2019 Wuzhen Contemporary Art Exhibition concluded on June 30, completing a three-month run attracted more than one million visitors to the ancient town. The even gave a much-valued boost to the art Chinese art exhibition sector that has proven a win for the artist, for the art gallery and the art lover in a spirit that challenged the unknown.
- A new wave to connect with international art
The event organizers invited 60 artists from 23 countries and regions worldwide to exhibit some 90 works in an advanced culture experiment that exudes a rare sense of power.
Among the selection of works, 35 have been shown for the first time, acting as a catalyst for ongoing discussion and enthusiasm among the Chinese contemporary art sector. The works were displayed in the 12,000-square-meter indoor exhibition space, where artists competed to push beyond the traditional boundaries of art, the result was a spiritually awakening achievement of cross-cultural exchange of creative ideas between international and Chinese artists. An additional 30 works that were created specifically to meet the theme of the exhibition or to express the humanistic environment of Wuzhen reflected the local subjectivities.
Artists, teachers and students from professional colleges, practitioners from art institutions, directors of art galleries and curators were among the visitors to the exhibition, with the visitor count surpassing 1,000,000 – 50,000 more than last year. Beyond the appeal of the show itself, the professionalism of the management team, the support staff and the environment all contributed to its success.
- Bringing together the International cutting edge ideas, and offer to benefit society through culture
The organizers of the event hosted 23 free “public education” sessions, covering multiple topics, including exhibition curation, environment and layout, the relationship between art and village, the current status of art galleries, the use of images, artworks based on sound, works created by young artists, media ecology and communication arts. The sessions included lectures, interviews, workshops and video presentations given by 54 special guests, including Xu Bing and Kazuyo Sejima, where the central theme was the three-dimensional world of new thinking in art.
- The advocacy around the concept of art and of becoming a place where art is shown is becoming a regular feature of Wuzhen
For the first time, the event brought together a team of young art critics who, through the process of nomination, exhibition and selection, identified the works of 12 young artists to became finalists of 48 contest. Three among the final 12 received a prize during the opening ceremony. The build-out of the professional platform and the continuous support for the growth of young talents have become part and parcel of the cultural communication and exchange at the exhibition while the competition, as a whole, served as a vehicle that brought out the collaborative spirit of the town’s young residents.
Two projects that stood out in particular: Another Layer of Surface Water, a new outdoor installation created by Pritzker Architecture Prize winner and artist master Kazuyo Sejima, reflected the cultural and regional characteristics of Wuzhen, and the sky and An open-air creation by Swiss artist Katja Schenker at the Wuzhen North Silk Factory. Both were donated to the organizer to form part of the permanent collection. The works left behind by the two exhibitions have transformed Wuzhen’s public space into a daily public art space while integrating contemporary art into the everyday life of the town.
From exhibitions to artists to management of cultural events, Wuzhen is playing a leading role with the way art is introduced and presented to the world’s audiences. As Chen Xianghong, chairman of the Wuzhen Contemporary Art Exhibition, said, “We all know a single exhibition won’t make much difference, but we hope to give some new perspective and deep understanding of art to this historic place.”
Wuzhen plans to continue promoting the ongoing development of art forms that are broader in scope and vision while achieving the cultural rejuvenation and transformation of the ancient town.