Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names

Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names

UCCA, Beijing / Kunstinstituut Melly

Zheng Guogu, 10,000 Customers (16), 2005. C-print, 76 x 106 cm. Part of the UCCA exhibition Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names.

May 24, 2014

Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names
26 April–18 May 2014

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

T +86 10 5780 0200
visitor [​at​] ucca.org.cn 


Dai Hanzhi: 5000 Artists
4 September 2014–4 January 2015

Witte de With | Center for Contemporary Art
Witte de Withstraat 50
3012 BR Rotterdam
The Netherlands

info [​at​] wdw.nl


This historical exhibition in two parts, co-commissioned by Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing) and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art (Rotterdam), examines the life of Dutch-born, Beijing-based curator, scholar, and dealer Hans van Dijk (1946–2002), a foundational influence on contemporary art in China. His myriad contributions include the seminal 1993 exhibition China Avant-Garde, the first major show of Chinese contemporary art in Europe; the New Amsterdam Art Consultancy (NAAC), which connected Chinese artists with collectors and curators abroad; and the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), an experimental gallery and exhibition space co-founded with Ai Weiwei and Frank Uytterhaegen.

Based on extensive interviews and archival research, Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names considers his legacy as it looks at the major artists he championed and the scene they inhabited during the 1990s. The exhibition comprises three main elements. A vast collection of documentary material, including catalogues, personal correspondence, and photographs, records in depth van Dijk’s life and work within an emergent art scene. Complementing these documents are works by Chinese artists—some now iconic, others nearly forgotten—with whom van Dijk worked closely. 

The final element of the exhibition is van Dijk’s life’s work: a meticulously organized, staggeringly comprehensive lexicon of over 5,000 Chinese artists born between 1880 and 1980, documenting the history of the country’s modern and contemporary art. The lexicon, discovered on van Dijk’s computer, is a groundbreaking document compiled over decades that details the exhibition and publication history of virtually every important Chinese artist of the twentieth century. 

This exhibition in two parts is curated by Marianne Brouwer and developed with Philip Tinari (Director, UCCA) and Defne Ayas (Director, Witte de With), together with Venus Lau (Curator, UCCA), Samuel Saelemakers (Associate Curator, Witte de With), and Ian Yang (Curatorial Fellow, Witte de With). Curatorial assistance was provided by Andreas Schmid and Zhang Li. The exhibition is co-commissioned by the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing (24 May–10 August) and Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (4 September 2014–4 January 2015).

The UCCA presentation of Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names is sponsored by Dior and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Beijing. Research support for Marianne Brouwer was provided by the Mondriaan Fund. The Witte de With presentation Dai Hanzhi: 5000 Artists is funded in part by AMMODO.

About the curator
Marianne Brouwer (b. 1942) is an art historian, curator, and writer specializing in contemporary art. She was born in the Netherlands and has lived in Japan and France, where she earned her MA in art history at the Sorbonne University, Paris. In the seventies she worked as an art critic and journalist. During the eighties and nineties she was the curator of sculpture at the Kröller-Müller Museum. She has published and lectured widely, participated in international juries, and taught at various art institutions. 
In 1994 she curated the exhibition Heart of Darkness, dedicated to issues of exile and the Other with site-specific installations by Huang Yong Ping, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Gu Wenda (Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands). In 1997 she was the guest curator of the exhibition Another Long March: Chinese Conceptual and Installation Art in the Nineties, the first comprehensive exhibition of Chinese conceptual and video art outside China (Breda, Netherlands, 1997). In 2004 she received the Netherlands’ AICA (Association Internationale des Critiques d’Art) award for best exhibition and best book for Dan Graham: Works 1965–2000.

Editorial contacts: 
Ling Chen, UCCA: ling.chen [​at​] ucca.org.cn
Cheng Xia, UCCA: cheng.xia [​at​] ucca.org.cn
Phoebe Moore, Sutton PR Asia: phoebe [​at​] suttonprasia.com

Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
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UCCA, Beijing  / Kunstinstituut Melly
May 24, 2014

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