Culture is future » Territorial attractiveness and social cohesion

07.12.2011

Always Further - Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Located in the heart of the 798 area - district of Beijing in vogue, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)  is a not-for-profit and  an independent art center, one of the first to be developed in China. Founded by collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens in November 2009, it occupies a former industrial complex of Bauhaus inspiration, redesigned by the French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and the Chinese architect Qingyun Ma.

The 8000 square meters and two gigantic “naves” hold a multi-disciplinary place for contemporary art, both in China and abroad. An entire space is dedicated to the work of leading and emerging Chinese (semi-permanent program Super Fengshui) and aims at being an incubator for emerging projects in the new Chinese cultural landscape. Guy and Mariam Ullens, fascinated by Chinese culture, conceptualized this international center as a place to share knowledge between China and the World. Their foundation, with over 1500 works, is one the most active organizations promoting Chinese contemporary art worldwide. UCCA regularly presents exhibitions that explore the collection from different perspectives.

Platform for dialogue between artists, audience, academics, curator, critics, etc., the center offers a large program through lectures, workshops, guided tours, artistic performances, film screenings, etc. There is also a contemporary art reference center (UCCA Research), where visitors can access to a wide range of art books, catalogues, journals related to the current program.

Currently directed by Jérôme Sans, former director of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, UCCA is a part of the dynamism in Beijing. Contemporary art arouses a worldwide interest and biennales flourish in China. In fact, more than 200 private galleries and foundations that “occupy brownfield building in order to create workshops” in the 798 district  , transforming this former industrial area in an artistic zone. Some Chinese artists have become real economic icon in the international market of art. Weiwei, who designed the “bird nest”, is worldwide known and some painting, as those of Liu Xiaogond, are being sold at nearly $5 million. But contemporary art is also considered by some young Chinese artists to be a new media to speak out and challenge the regime.  “Art is becoming an alternative media, said Zhu Qi, curator of the 798 biennale, media more critical than the Chinese press, with a real alert function”.

To go further 

 

Credits: UCCA