LOS ANGELES — Independent Curators International is setting up shop in Beijing. Working with the prestigious Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, ICI’s first curatorial intensive in China will be focused on the subject of The Museum of the Future?: Curating Institutions.
It’s a seven-day program this August, complete with seminars with China-based curators, like Philip Tinari, who directs the Ullens Center, and Wang Huangsheng, who directs the art museum at the Chinese Academy of Fine Art, China’s most prestigious art school. International curators include Doryun Chong at MoMA and Zoe Butt at San Art in Vietnam.
“The program will examine issues around curating within institutions, and creatively building infrastructures for contemporary art internationally,” noted Chelsea Haines in an email interview with Hyperallergic. “As with the Curatorial Intensive programs in New York, curators from around the world apply with an exhibition idea they would like to develop through the program.” These ideas are then refined through the duration of the course
What’s exciting about this particular program is its placement in Beijing. While no prior experience in Mandarin or Chinese art history is required, a number of readings will focus on the issue. It’s also worth nothing that half of the faculty and participants will be China-based, ensuring that much of the discussion will center around the Middle Kingdom’s growing art scene.
“Beijing is the perfect place to discuss this question as so many new institutions are being formed,” Haines says. “And we want to think about the course as specifically offering some models for thinking through the institution-building that is taking place in China, and throughout Asia, as well as what is evolving in other places around the world.”
I’ll have more to say on this soon, but with all this talk about the rising Beijing art scene and record art sales, it seems essential that anyone interested in contemporary art take a trip to Beijing, China’s political capital but also its artistic capital. There’s a great surge of energy in arts institutions in China and throughout Asia, but also a number of challenges. It’s great to see a program like ICI moving forward on a new program.