July 7, 2012 - Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) - Indian Highway and summer exhibitions
July 7, 2012

Indian Highway and summer exhibitions

Indian Highway
Great Hall and Central Gallery, June 24–August 19, 2012

Wang Mai: Dire Straits
The Nave, July 22–August 30, 2012

Curated By Wang Xingwei
Specificity: Liu Weijian, Wang Xingjie Wen Ling, Xia Guanglong, Zhan Yingxiang, Zhang Shujian, and Zhang Wuyun

Long Gallery, July 22–August 30, 2012

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu
Beijing, China

T +86 10 5780 0200 / 5780 0201

www.ucca.org.cn

Indian Highway
The major survey of contemporary art from the subcontinent, Indian Highway has made its first stop outside of Europe at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. Co-curated by Julia Peyton-Jones, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Gunnar B. Kvaran together with Philip Tinari from UCCA. The arrival of this international touring exhibition in Beijing marks the most comprehensive presentation of contemporary art from India ever seen in China.

The culmination of extensive research across India, Indian Highway features over thirty individuals and collectives whose creative practices span a wide range of media and subject matter. The work of artists who have already made an impact on the international art world is displayed alongside newer practitioners. After its initial showing at the Serpentine Gallery in London in 2008, Indian Highway traveled to museums including the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo (2009) and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon (2011), and plans are underway for the exhibition to continue its Asian tour after this showing in Beijing.

As this is the first time the exhibition, now in its sixth instantiation, has been shown in Asia, Indian Highway is a pioneer project in China—an opportunity to highlight the unique relationship between the neighboring countries within an artistic context. As India’s rapid development during recent years is among the defining events of the new century, it is a situation constantly compared to China’s own emergence. Yet knowledge of India and its vibrant creative scene has been slow to take root in China. In what to many will be an introduction to contemporary art in India, Indian Highway brings together the work of India’s greatest creative minds, exploring social and political issues key to the Indian situation, including environmentalism, religious sectarianism, gender, sexuality, and class.

As the exhibition has evolved with each showing, with host institutions curating a ‘show within a show’ and making additions to the collection, UCCA has added new works by Sudarshan Shetty, Bharti Kher, Dayanita Singh, Hetain Patel, and Ayisha Abraham especially for the Beijing exhibition.

In order to mark this exhibition of Indian Highway as an important meeting between Indian contemporary art and the Chinese art world, UCCA Books will create a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, published exclusively in Chinese.

Artists presented in this edition of Indian Highway at UCCA include: Ayisha Abraham, Ravi Agarwal, Sarnath Banerjee, Nikhil Chopra, Baptist Coelho, Sheela Gowda, Sakshi Gupta, Shilpa Gupta, Subodh Gupta, N.S. Harsha, Abhishek Hazra, M.F. Husain, Jitish Kallat, Amar Kanwar, Bharti Kher, Nalini Malani, Jagannath Panda, Hetain Patel, Prajakta Potnis, Raqs Media Collective, Tejal Shah, Sudarshan Shetty, Dayanita Singh, Kiran Subbaiah, Vivan Sundaram, Thukral & Tagra, Hema Upadhyay, Avinash Veeraraghavan, and Studio Mumbai Architects.

Indian Highway is organized in collaboration with the Serpentine Gallery, London, and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo, Norway.
The exhibition is supported by the Indian Embassy, Beijing.

Wang Mai: Dire Straits
A sculptor and painter with a longstanding interest in economic and environmental issues, Wang Mai creates a site-specific absurdist forest in the UCCA Nave which situates new works inside an environment collaged from elements drawn from his ancestral home in China’s far northeast. His chaotic stage set combines materials such as birch trees and the fish skin used for shelter and clothing by the coastal peoples of his region with corporate and political imagery, raising questions about China’s reform-era faith in forward progress and its unstable position in the global symbolic economy.

Curated By Wang Xingwei
Specificity: Liu Weijian, Wang Xingjie Wen Ling, Xia Guanglong, Zhan Yingxiang, Zhang Shujian, and Zhang Wuyun
Painter Wang Xingwei, whose own major retrospective will open at UCCA in spring 2013, assembles a group exhibition of seven emerging painters whose works address, from different perspectives, the fraught relationship between (realist) painting and the reality it is tasked with depicting.

The exhibitions Yun-Fei Ji: Water Work and Song Kun: A Thousand Kisses Deep will continue to be on view at UCCA through July 15.

Editorial contacts:
Sybella Chow, UCCA: sybella.chow [​at​] ucca.org.cn
Tamsin Selby, Sutton PR Asia: Tamsin [​at​] suttonprasia.com

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