Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) Beijing announces Inside a Book a House of Gold

UCCA is proud to presents a major exhibition in collaboration with Parkett, opening on February 25th. Installed across three of four exhibition spaces at UCCA, “Inside a Book a House of Gold” takes its title from a poetic prescription by the most artistic of Chinese emperors, Song Zhenzong (968–1022 CE). Inside this “house,” 212 editioned works by 192 artists, produced in collaboration with Parkett since the journal’s founding in Zurich in 1984, are presented for the first time to a Chinese audience.

The works, which collectively offer a portrait of the situation and evolution of contemporary art at the turn of the twenty-first century, are classified and exhibited according to the logic of domestic space, with a “Playroom,” a “Studio,” a “City,” and a “Wardrobe” framing a central “Garden.” The works cover every possible medium including painting, photography, drawing, print, sculpture, video, and sound. Some distill the essence of a given artist’s work; others reveal an unexpected dimension. Each of these rooms takes on a special feel and character, aided by walls of consciously different colors.

The works on view are all part of Parkett’s ongoing collaboration projects, which to date also feature three or four in-depth texts on each artist, a total of 89 Parkett volumes and 1400 texts. All publications are presented in the exhibition’s “Reading Room.”

As an international institution with a deep commitment to its public in China and Beijing, UCCA is delighted to present this walk-in encyclopedia in a context where comprehensive frameworks for looking at contemporary art have been in short supply. Moreover, in a place where scale has often been a cover for displays of overwhelming size, the idea of an exhibition whose reach is articulated as a multiplicity of positions, rather than a single grand gesture, seems particularly resonant. For Parkett, which cooperated in 2010 with Shanghai’s Art World magazine to translate and publish fourteen key texts in Chinese, the exhibition marks a deepening of its engagement with the Chinese context.

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual (Chinese-English) catalogue raisonné of all editions made with Parkett to date, featuring new translations of contextual information on each work into Chinese, new texts by Pu Hong and Philip Tinari, and texts by Susan Tallman and Deborah Wye.

Programs on February 26th include a roundtable with the Parkett co-founders (Bice Curiger, editor-in-chief, Dieter von Graffenried, publisher, and Jacqueline Burckhardt), Philip Tinari, and Pu Hong at 1pm followed by a separate lecture by Bice Curiger entitled “Parkett’s History: A Private and Expanded View” at 3pm in the UCCA auditorium.

The exhibition opening is supported by the Embassy of Switzerland. Bice Curiger’s lecture is sponsored by ProHelvetia.

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art
798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu

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