June 24, 2014 - Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen - Contemporary art from Beijing
June 24, 2014

Contemporary art from Beijing

View of Sensory Spaces 4—Liu Wei. Courtesy Liu Wei Studio. Photo: Studio Hans Wilschut, Rotterdam.

Contemporary art from Beijing
until 21 September 2014

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
NL-3015 CX Rotterdam
The Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–5pm


Liu Wei
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen asked Liu Wei (b. 1972, Beijing) to make a site-specific installation for the series of exhibitions called Sensory Spaces, which gives emerging artists a free hand to set their own stamp on the properties of a particular exhibition space. Liu is the fourth artist invited to do so. Oscar TuazonSabine Hornig and Elad Lassry preceded him. Siobhán Hapaska will make an installation in October.

Liu Wei’s work deals with China’s rapid modernization and urban growth. Literally using the materials a city is made of, he takes the power structures and dynamism of urban society as his subject. His two- and three-dimensional works consist chiefly of assemblages of materials and objects from everyday reality. He physically deconstructs our reality to expose the underlying urban dynamic. For the installation in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen the artist has placed enlarged construction elements, which are both building blocks and sculptures, in the exhibition space. Collectively they form a larger-than-life do-it-yourself kit, like an urban landscape through which visitors can walk. The installation alludes to construction and decay, to possibilities and utopias. An essay by the curator accompanies each Sensory Spaces exhibition.

Focus Beijing
This summer Museum Boijmans van Beuningen’s focus is on modern art from Beijing. The museum is showcasing 20 prominent artists who live and work in Beijing in Focus Beijing: De Heus-Zomer Collection. Their work is presented in clusters, providing insights into their artistic approach. Two generations of artists from Beijing are represented. The first grew up in the 1950s and ’60s. Their work reflects strong political engagement and alludes to China’s traumatic history and the social and cultural revolution that China experienced in the recent past. Artists like Zhang Dali (b. 1963, Harbin), Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958, Kunming), Hai Bo (b. 1962, Changchun) and Ai Weiwei (b. 1957, Beijing) represent this generation. The second generation was born in the 1970s and ’80s, the period when Communist China opened its doors to the world. Artists like Qiu Xiaofei (b. 1977, Harbin), Wang Guangle (b. 1976, Fujian) and Liang Yuanwei (b. 1977, Xi’an) grew up at a time when Chinese society was becoming more westernized, a period of strong economic growth. They are well-informed about the trends in the global art world and have made an international name for themselves.

Some of the artists were invited to respond to the work in the exhibition. Qiu Xiaofei made an installation that reflects on the relationship between painting and object. Hu Xiaoyuan commented on a selection of 17th- and 18th-century Chinese porcelain from the museum’s collection. Hai Bo is showing the video One Old Man alongside his tranquil photographs.

The Sensory Spaces series is made possible with the generous support of Ammodo.

For more information, please contact the Marketing and Communications Department:
T +31 (0) 10 441 9561 or pressoffice [​at​] boijmans.nl.


Contemporary art from Beijing at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
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