active platforms within the Chinese contemporary art scene regarding exhibition, collection, and education. In this very special May, Long March Space looks forward to gathering and presenting the positive energies of the artworld in tandem with GWBJ,” says Lu Jie, Founder of Long March Space.
Notes to Editors:
List of Participants
Main Sector Galleries Main Sector Non-Profit Institutions
ASIA ART CENTER M WOODS
Beijing Commune UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
CLC Gallery Venture
Galerie Urs Meile
Hive Center for Contemporary Art
Long March Space
N3 Contemporary Art
Platform China Contemporary Art Institute
Tang Contemporary Art
TOKYO GALLERY + BTAP
Wind H Art Center
About Gallery Weekend Beijing
Gallery Weekend Beijing is a culturally cohesive platform - initiated and managed by art market professionals - that seeks to bundle and share cutting-edge contemporary art in Beijing. During GWBJ, galleries and institutions work closely alongside each other to present the most striking exhibitions of the year to a national and international audience. On a global level where boundaries increasingly blur into new fields of opportunities, this exciting venture seeks to eliminate creative limits and to connect Beijing’s artistic potential to the global contemporary art hubs. An attractive framework programme, including relevant talks, panel discussions and workshops, and much more, will accompany the week-long event.
About I Do - Chief Sponsor of Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020
Originated from wedding vows, I Do symbolises the utmost respect and commitment to love. Once the oath is made and the rings are exchanged, the couple is forever bound together in the name of love. Founded in 2006, I Do, with its appealing brand name and products designed specifically for love and marriage, soon became the one of the most favored brands in China. Today, I Do has over 700 stores, located in over 230 cities in China, witnessing the marriage of millions of happy couples. At the same time, in the field of public welfare, Mr. Li Houlin, the founder of I Do, founded the I Do Foundation in 2008. In recent years, adhering to the concept of ‘For love, I Do’, the foundation has further expanded the artistic dream plan, with the theme ‘Lighting up dreams with art’, and has continued to offer artist supportive education for special children in Tibet and hold public welfare exhibitions. So that art may empower the public welfare, and the latter may make good for art conversely.