Why not be political?!


Today July 10 at 7 pm curator and artist Thomas Eller gives a guided tour of the exhibition The 8 of Paths: Art in Beijing in Berlin’s Uferhallen venue.

 The 8 of Paths: Art in Beijing exhibition is on display until July 13. The show and accompanying program showcase works by young artists living and working in Beijing and, at the same time, highlight the diverse artistic practices in that city today.

The exhibition presents works by over 20 artists ranging from some already successful, such as Liu Wei, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, and Sun Xun, to young and aspiring artists, such as Yang Junling and Hu Qingtai. This exhibition marks the first time that major works by He Xiangyu, Fang Lu, Kan Xuan, Li Ran, Wang Sishun, Liu Chuang and Yu Honglei are being shown together in Europe. Colin Chinnery has designed a dedicated sound installation to welcome visitors as they move into the exhibition space. The artists also include Zhao Zhao, a former assistant to Ai Weiwei and also well-known in Germany, with conceptual works, while Li Binyuan has prepared a high-energy performance for the opening.

The curatorial team comprises Guo Xiaoyan – one of China’s best known curators, at present at the Minsheng Art Museum – as well as Berlin curator and artist Thomas Eller and Andreas Schmid. Together, they visited over 50 ateliers in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone, Cao Chang Di, Hei Qiao and Song Zhuang to select the works for “The 8 of Paths”. The exhibition’s title not only evokes the lucky number 8 in the Chinese tradition, but also their own curatorial journey as they explored the paths of discovery through Beijing’s varied landscape of artistic approaches.


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All images : © Roman März

The interest in contemporary art in China has only grown markedly in the broad art world over the last few years. The legendary “China Avantgarde” exhibition held twenty years ago in Berlin’s Haus der Kulturen der Welt is regarded as the first of its kind in Europe. That exhibition, also co-organised by Andreas Schmid, co-curator of “The 8 of Paths”, jump started an interest in Chinese contemporary art in the West. Building on that tradition, “The 8 of Paths” spotlights leading current positions and profiles a new generation of artists who, thanks in part to the older generation around Ai Weiwei, have acquired quite new possibilities and freedoms over the past years.

The guided tour by Thomas Eller focusses on artists in Beijing that are not wanting to be abeled “political artists” by Western curators. Thomas Eller will show which (market) forces and (political) interests are at play in the today’s context of artistic practice from China.

The 8 of Paths: Art in Beijing – Art exhibition in the Uferhallen, Uferstrasse 8, 13357 Berlin

Partly published first at Magician Space

Thomas Büsch

Filmmaker, Founding Member and Secretary General of diyalog, promotion of cultural exchange with Turkey. Since 2012 he is also project manager of InEnArt.

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