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Three exhibitions

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art UCCA, Beijing

Duchamp and/or/in China: while the Boite-en-valise will take center stage, it will be flanked by 30 other works by Marcel Duchamp and 15 Chinese artists influenced by him. 'The Oven of Straw' is an installation by the artist/architect duo MAP Office. The Multitude Art Prize examines the role of art and its relevance in different regions of Asia: inaugural exhibition and a special conference placing the situation within a global context.

comunicato stampa


Curators: Francis Naumann & John Tancock

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art is proud to presentDUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA, an exhibition featuring works by Marcel Duchamp and Chinese artists influenced by his work. The exhibition centers on Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise, a “portable museum” consisting of miniature reproductions of his key works, shown for the first time in Beijing.Literally translated “box in a suitcase” this work serves as a centerpiece for the exhibition, with additional context provided by related Duchamp works and works by Chinese artists. Taking its title from the subtitle of the boîte-en-valise itself (“by or of Marcel Duchamp or RroseSelavy”), this exhibition is both the most comprehensive exhibition of Duchamp’s work yet mounted in China, and an investigation into Duchamp’s lingering influence on the development of contemporary art in China.

While theBoîte-en-valisewill take center stage in the UCCA Long Gallery, it will be flanked by 30 other works by Duchamp, as well as works by more than 15 Chinese artists including Huang Yong Ping, Wu Shanzhuan, Wang Luyan, Song Dong, Lee Kit, and Ai Weiwei. The exhibition is curated by Francis Naumann and John Tancock, two New York-based scholar-curators who together have a deep knowledge of Duchamp and a strong understanding of contemporary Chinese art. On the selection of artists for the exhibition, Tancock notes that the artists featured are those who have “clearly demonstrated their interest in Duchamp or whose work seems to be in fundamental sympathy with his aims and methods”. Duchamp’slegacy is so various and far-reaching it would be impossible to provide a complete survey of his impact on Chinese art. This exhibition seeks to shedlight on the ways in which some of the questions raised by Duchamp’s work and central to the very ideas of modernity and conceptual art have travelled and been translated through the 20th and 21st centuries.

DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA is presented in collaboration with the InstitutFrançais de Chine (IFC) as part of the 2013 Croisements festival.


The Boîte-en-valisewas begun in 1935 and completed in 1941. It was produced in an edition of 300 examples, but released in various formats through the remaining years of Duchamp’s life,the edition finally completed after his death in 1968 by his widow, Alexina. The first 20 boxes in the edition were all placed in a leather suitcase hence the name, Box in a Valise, and considered “deluxe” because they each contain a unique item. The edition being presented at UCCA is notable for the bright red leather of the box, and contains 80 reproductions of different Duchamp works. A number of works reproduced for the valise will also be shown in other forms in this exhibition, including both an aquatint and pochoir version of Duchamp’s Bride, and a pochoir version ofNude Descending a Staircase – a painting that caused great controversy when it appeared at the first Armory Show in New York in 1913, exactly a century ago. The pochoir method was used to make the reproductions for the valise, but separate hand-colored prints were also produced for sale in order to help fund the project.

In total,31 Duchamp works will be shown, ranging from reproductions of paintings to magazine covers featuring ingenious typographic work and striking prints. Duchamp often asked the publishers of the art and literary magazines he designed for to run off extra rounds of copies for collection in his “museum”. Etchings and posters from historic exhibitions complete the array of Duchamp pieces that will be shown at UCCA.


Duchamp’s legacy in China is discernible both in terms of the take-up and development of specific ideas that his art put forward, as well as in echoes of his lifestyle and attitude to work that can be traced in the practice of certain contemporary artists.

In the 1980s, as China began to engage with the art history of the Western twentieth century, artists like Wu Shanzhuan and Huang Yong Ping found direct inspiration in Duchamp. Huang Yong Ping, who founded a Duchampian collective called Xiamen Dada in the mid-1980s before emigrating to Paris, reflected in 1987 that, “Only now am I really able to understand the state of mind that made Duchamp say, ‘The traditional idea of the painter with his brush, his palette, his turpentine, is an idea which has already disappeared from my life.’ This is a revolutionary and irreversible change for me.”

Another artist who has repeatedly revisited Duchamp’s legacy throughout his career is Ai Weiwei. Exposed to Duchamp during his decade-long sojourn in New York (1983-1993), Ai Weiwei has remarked that “The entire value of any work of art is only ever conceptual. After Duchamp, the existence of any art, its value, is entirely conceptual. Duchamp brought a new concept to modern art.”

