Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

Courtesy of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Ullens Center of Beijing Courtesy of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
Courtesy of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art Ullens Center of Beijing
Courtesy of The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
A munitions factory turned museum ushers in China’s latest cultural revolution.

The much-anticipated opening last November of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing's Dashanzi Art District marks the beginning of a new era in China. It arrives at a time when the work of a generation of artists including Zhang Huan, Cai Guoqiang, and Zhang Xiaogang commands record prices. Yet the UCCA, founded by retired Belgian businessman Guy Ullens and his wife Myriam, is a nonprofit operation with an emphasis on exhibitions and cultural programming, including film and music.

With a collection of more than 1,500 works, the center represents the largest museum devoted to Chinese contemporary art by both established and emerging artists. Housed in an 86,000-square-foot building, the vast space is set among galleries and artists' studios in a former industrial complex known as Factory 798.

Designed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Shanghai-based Qingyun Ma, the UCCA—with its distinctive exterior chimney—features an automated system that uses GPS technology to maximize natural light and has two main naves for painting, sculpture, and video; an auditorium; a museum shop and restaurant. As never before, the UCCA makes room for new perspectives on Chinese art.


UCCA

798 Art District, 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District; 86-10/6438-6675; ucca.org.cn.

" '85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art"

Through February 17, 2008.

"Stray Alchemists"

New and commissioned works—ranging from drawings to performance art—by Chinese and international artists. Opens March 8.

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