April 10, 2012 - UCCA, Beijing - Spring exhibitions
April 10, 2012

Spring exhibitions

Spring exhibitions at UCCA

Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker
15 April–10 June 2012

Jennifer Wen Ma: Hanging Garden In Ink
15 April–27 May 2012

“Curated by MadeIn CompanyGUEST: Standing on the Shoulders of Little Clowns
15 April–27 May 2012

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

T +86 10 5780 0200 / 5780 0201


The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) presents three new spring exhibitions opening this weekend. “Beyond Words: Photography in The New Yorker” is an exhibition of more than 100 works by 65 photographers across the globe. Although the material has been gathered from a wide range of sources—including studios, galleries, archives and private collections—and periods (from 1890 to 2010), every image was published in The New Yorker from 1992 to 2010, a formative period in the magazine’s history. The exhibition follows photography’s evolution in this iconic weekly magazine, as the small group of photographers originally commissioned to shoot on a regular basis expanded to a larger group of practitioners, including journalists and contemporary artists. As the source and genres of the magazine’s photography diversified, the role of photography became progressively more idiosyncratic and potent, at once an illustrative medium of support for the articles and an independent medium for art. The co-curators of this exhibition are both known for their work as publication editors: Elisabeth Biondi from journalism as a 15-year veteran of The New Yorker, and Cay Sophie Rabinowitz from art as a founding editor of the photographic quarterly Fantom. The exhibition will be accompanied by a discussion between the curators and mediated by Beijing-based New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos as part of the smart Artists’ Talk series on April 15.

Specially commissioned for UCCA’s most public exhibition space, Jennifer Wen Ma’s “Hanging Garden in Ink” is a tableau vivant of live plants painted in black Chinese ink. Suspended in the Nave, the piece is scaled at 20 meters long, three meters wide and eight meters high. The bottom and top halves of the garden are mirror images of one another, creating the effect of a reflection on water or a three-dimensional Rorschach blot. While the plants are painted in three-dimensional space, time then acts as the fourth dimension, altering the work over the course of its viewing period. The plants give evidence of the perseverance and resilience of life throughout the exhibition ­period by continuing to grow, showing tender green shoots through the black. In referencing the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon, Ma’s installation examines the illusion of material wealth and the power of nature and myth, even as it continues her exploration of the contemporary possibilities of China’s most “traditional” medium. The exhibition will be accompanied by a lecture as part of the smart Artist’s Talk series and an interactive children’s workshop on April 22, as well as a special window display in the UCCASTORE.

“GUEST: Standing on the Shoulders of Little Clowns” comprises five of China’s most convincing young talents: Li Ming, Lin Ke, Lu Pingyuan, Xu Qu, and Zhao Yao. Curated by Shanghai-based artist collective MadeIn Company, GUEST presents itself in the form of a circus. Through an assemblage of installation, painting, and performance, the exhibition attempts to capture the the absurd, poke fun at the self, and entreat the audience to “stop being so serious.” The works draw influence from the theatrics and fantastic disorder of a carnival, encouraging “an exit from reality, then a willingness to laugh at oneself, and finally a realistic acceptance of chaos,” in the artists’ words. Clowns relay humorous tidbits to visitors, acrobats maintain precision and symmetry, and a piece of meat has been tamed. The works are meant to evoke at once blank faces and raucous laughter, self-deprecating punnery and serious introspection. Created by Shanghai-based artist Xu Zhen in 2009, MadeIn Company is an artistic collective that acts as a platform for clever, collaborative expression. The Curated By… series of exhibitions is supported by Bloomberg.

“Gu Dexin: The Important Thing is Not The Meat” will continue showing at UCCA through May 27th.

Editorial Contacts:
Sybella Chow, UCCA
sybella.chow [​at​] ucca.org.cn


Tamsin Selby, Sutton PR Asia
Tamsin [​at​] suttonprasia.com

UCCA, Beijing
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