During the 1990s and early 2000s, a subsequent generation of Chinese artists including Yan Lei, Song Dong, and ZhengGuogu continued to mine Duchamp’s influence. Yan Lei, who shows a painting from his ‘Covers’ series depicting Duchamp’s Fountain as rendered on the cover of a Taschen monograph—an appropriation of an appropriation—and ZhengGuogu, who transformed a series of ordinary plastic bottles into brass at the turn of the twenty-first century, both echoing Duchamp’s famous ‘bottle rack’ readymade and his sense of punnery with the title ‘Let it Rust for another 2000 Years’.

Duchamp’s legacy has also served as the inspiration for performances, some of which have directly engaged his works. In 2000, the artists Cai Yuan and Xi Jianjunstaged a performance at the Tate Modern where they urinated on Duchamp’s iconic readymade, Fountain, restoring the object to its original purpose. Wu Shanzhuan, for his part, realized a similar performance eight years earlier in Stockholm, Sweden. Meanwhile in Shanghai in 2004, a group of artists including Xu Zhen, Yang Zhenzhong, and Shi Yong staged a project titled “Dial 62761232 Courier Exhibition” for which numerous artists created works small enough to be fit into a single suitcase and transported around Shanghai by a courier, in a contemporary take on the Bôite-en-valise.

Even more recently, a younger group of artists including Zhao Zhao, Lee Kit, and Taca Sui have reflected on Duchamp, incorporating his influence into more meditative works. Some three decades after Duchamp’s work was first introduced to China in early translations of Western art historical tomes, his life and work remain of deep interest to artists and intellectuals here.

The artists to be featured in DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA are as follows:
Marcel Duchamp (born 1887, Blainville-Crevon, France, d. 1968, New York)
Huang Yong Ping (born 1954, Xiamen, Fujian Province)
Wang Xingwei (born 1969, Shenyang, Liaoning Province)
Wang Luyan (born 1956, Beijing)
Wu Shanzhuan (born 1960, Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province)
Zheng Guogu (born 1970, Yangjiang, Guangdong Province)
Polit-Sheer-Form:Song Dong (born 1966, Beijing)
Xiao Yu (born 1965, Inner Mongolia)
Leng Lin (born 1965, Beijing)
Hong Hao (born 1965, Beijing)
Liu Jianhua (born 1962, Ji’an, Jiangxi Province)
The artists and curators involved in the 2004 DIAL 62761232, Courier Exhibition
Lee Kit (born 1978, Hong Kong)
Taca Sui (born 1984, Qingdao, Shandong)
Ai Weiwei (born 1957, Beijing)
Wang Jun-Jieh (born 1963, Taipei, Taiwan)
Cai Yuan (born 1956) + Xi Jianjun (born 1962)
Zhao Zhao (born 1982, Xinjiang Province)
Song Dong + Yin Xiuzhen (born 1963, Beijing)

DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA will be accompanied by a complete, bilingual exhibition catalog, available at the end of April.

A range of talks, workshops, and activities for adults and children alike will run parallel to the exhibition.

UCCA is pleased to announce its partnership with Institut Français de Chine (IFC) for the DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA exhibition, with the exhibition featuring in IFC’s 2013 Croisements festival. Support for this exhibition also comes from EDF and Groupama.

DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA is one of the highlights of the 2013 Croisements festival program. The exhibition reflects the festival’s key values of creativity, innovation, exchange and contemporary ideas.


MAP Office: The Oven of Straw

In this installation in the UCCA Nave, Hong Kong-based artist/architect duo MAP Office will focus on the historical, fundamental importance of wheat. “The Oven of Straw” is a space paradoxically made of the very stuff it is intended to consume—a portrayal of an agricultural product crucial to society and economy, yet highly vulnerable to fire and drought. The installation comprises bales of straw fronted by an imposing façade resembling a bank, an electric blue fluorescent tube on the frieze serving as a reminder of the ephemeral nature of material goodsas well as the commercial imperatives that underpin their production. The interior operates like a small cinema, and features a two-channel video installation that mixes archival material from various influential films relating to wheat. Originally displayed in Ukraine, a country with an economy largely based in agriculture, the piece was conceived for the first Kiev Biennial in 2012. This will be its second showing.

