Chen Chieh-jen, Tianzhuo Chen, Guo Fengyi, Ran Huang, Hu Xiangqian, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen, Xu Zhen Produced by MadeIn Company, Wang Jianwei, Wang Sishun, Wu Shanzhuan, Wu Shanzhuan & Inga Svala Thorsdottir, Yu Hong, Yang Shaobin, Zhang Hui, Zhan Wang, Zhou Xiaohu, Zhu Yu
Currently we have the much-anticipated solo of Inga Svala Thorsdottir & Wu Shanzhuan. The last time the duo had a show with us was in 2011. They bring us a brand new body of sculptures, paintings and drawings derived from an actual architecture project in the front gallery, alongside a group of rare photographs from the 90s representative of the beginning of their collaboration in the back gallery. It has always been rewarding on the opening day to witness the vision of an artist physically in front of you. With Inga & Wu, whose practice has always been regarded as highly intellectual and formidable, this presentation is an invitation to physically enter their minds, to experience the world they have tirelessly made for you. Not many artists have this level of sophistication and maturity to turn such complex ideas into tangible objects and create an experience that is both conceptual and poetic.
Our next exhibition coming up in the summer will be a solo of Zhao Gang, followed by a solo by Chen Chieh-jen.
No day is "typical" working in the art world! Every day is unique. The unique position of a gallerist in the art world is that we really get to work closely with all sectors of the art industry. Last Saturday we opened the show of Inga & Wu, where literally the whole art community in China and beyond showed up and partied till late. The next day we had a two-hour symposium with a room of the most intellectual minds of the art world, and the week after I met with collectors, my staff, drank with artists and curators, and soon I will be leaving for Venice, Kassel and then it will be Art Basel time where I will be joined by my international colleagues of gallerists, museum directors, curators, writers, collectors....
Everyone starts collecting art for a different reason, but those that truly enjoy it are ones who enjoy the experience. The art world could be quite insular but it is welcoming towards whoever interested. If you are open-minded the experience will reward you. It is important to have your own opinion, and the learning curve of collecting contemporary art is that of forming a perspective on the world and life.
It all started from Long March Project. "Long March Project: A Walking Visual Display", a moving curatorial project was my Master thesis at Goldsmiths' curating course. In 2002, we started the journey on the road, and winter came so we retreated back to Beijing. We got a space as office in 798 Art District, which at the time was quite derelict and was still mostly factories and some artist studios. There was no gallery per se but only a few art/music spaces and one cafe. Soon, our small office space turned into project space, and we started developing a program, and then we moved to a bigger space with more exhibition programmes and a residency program. The program matured and became more coherent, and before we knew it we were running a gallery with a strong stable of nearly 20 artists.
A permanent space may sound quite far away from a moving curatorial project, but in fact, the ethos remains the same. It has been a organic but conscious and solid process for us to nurture our strong resource of artistic talents and commit to a long term working relationship with these great artistic minds especially at a time (early-mid 2000) when there weren't many galleries to begin with, let alone ones that committed their program on a permanent basis to a selection of artists. Through the artists we represent and our program, we hope to mark the changing face of artistic expressions in China in the face of its own economic changes as well as the geopolitical shifts of the world.
Xu Zhen, Zhan Wang and Liu Wei are artists whom we have worked with for a long time. Through our past eight years participating at Art Basel, I am sure collectors from this region would be familiar with their works and practices.
We started working with Tianzhuo Chen in 2015, but he has garnered significant attention internationally in a short period of time, and we look forward to bringing more of his works to Art Basel. We are especially excited about new works we will show at Art Basel for the first time by Su Yu-Xin and Vivien Zhang, two young painters we recently started working with.
Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.
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