CHINA 8 features the work of Song Dong, Yin Xiuzhen, Wang Dongling, Qiu Zhijie, among many other important contemporary Chinese artists.
Eight cities along the Rhine and Ruhr, nine museums, around 120 artists – the CHINA 8 exhibition is the most comprehensive survey of contemporary Chinese art held in Germany to date. Alongside established artists, the positions of younger and newly emerging artists are also represented. Nine museums in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Marl, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Recklinghausen have come together for this joint project and will be showing works from the fields of painting, photography, calligraphy, ink drawing, sculpture, installation art, video and sound from 15th May to 13th September 2015. The ‘eight’ in the show’s title is not only the number of the participating cities, but also a significant Chinese lucky number.
The Museums and the Focus of their Exhibitions
In line with their collecting history, their own particular spatial conditions and programmatic focus, each museum is exhibiting different genres of contemporary Chinese art: Under the title "New Figuration", the Lehmbruck Museum will be showing sculptures, the Kunstmuseum Mülheim an der Ruhr installations and sculptures as "Models of Irritation", and the Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen is devoting itself to ink painting and calligraphy under the title "Tradition Today". The Kunsthalle Recklinghausen is projecting a "Panorama of Painting" with its presentation of emerging and socially critical painting. Exploring "The Vocabulary of the Visible World”, the MKM Museum Küppersmühle für Moderne Kunst is specialising in Chinese painters who have already gained national and international acclaim. Video and sound as a medium of "Arrested Time" are being presented in the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, whilst the Osthaus Museum Hagen is featuring installations and objects as "Paradigms of Art". Under the title “Works in Progress”, the Museum Folkwang in Essen is exhibiting a collection of modern photography, which is also being shown in China simultaneously. With its "Overview – Views of China", the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf serves as the “entrée” to the exhibition and has assembled works by several of the participating artists from across various genres. Their vibrant interaction resolves into a multifaceted snapshot of the prevailing artistic landscape in the People's Republic of China.
CHINA 8 – Invitation to a Cultural Dialogue
From a cultural and political perspective, CHINA 8 is also of great significance to the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. For the first time since RUHR.2010, nine museums in eight cities are collaborating to mount an international exhibition project and foster a cultural dialogue between Asia and Europe, China and Germany. And there are many parallels: The Ruhr metropolis, Germany's largest conurbation, with some 5.1 million inhabitants, is currently undergoing a structural transformation. China too is in the grip of a structural transformation in societal, economic and cultural terms, which is progressing at an astonishing pace. This is reflected by the artists in their works.