In 2013, as the global food crisis only worsens, and there is increasing public awareness about the impact of the futures market on global food security, “The Oven of Straw” articulates the tension between capitalism, commodities, and basic human life. The video installation pits the labor of the farm worker against the speculative activity of the trader or banker. Films from various historical moments that employ farms, fields, and financial institutions as both subject and scene run side by side in a melancholic loop. There are clips from Soviet films that glorify collective labor; Dorothy from The Wizard of OZ makes an appearance in a nostalgic representation of the pastoral; while footage from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange (MGEX) and Bloomberg News show the modern face of the agriculture industry. A voiceover track sets up an opposition between production and consumption from the outset, beginning:

Our values… our beliefs… our rituals… our heroes…

The farmer and the broker,

The cultivator and the investor,

The producer and the seller […]

Works by filmmakers including D. W. Griffith; Sergei Eisenstein; Luis Buñuel; Michelangelo Antonioni; Terence Malick; Akira Kurosawa; and China’s own Ping He are featured, a broad sweep through cinematic historythat covers feature films and propaganda films alike. One thing all the films have in common is a reliance on the affective qualities of various aspects of grain production. Wheat has often been used as a way to draw a sharp parallel between the productive systems of agriculture and the sterile accumulation of capital. “The Oven of Straw” takes cultural products from different periods,and refashions them in a critical engagement with contemporary issues.

MAP Office is a multidisciplinary platform devised by Laurent Gutierrez (b.1966, Casablanca, Morocco) and ValériePortefaix (b. 1969, Saint-étienne, France). This duo of artists/architects has been based in Hong Kong since 1996, working on physical and imaginary territories using varied means of expression including drawing, photography, video, installations, performance, and literary and theoretical texts. Their entire project forms a critique of spatiotemporal anomalies, and documents how human beings subvert and appropriate space. Humor, games, and fiction are also part of their approach, in the form of small publications providing a further format for disseminating their work.

MAP Office projects have been exhibited in major international art, design andarchitecture events including: 7th Asia Pacific Triennial (2012); 1st Kiev Biennale (2012); 6th Curitiba Art Biennale (2011); 7th, 11th and 12th Venice Architecture Biennale (2000, 2008, 2010); Evento 1st Bordeaux Biennale (2009); 4th Tirana International Contemporary Art Biannual (2009); 2nd and 3rd Canary Island Biennale (2009, 2012); Prospect.1 New Orleans (2008); 7th Gwangju Biennale (2008); 10th Istanbul Biennial (2007); 52nd Venice Art Biennale (2007);15th Sydney Biennale (2006); 1st Paris Triennial (2006); 2nd Guangzhou Triennial (2005); 1st Singapore Biennale (2006); 2nd and 3rd Hong Kong-Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale (2007, 2009); 1st Architectural Biennial Beijing (2004); 1stRotterdam Architecture Biennale (2003). The pair took first place in the 2013 Sovereign Asian Art Prize for their photographic print, Back Home with Baudelaire, No. 5 (2005).

MAP Office publications include: HK LAB 2 (2005); HK LAB (2002); Mapping HK (2000); among many other publications about the “Made in China” phenomenon and other related issues. Their first film, City of Production was selected for the official competition at: 38th International Film Festival Rotterdam 2009, 33rd Cinéma du Réel Paris 2009, 1st Migrating Forms New York 2009, and presented at: 10thRencontresInternationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid (2008).

Laurent Gutierrez is a co-founder of MAP Office. He is an Associate Professor at the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University where he leads the Environment and Interior Design discipline and the Master of Design in Design Strategies as well as the Master of Design in Urban Environments Design. ValériePortefaix is the principal and co-founder of MAP Office. After receiving a Bachelor in Fine Art, and a Master of Architecture degree, she earned a Ph.D. in Urbanism. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


The Multitude Art Prize

Multitude Foundation and Wuhan Art Terminus (WH.A.T.) present the Multitude Art Prize in collaboration with the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA). Grounded in the concept of the “multitude,” in which the extraordinary (re)emerges from a social group undergoing a geopolitical change, the Multitude Art Prize examines the role of art and its relevance in different regions of Asia. The Multitude Foundation is a Hong Kong registered charitable trust founded to promote Asian contemporary art through international dialogue, and the Wuhan Art Terminus (WH.A.T.) is a contemporary art centre currently being developed in Wuhan that takes inspiration from the idea of the “terminus,” a place that both sends out and receives people and their ideas. UCCA is proud to host the inaugural Multitude Art Prize exhibition from April 28 – June 16, 2013 (opening April 27), as well as a special conference on April 28 placing the situation of contemporary Asian art within a global context. The exhibition, which will be held annually in a different Asian city, will feature five winning artists or artist groups representing the most creative, critical minds in a rising Asian contemporary art scene. In the accompanying programs, invited speakers, including leading Asian curators and scholars as well as Western museum directors involved in the institutional collaborative “L’Internationale,” will provide an eclectic, academic analysis of the present and future of contemporary art in Asia.

