Contemporary Art from China on the Rhine and Ruhr
May 15 – September 13, 2015

CHINA8_LogoCHINA 8 – Contemporary Art from China on the Rhine and Ruhr
May 15 – September 13, 2015

Eight cities along the Rhine and Ruhr, nine museums, around 120 artists – the CHINA 8 exhibition is the most comprehensive survey of contemporary Chinese art held in Germany to date. Alongside established artists, the positions of younger and newly emerging artists are also represented. Nine museums in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Gelsenkirchen, Hagen, Marl, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Recklinghausen have come together for this joint project and will be showing works from the fields of painting, photography, calligraphy, ink drawing, sculpture, installation art and video from 15th May to 13th September 2015. The ‘eight’ in the show’s title is not only the number of the participating cities, but also a significant Chinese lucky number.

What is happening in the Chinese art scene today? This show sets out to explore this multifaceted landscape, identify what is currently inspiring and motivating Chinese artists, showcase their key themes and visual language, chart the stylistic paths embarked upon and answer the question of whether there is such a thing as “Chinese art” at all. In determining the show’s artistic positions, each of the individual exhibition venues has been assigned the following genres: The Duisburg Lehmbruck Museum is presenting sculptures, the Kunstmuseum in Mülheim an der Ruhr will highlight the latest artistic trends and installations, the Kunstmuseum Gelsenkirchen ink paintings and calligraphy, whilst the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen will focus on more recent and socially critical painting, and the MKM Museum Küppersmühle in Duisburg on established painting. Film and video are on show in the Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl, and applied art in the Hagen Osthaus Museum and the Essen Museum Folkwang is hosting photography. Serving as the entrée to the exhibition, as it were, is the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, which will unveil the works of several of the participating artists from across various genres.
Overall curatorial responsibility has been jointly entrusted to Walter Smerling (spokesman for curatorial committee and Director of the MKM Museum Küppersmühle), Tobia Bezzola (Director of the Museum Folkwang) and Ferdinand Ullrich (Director of the Kunsthalle Recklinghausen). In close consultation with the directors of the participating museums, the curatorial committee has elaborated the overall concept of the exhibition.
“Chinese artists are in the process of formulating their own artistic language,” explains Chairman of the Board of Trustees Professor Walter Smerling. “And this is a development we are keen to highlight in the nine museums and eight cities staging the CHINA 8 exhibition. The success of the European City of Culture “RUHR.2010″ clearly demonstrates what the cultural metropolis of the Ruhr is capable of achieving through close collaboration. It is upon this that we now wish to build in our exhibition project, and we are delighted to be able to count on the close cooperation of the state capital of Düsseldorf.”
CHINA 8 is being organised by the Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur e.V. Bonn. With the exhibitions “China!” (1996) and “Chinart” (2002), the foundation assumed a pioneering role in promoting contemporary Chinese art in Europe. The exhibition is sponsored by the Brost-Stiftung and Evonik Industries AG. Exclusive partners of the exhibition are Finnair Plc and Düsseldorf Airport.