The CEO of Ullens Center in Beijing leaves

The CEO, May Xue, at Beijing Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) located in the 798 district, is stepping down as from April 20th. The museum has been for sale by the present owners, collector Guy and Myriam Ullens for a while, but no potential buyers have been found.
May plans to join another high-profile, privately-funded art initiative in China called K11 Art Foundation based in Shanghai. However her role is more to look after the foundations forthcoming Beijing “Kunsthalle” space, located close to the new K11 art mall, which opens in 2019.
May joined UCCA in 2018 and took leadership in 2011 and the owners saluted her for nine years of incredible serve and leadership at the Ullens Center and developed it into a leading art institution in Beijing and globally. May also appreciate the incredible art journey together as the Chinese contemporary art scene develops and extends its influence to the world.
She will be missed but ready for a new challenge in the art world.

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Chinese Ink Artist Peng Wei at Suzhou Museum

The Suzhou Museum Contemporary Art Gallery became the stage for Peng Wei ethereal timeless ink artwork around the architectural surroundings, playing in perfect harmony. Her latest solo exhibition is named ” I Thought of You”.
The show features over 50 works, created by the artist during the last five years.
Peng Wei’s career started in year 2000 with works entitled “Stone”. It followed with other series named “Shoe’, (above) “Robe”, Painter installation “, “Letters from a distance”, and Shan-Yuan.


Known for her outstanding ink works, she weaves traditional China painting and personal vision, mixing the boundaries between tradition and contemporary, East and West, past and present.

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Chinese artist Ai Weiwei visits Qatar

 

Well known Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is visiting Qatar this week to experience the country’s flourishing arts and culture scene. Qatar Museum is committed to bring established creative artists to the country to inspire generations of indigenous talent. He will visits most museums and art institutions and he will explore many of then country’s notable and recognisable public art projects, including the striking sculpture East-West / West -East by Richard Serra, located in Zekreet.


He will also as part of the visit be giving a public talk, open to all to attend at the Museum of Islamic Art, alongside Swiss businessman, diplomat and art collector Uli Sigg. Sounds like he will soon add something to the public art scene in Qatar and we can only look forward to what that will be. I ma sure he will be an inspiration to many young and aspiring artists during his stay.

Above is the sunflower seed made by Lego pieces as donated last year under some controversy.

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Record price of Western Art in Asia

Hong Kong recently had their Art week with Art Basel HK and Art Central attracting over 60,000 visitors. It was a huge success and the visible trend of more modern art than contemporary art. Perhaps a direction from the organisers. The mix is definitely good and educational for Asia as the art market is getting more and more global. Hopefully we will then also see more Asian art in Art Basel, Basel and Art Basel Miami.

Last weekend Sotheby’s had their spring auctions in HK and an Andy Warhol painting of Mao Zedong from 1973 was sold for HK$ 98.5 million (US$ 12.6 Million), setting a new record price for any western work of contemporary art sold in Asia. Well, it has to be a Asian icon of course so a daring move by Sotheby’s for such blue chip artwork. The previous owner bought it from Sotheby’s in London in 2014 for almost the same amount, meaning the value of the work failed to keep up with inflation. An Asian private collector is now the happy owner of this great artwork.

Finally a note of sad news that James Rosenquist has passed away. A truly iconic painter representing the pop art from USA at its best. Above artwork was exhibited at Art Basel HK 2 weeks ago as a statement that pop art will always be in demand forever.

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Liu Di at Pekin Fine Arts

Liu Di (85) has a solo exhibition at Pekin Fine arts in Beijing titled “Break with Conversation” and will continue until April 29, 2017.
Di’s latest works are on display and focus on the themes long pursued in his photo works by critiquing the conflicting relationship between nature and human society. Using subtle humor and science-fiction (like the enlarged animals a few years ago), the artist pay homage to traditional landscape photography and nature photography. His aim is to break the stereotypes and bring awareness.

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Gu Wenda at Shanghai M21 Museum

Launched on november 10, 2016 and running at Shanghai Minzheng Art Museum, Gu Wenda “Journey to the West” features some of the artists major works, almost like a retrospective exhibition, with his ink art from the 1980’s to present, as well as installation, documentary and performance.


The joyful coloured lanterns that cover the whole facade of the Museum are a new work by Gu Wenda. The show took 5 months in preparation.
Gu Wenda graduated from China National Academy of Art in Hangzhou and worked there as a teacher for six years before emigrating to the U.S. in 1987. Now he has studios in both countries. Gu has extended the vocabulary of traditional Chinese Calligraphy, embracing new influences as China opens to the West in early 1980s.


The show emphasise on his ink art, exhibited along the long walls escalating up on the museums outer walls.
His achievements show he has come a long way since he moved to the US as he still adopts just such a simple approach from Chinese roots and limited influence from the West.

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Top Selling Living Chinese Artists

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The Global Chinese Art Auction Market report, compiled by Artnet and the China Association of Auctioneers asserts that overseas sales of of Chinese art has more than quadrupled since 2009. At the heart of the surging interest in Chinese contemporary art is, naturally, the artists themselves. China’s artistic styles are so rich and varied as the culture and generation from they emerge.
Based on the auction total sales the top ten selling living Chinese artists are the following:
1. Zeng Fanzhi
2. Cui Ruzhuo
3. Zhang Xiaogang
4. Fang Zeng
5. Zhou Chunya
6. He Jiaying
7. Huang Yongyu
8. Yue Minjun
9. Liu Wei
10. Liu Xiaodong

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Their popularity will remain for a while as their art is so recognised by the international collectors. Never wrong to invest with the blue chips of Chinese artists.

zhou-chunya-july

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