Curator: Colin Chinnery


1. Yao Jui-chung, Taiwan

2. Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Philippines

3. MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho, Korea

4. Raqs Media Collective, India

5. Ha Za Vu Zu, Turkey

Yao Jui-chung was born in Taipei in 1969, and graduated from the National Institute of the Arts (Taipei National University of the Arts) with a degree in Art Theory. Yao is one of the region’s most prolific contemporary artists, and a fervent supporter of Taiwanese art both at home and abroad. His oeuvre encompasses installation, photography, performance, video, works on paper and sculpture, as well as several books; consistent in his varied work is an examination of the absurdity of the human condition. He has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including representing Taiwan in “Facing Faces-Taiwan” at the 1997 Venice Biennale. He has curated exhibitions including “The Realm of Illusion – The New Wave of Taiwan Photography” (2002) and “King-Kong Never Dies – The Contemporary Performance & Video Art in Taiwan” (2003). His works are in the Taipei Fine Arts Museum; the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; Bibliothèque National de France, Paris, and many private collections. Yao has also published several books, and teaches in the Department of Fine Arts at the National Taiwan Normal University.

Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan work together as a couple, both as parents and artists. Alfredo was born in the Philippines in 1962, graduated from the Philippine Women’s University in 1986, earned his MA from the Polytechnic University of Norwich, and is currently pursuing a PhD at the Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Isabel was born in the Philippines in 1965, and graduated with a BA in Communication Arts from Assumption College in Makati City, Philippines. Alfredo and Isabel pursue individual creative projects, but also collaborate artistically on issues relating to family and community, specifically their everyday life with a family of five children. The duty of raising these children and ensuring their well-being has come to inflect their work with collective habits – or habits of collection – as well as with a deep engagement with the question of belonging. In the Philippines, where filial ties are extensive, the Aquilizan brood cannot be solitary; it is part of a community of kin that weaves in and out of the household. Through the years, the home as an abode gathers testimonies of passage: of clothes and toys outgrown, furniture stacked in storage, and other possessions strewn along paths.

For the past ten years, the Aquilizans have continuously collected fragments for their protracted “Project Belonging” (1997-2007).The artists have been invited to participate in a number of international biennales and survey exhibitions including “Touched” Exhibition, TATE Liverpool, UK; Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (1999/2009); Biennale Cuvee, Selection of World Art Ok Contemporary Art Center (2009); Dojima Biennale, The World Through Art (2009); Singapore Biennale (2008); Adelaide Biennale (2008); Biennale of Sydney (2006); EchigoTsumari (2006); Gwangju Biennale (2004); La Biennale de Venecia (2003); and the Pusan Biennale (2002). Both artists live and work between Brisbane and Manila with their five children.

MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho
MOON Kyungwon received her Ph.D in Visual Communication at Yonsei University, Korea, MFA on Art from California Institute of the Arts, USA, and MFA / BFA from EwhaWomans University, Korea. Some of MOON’s selected solo exhibitions include “GREENHOUSE” at Gallery Hyundai, Seoul (2010), and works from a residency at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka (2004). She has also participated in several group exhibitions including Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju (2012); dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel (2012), Korea Artist Prize, Gwachun (2012); “A Silent Voice” at Tokyo Wonder Site, Tokyo (2010); “A Different Similarity” at Bochum Museum, Bochum (2010); santral Istanbul, Istanbul (2009); Now Jump at Nam June Paik Art Center, Yongin (2008); and Nanjing Triennale at RCM Museum of Modern Art, Nanjing (2008). MOON worked with Tadao Ando for a public art project at Genius Loci in Seopjikoji, Jeju Island, Korea (2007), as well as Media Canvas at Seoul Square, Seoul (2010). MOON is a recipient of the 2012 Grand Prize of Gwangju Biennale, and 2012 Korea Artist Prize, co-organized by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea, and the SBS Foundation. MOON’s works are collected in the Fukuoka Asia Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan; the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Art, Taichung, Taiwan; Monte Video, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea, amongst other places.

