Xu Zhen: A MadeIn Company Production
January 18–April 20, 2014
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China
An irreverent artist with a voracious appetite for global information and a unique ability to produce work across multiple platforms and media, Xu Zhen (b. 1977) is a key figure of the Shanghai art scene and a foundational figure for the generations of Chinese artists born since 1980. Including over 50 installation pieces, 10 videos, 40 paintings and collage works, and several performances, together filling UCCA’s signature Great Hall, this exhibition spans Xu Zhen’s early works, made in his own name beginning in the late 1990s; works produced under the “contemporary art creation company” MadeIn Company, which he founded in 2009; and major new pieces produced specially for this exhibition under MadeIn Company’s newly launched brand “Xu Zhen.”
Presented together, Xu Zhen’s oeuvre reflects the lingering concerns of an artist participating in the international art world while remaining deeply skeptical of it and its conventions, most immediately the label “Chinese contemporary art.” Xu Zhen’s artworks probe the various mediations that corrupt the viewer’s experience of an artwork, particularly in observing a culture that is not one’s own. The exhibition is curated by UCCA Director Philip Tinari and UCCA Chief Curator Paula Tsai and will coincide with the Armory Show 2014 (March 5–9), for which Xu Zhen has been appointed the commissioned artist as part of the “Armory Focus: China” section.