The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
A police car tries to protect a baby eagle in this animated Norwegian children's film.
When: 21 Feb 2016 Sun 14:00-15:30
Where: Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art
The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is an independent, not-for-profit art center serving a global Beijing public. Located at the heart of Beijing’s 798 Art District, it was founded by the Belgian collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens and opened in November 2007. Through a diverse array of exhibitions with artists Chinese and international, established and emerging, as well as a wide range of public programs, UCCA aims to promote the continued development of the Chinese art scene, foster international exchange, and showcase the latest in art and culture to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Each year UCCA’s four main galleries play host to approximately fifteen exhibitions of varying scale. A rich complement of public programs expands the reach of these shows, bringing viewers closer to the ideas behind the work on view. As an international museum operating on Chinese soil, UCCA maintains a special focus on recent developments and historical movements in Chinese contemporary art, pairing this expert engagement with exhibitions devoted to major trends and figures from around the region and the world. Through its rigorous curatorial standards, UCCA aims to further the development of the art world in China and bring public attention to the very best work being made.
Since its opening in 2007 till 2011, UCCA has mounted 62 exhibitions attracting more than 1.5 million visitors. The exhibition “’85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art” opened the Center’s program. In 2009, the major solo show “Qiu Zhijie: Breaking Through the Ice” took the construction of the Nanjing Yangtze River bridge as a lens on the inherent absurdities of everyday life in the context of a fiercely ambitious modernization program and an unwavering national will. Later that same year, the groundbreaking exhibition “Breaking Forecast” showcased a core of eight major emerging Chinese artists. In 2010 saw the site-specific exhibition of a creative dialogue between Olafur Eliasson and Ma Yansong, redefining the boundaries between art and architecture. In 2011, Liu Xiaodong’s “Hometown Boy” evoked the complex sentiments of home, and brought to light the philosophizing of a generation caught in a time of transformation, while shows like Wang Jianwei’s “Yellow Signal” and Tatsuo Miyajima’s “Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust” exposed the inner contemplations of artists towards the fundamentals of life and society from distinct philosophical angles.
Through its public programs, UCCA offers a meeting place for exchange, communication, study, and the sharing of interest, knowledge, and passion. Offering a wide range of events including talks and forums, art cinema, live performances, workshops, and family and school programs, UCCA’s Public Programs Department takes art as a starting point to provide content in many fields and disciplines, turning the Center into an open classroom for its visitors and an indispensable public space in the city.
UCCASTORE maintains China’s leading program of limited editions, having collaborated with over 50 artists and 80 designers to produce specially commissioned works. It also showcases the work of cutting-edge designers, offering a wide range of original products found nowhere else. All UCCASTORE proceeds support the Center’s programs and operations.
Space and History
Spread over three factory chambers built in the early 1950s to Bauhaus-influenced designs, UCCA’s spaces maintain traces of their industrial past. Fully renovated by architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Qingyun Ma in 2007, it is a space capable of hosting international exhibitions of the highest caliber. With a total area of 8,000 square meters, it encompasses four main exhibition spaces including the signature Great Hall, the Central Gallery, the Nave, and the Long Gallery, all of which boast professional lighting as well as climate and humidity control.