JEON Joonho received his MA from the Chelsea College of Art and Design and BFA from Dongeui University. JEON has had several solo exhibitions at SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo (2009); GalerieThaddaeusRopac, Paris (2008); Arario Gallery, Cheonan (2008); and at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York (2007). JEON has also participated in several group exhibitions including dOCUMENTA(13), Kassel (2012); Yokohama Triennale, Yokohama (2011); “Your Bright Future” at LACMA, LA (2009); The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, Texas (2008); “All About Laughter” at Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2007); and “Metamorphosis” at L’EspaceCulturel Louis Vuitton, Paris (2008). JEON is a recipient of the Grand Prix of the 27th Biennial of Graphic Art in Ljubljana, 2007, and also a prize at the Gwangju Biennial, 2004. His works are included in the public collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA; Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; and National Museum of Contemporary Art, Gwacheon, Korea.

Raqs Media Collective was formed in 1992 by independent media practitioners Monica Narula (1969), JeebeshBagchi (1965), and ShuddhabrataSengupta (1968). Based in Delhi, India, Raqs Media Collective have been variously described as artists, curators, editors and catalysts of cultural processes. Their work, which has been exhibited widely in major international spaces and events, locates them along the intersections of contemporary art, historical enquiry, philosophical speculation, research and theory – often taking the form of installations, online and offline media objects, performances and encounters. Raqs is based at Sarai at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in Delhi, an initiative they cofounded in 2000 aiming at developing a public and creative model of research-practice. Though Raqs has a background in documentary film, since being invited to participate in the Documenta 11 art show in Kassel, Germany in 2002, the group has been working more in the contemporary art field. In addition to Documenta and the Venice Biennale, the group’s work has been shown at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, the Liverpool Biennial, and the Guangzhou Triennial. Raqs was awarded the Unesco-DigiArts Award at ISEA 2004, and in 2006 was invited to co-curate the show “On Difference” in the Kunstverein in Stuttgart, Germany.
Raqs is a word in Persian, Arabic and Urdu and means the state that “whirling dervishes” enter into when they whirl. Raqs signifies and embodies the practice of a kinetic contemplation of the world. It is also a word used for dance.

Ha Za Vu Zu is an artist collective established in Istanbul in 2005. Working in performance, installation, video, sound, and anything else that captures their interest, Ha Za Vu Zu’s creative process is rooted in the social; from works that involve constructing social situations with other groups or individuals, to the conscious lack of hierarchy within their own group in whichtheir members constantly negotiate power relationships by switching roles between the creator, director, and performer.Recent projects include “Underconstruction”, Apartment Project Berlin, Germany, 2012; “What a Loop”, Non Stage, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011; “Between Stamp and Mars no: 3”, SALT, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011; 10e Biennale de Lyon, 2009; “BREADWAY”, Urban stories: The X Baltic Triennial of International Art, Vilnius, 2009; “Our Teeth Will Be Snow White”, 10th International Istanbul Biennial, 2007; and “We Are Getting Vocalized”, Galerist, Istanbul, 2007. HaZa VuZu invites audience participation in their work, exploring new social roles and possibilities through this interaction.

2013 Multitude Art Prize Discourse Series

Shifting Targets: Approaches to Art and Multitude in Asia

2013.04.28 - 10:00-18:30 UCCA Auditorium
The Multitude Art Prize Discourse Series is an annual program of discussions that travel with the exhibition program across Asia, opening up thematically with each edition. As a starting point for a long-term conversation, this year’s inaugural conference explores questions fundamental to the project’s inception.
The scale of geopolitical change taking place across Asia can make contemporary art seem powerless to intervene or even participate. As globalization has arguably taken over from where colonialism left off, contemporary art’s often-complicit relationship with this new cultural and economic order complicates or perhaps compromises its role in society. Within this backdrop, how do contemporary artists and institutions help to make culture relevant for society in different parts of Asia? Do they constitute a ‘multitude,’ and what meaning can be generated as their identities continuously evolve with their contexts?


The Multitude Foundation is a Hong Kong-registered charitable trust established in 2011 conceived out of the necessity for a genuine and sustainable cultural dialogue between the different regions of Asia. The Multitude Art Prize is the first major undertaking of the Multitude Foundation.
For more information: -

Wuhan Art Terminus (WH.A.T.) is a contemporary art institution currently being developed in Wuhan, China. By basing projects on international collaboration and the investigation of contemporary issues, WH.A.T. endeavors to create experimental projects both in Wuhan and around the world. WH.A.T. is a Wuhan Dingyun project, and is scheduled to open in 2014.
For more information:

Editorial Contacts:
Amanda Halliday, UCCA +86 10 57800243 +86 159 10620664
Jade Ouk, Sutton PR Asia +852 25280792

UCCA Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
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