Gallery Weekend Beijing Returns with New Dates, New Programme and New Digital Offer

FAD MAGAZINE Zheng Lu?Anisoptera's Eye?2020Mixed material600 × 600 × 450 cmImage courtesy of the artist and SPURS Gallery
Zheng Lu?Anisoptera’s Eye?2020Mixed material600 × 600 × 450 cmImage courtesy of the artist and SPURS Gallery

The fourth edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing (GWBJ) returns from 22nd until 31st May with 22 galleries and institutions presenting solo and group exhibitions, public art installations, talks and events across Beijing’s 798 Art Zone and online. Originally scheduled for March 2020, the week-long event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be one of the first art initiatives to relaunch in China and the first gallery weekend since the outbreak in- ternationally. By bringing local galleries and institutions together, the opening of Gallery Weekend Beijing signals the revival of Beijing’s art scene and offers hope to other art scenes around the world.

FAD MAGAZINE Ye FunaExhibitionist Nail Project?Nailhenge?2016Mixed materialDimensions variableImagecourtesy of the artist and Space Station
Ye FunaExhibitionist Nail Project?Nailhenge?2016Mixed materialDimensions variableImagecourtesy of the artist and Space Station

New to this year’s programme is an expanded digital offering, designed to ensure remote access via a variety of digital channels to visitors around the world. Taking careful consideration on how to engage international audiences unable to travel abroad while prioritising the health and safety of local visitors, partners and staff, Gallery Weekend Beijing has evolved and transitioned its 2020 programme into the digital realm through the development and launch of a new mobile app, fea- turing a centralised online viewing platform, audio/video content, a live event schedule and map, as well as a series of pre-recorded and live-streamed events, from moderated panel discussions to guided tours of exhibitions, artist studios and prominent collections.

GWBJ 22-31 May, the fourth edition will feature 22 galleries and institutions presenting world-class exhibitions and events across Beijing’s 798 Art Zone and online gallery-weekend-beijing.com

Programme Highlights
The Main Sector of GWBJ 2020 features world-class presentations by 22 leading galleries and institutions. Under new branding, SPURS Gallery dedicates its two exhibition spaces to Wang Jiajia’s pop-like ‘face-paintings’ and a solo exhibition by Wei Hai, whilst Long March Space opens its first show following recent renovations with Yu Zhu. Galleries return in full swing with multiple exhibitions showcasing insightful exchanges: Hive Center for Contemporary Art opens with solo shows by Duan Jianwei, Pu Yingwei, and Qian Honglin; Galleria Continua celebrates the 15-year anniversary of its Beijing space with four projects by Daniel Buren, Kader Attia, Hans op De Beeck and Qiu Zhijie respectively; Zhao Zhao’s solo presentation and AES+F, a collective of four Russian artists, takes over Tang Contemporary Art’s two locations in the city; with work by Liu Gangshun and Bi Jianye’s first solo exhibition on view at Platform China Contemporary Art Institute’s two spaces. Spotlighting solo presentations, Beijing Com-
mune continues its support of young artists through a solo exhibition by Ge Yulu; Galerie Urs Meile celebrates Chinese landscape painting with work by Qiu Shihua; Ginkgo Space explores Shen Chen’s artistic practice from the 2000s; Gao Suodu contemplates notions of ‘home’ through recent photographs at Hunsand Space; Magician Space showcases paintings by Tang Yongxiang; with John McLean at PIFO Gallery; Wen Ling at Star Gallery and Zhang Dan at Triumph Gallery. This year, GWBJ also welcomes a strong line-up of new members, including: ASIA ART CENTER, CLC Gallery Venture, N3 Contemporary Art, Space Station, TOKYO Gallery + BTAP and Wind H Art Center. Two awards for the best exhibition will be granted to participating
galleries – the Master Prize and the Innovation Prize – with winners announced on May 24 follow-
ing a panel discussion with jury members.

“Gallery Weekend Beijing is the core of the Beijing contemporary art scene, as well one of the most active platforms within the Chinese contemporary art scene regarding exhibition, collection, and education. In this very special May, Long March Space looks forward to gathering and pre- senting the positive energies of the artworld in tandem with GWBJ,”

says Lu Jie, Founder of Long March Space.

GWBJ 2020 also marks the reopening of its two non-profit participants: UCCA Center for Con- temporary Art and M WOODS. UCCA’s group show ‘Meditations in an Emergency’ brings to- gether 20 artists from China and abroad to address our shared predicament around the outbreak of COVID-19, with an archival presentation on ‘Blue Skye Exposure,’ an exhibition held in Beijing at the end of the SARS epidemic in 2003. Meanwhile, M WOODS will present new physical exhibi- tions opening to coincide with GWBJ 2020 following its recent online exhibition.

FAD MAGAZINE  · PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT ETC., ETC., No. 03, 2019 Carbonless copy paper, black printing ink, spot-color printing ink (gold), folds and creases created by Newton's Laws of Motion, sound Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artists
PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT ETC., ETC., No. 03, 2019 Carbonless copy paper, black printing ink, spot-color printing ink (gold), folds and creases created by Newton’s Laws of Motion, sound Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artists

Following a successful debut in 2019, the Up&Coming Sector returns this year with a group ex- hibition titled ‘Those who see and know all, are all and can do all,’ curated by Hanlu Zhang. This sector is dedicated to young Chinese talents, including both artists and curators, held from 2 May 22 until June 20, 2020. This year’s programme delves into realms of the sacred and the mystical to explore the relationship between art and spirituality. This group of young creators, to name a few, include ··PROPAGANDA DEPARTMENT, Hu Qingtai, Pu Yingwei, Tong Kunniao, Wu Sih- Chin, and Zhang Wenxin, representing a generation shaped by technology and hyper- digitisation. As a whole, the presentation stitches together artworks, topics, and concepts at the exhibition hall in 798 Art Center to create an entangled space for devotion, meditation and en- lightenment.

FAD MAGAZINE Wang Xin Dream Session, 2019 Virtual reality, virtual reality headset Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and de Sathe
Wang Xin Dream Session, 2019 Virtual reality, virtual reality headset Dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and de Sathe

Curated by You Yang, Director of UCCA Lab, the Public Sector showcases outdoor projects and large-scale sculptures across the 798 Art Zone for three months (May 22 until August 20, 2020). Titled ‘Form | Impression,’ the presentation refers to aspects of the creative process, both the ma- terialisation of the work and the connection it establishes with audiences, set within the context and history of public art. Featured artists include Daniel Buren, Cai Lei, He An, Li Weiyi, Liu Wei, Nhozagri, Daniela Palimariu, Timur Si-Qin, Sui Jianguo, Ye Funa, Zheng Lu and more.

GWBJ 2020 sees an enhanced programme of events, including a collaboration with Zurich Art Weekend, to nurture international debate on the challenges and possibilities of crisis. In panel discussions titled ‘This is me!’ and ‘Mapping Mindscapes,’ GWBJ presents conversations with high-profile artists, curators, and collectors, as well as a series of performative talks featuring young Chinese practitioners and artists from the Public Sector. This year’s edition will also feature an Opening Party with artists’ performances. Events will be recorded and available on GWBJ’s website and official app or live streamed through its social media channels.

“Despite the enormous challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are extremely ex- cited to open Gallery Weekend Beijing 2020. Its return marks an important moment for the arts community in China and around the world as it signals a revival of Beijing’s art scene and the art market. We have worked tirelessly to ensure a strong presentation of cutting-edge contemporary art to showcase the strength of art and culture in Beijing,”

says Amber Yifei Wang, Director of Gallery Weekend Beijing.

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad