BEIJING - The 7th edition of Gallery Weekend Beijing ended successfully on 4 June. During the first year after the recovery of travel and communication, the number of visitors reached a record high as expected, attracting 400,000 visitors over the 10-day event, an increase of 233% compared to last year. The Media Preview Day and VIP days from 25 to 28 May saw 150,000 on-site visitors in the 798 Art District, and 250,000 visitors on the 6 Public Days from 30 May to 4 June.
Guided by the annual theme of "Visibility", a total of 40 exhibitors presented nearly 50 quality exhibitions. The number of exhibitors and exhibitions was again the highest in the seven-year history of the programme. The Main Sector, which is the cornerstone of Gallery Weekend Beijing, covered 6 major art districts in Beijing, including the 798 Art District as its centre, highlighting the vitality of the city's contemporary art scene. Meanwhile, for the first time, Special Programme and Special Exhibitions have been added to help stimulate innovation in the Main Sector. The Visiting Sector, dedicated to expanding the cultural exchanges, brought in 13 galleries from home and abroad. This sector covered 9 major contemporary art hub cities around the world and returned with the strongest international reach.
Continuing its focus on the power of Chinese youth, the Up&Coming Sector is curated by artist Pu Yingwei. Under the theme "Youth Now!", exhibition, screenings, parties and other activities linked the key moments of the event period. In the special exhibition, video and performance art became the focus, with works that bring ideas and perspectives to the videos and the movement of the body. The screening, titled “Youth Together, World Together”, took place on the Public Day and featured the works of a number of young Chinese video artists, presenting their diverse perspectives and unique outlooks. After the screening, Pu Yingwei, photographer Li Yanan and the two video creators, Du Fengyan and Qi Lin, connected online to discuss about the content of the films and related topics.
The Public Sector, curated by independent curator Leo Li Chen, was themed "Facets" and introduced a unique academic perspective in the form of both an exhibition and a forum. The exhibition attempted to respond to the tension between external structures and internal forces in the current reality, as well as the movement between bondage and growth, presenting sculptures, installations, videos and performances by 15 artists, including 6 new artworks, in the core outdoor venues of the 798 Art District. The Public Sector theme forum “Locality and Sustainability, Transcending in Art and Public” was successfully held on the Media Preview Day, where Leo Li Chen invited three international guests, Fram Kitagawa, Britta Peters and Nora Lawrence, to discuss the locality and sustainability in the establishment of public art ecology using the examples of three different projects.
This year's Best Exhibition Award, a specially designed award for the Main Sector participants, went to Yu Guo's solo exhibition “From Ridge to Ridge”, presented by CLC Gallery Venture. Mountains divide the world into regions with different climates and geographic environments. Yu Guo uses "mountain” as a clue running through all his works, and the exhibition unfolds in the media of painting and video, discussing the question of "How do differentiated regions connect together?” The award was voted on by six practitioners representing the contemporary art industry (including curators, representatives of non-profit organisations, art historians and artists) after a one-day visit to 22 galleries in the Main Sector.
"GWBJ 2023 was undoubtedly the most exciting edition of our programme. All parties returned with the best of themselves, fully illustrating the possibilities of the annual theme 'Visibility'. Artists and exhibitors jointly presented us with the spiritual core of contemporary art exhibitions. Our media friends and partners helped us to create access for contemporary art to reach a wider audience. The audience, including the VIPs and the public, has restarted communication and sharing, generating every opportunity of expanded dialogues for contemporary art."
- Amber Yifei Wang, Director of Gallery Weekend Beijing
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Main Sector Galleries
CLC Gallery Venture
Galerie Urs Meile
Hive Center for Contemporary Art
Platform China Contemporary Art Institute
Tabula Rasa Gallery
Tang Contemporary Art
TOKYO GALLERY + BTAP
Main Sector Non-Profit Institutions
Espace Louis Vuitton Beijing
Hyundai Motorstudio Beijing
Macalline Art Center
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
Main Sector Special Programme
Main Sector Special Exhibitions
“Wang Yan: Far and Near, Now and Then”
“Ouyang Chun: Road to Heaven”
Visiting Sector Galleries
A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (Chengdu)
Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris)
Each Modern (Taipei)
Balice Hertling (Paris)
David Kordansky Gallery (Los Angeles/New York)
Almine Rech (Paris/Brussels/London/New York/Shanghai)
Esther Schipper (Berlin/Paris/Seoul)
Galerie Thomas Schulte (Berlin)
Sprüth Magers (Berlin/London/Los Angeles/New York)
Timothy Taylor (London/New York)
About Gallery Weekend Beijing
Founded in 2017, Gallery Weekend Beijing (GWBJ) aims to build a professional, forward-thinking, international platform for conversations about contemporary art. Gallery Weekend Beijing runs every year with a series of art events centred around a curated selection of new exhibitions from galleries and non-profit institutions across Beijing. The art event includes exhibition openings, media guided tours, VIP guided tours, academic forums, performances, artist studio visits, private collection visits, parties, and an annual dinner. The VIP programmes feature important domestic and international museum directors, collectors, art critics and media. Art professionals and collectors are able to discuss and share knowledge through a series of academic activities. The public programmes aim to provide the public with the opportunity to learn more about art and provide Beijing residents with an insightful guide to art exhibitions in their own city.
Gallery Weekend Beijing 2023 Academic Committee
Carol Yinghua Lu, Director, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
Philip Tinari, Director, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
Xia Jifeng, Founder, Hive Center for Contemporary Art
Hua, Founder, Hua International
Sun Shixian, Co-founder, CLC Gallery Venture
Juries for the “Best Exhibition Award” 2023
Carol Yinghua Lu, Art historian; Curator; Director, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
Feng Boyi, Independent Art Curator and Critic
Philip Tinari, Director, UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
Tang Xin, Head of Collection, Taikang Insurance Group Art Collection; Director, Taikang Space
Yang Zi, Independent Art Curator
Zhuang Hui, Artist
Media Preview: Thursday, 25 May 2023
VIP Days: Friday-Sunday, 26-28 May 2023
Public Days: Tuesday-Sunday, 30 May-4 June 2023
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