• News
  • May 24, 2021

UCCA Unveils Shanghai Branch

Interior view of UCCA Edge, Shanghai. Photo by Zhu Di. Courtesy UCCA Center for Contemporary Art.

On May 22, Beijing’s UCCA Center for Contemporary Art opened its new Shanghai branch, UCCA Edge, to the public. Located in a new high-rise commercial tower north of Suzhou Creek and less than a kilometer away from People’s Square, UCCA Edge is situated at one of the city’s major subway intersections in Jing’an District. The 5,500-square-meter, three-level venue, designed by New York architects SO—IL, boasts 1,700 square meters of gallery space, in addition to outdoor exhibition sites, an auditorium, educational forums, and other retail spaces.

UCCA Edge is the institution’s third location, following its headquarters in Beijing’s 798 arts sector and its Beidaihe outpost, UCCA Dune, which opened in 2018. Director Philip Tinari commented on the expansion, “With the opening of UCCA Edge, we will be able to deliver top-quality programming to audiences in China’s two largest metropolitan areas, moving us one significant step closer to becoming a truly national institution.”

Curated by Tinari, the inaugural exhibition, “City on the Edge: Art and Shanghai at the Turn of the Millennium,” reflects on the development of Chinese contemporary art and its introduction into the global stage at the beginning of the 21st century. The show aims to align the new museum with the art-historical context of the city, featuring iconic works by 26 major Chinese and international artists. Highlights include Shanghai-based Xu Zhen’s video installation Shouting (1998/2005/2021), in which the artist captures the stunned responses of a crowd to his sudden scream, and the late Chinese-French artist Huang Yong Ping’s sand replica of the HSBC building on the Bund, Bank of Sand, Sand of Bank (2000). The exhibition also spotlights works by international artists who debuted in China at the 2000 Shanghai Biennale, such as a new sculpture and copper etchings by American artist Matthew Barney, and a video about memory and dance, titled Sibyl (2020), by South African artist William Kentridge.

Additionally, site-specific works by Chinese multimedia artist Cao Fei, New York-based performance and installation artist Aki Sasamoto, Hong Kong animation artist Wong Ping, and Austrian sculptor Erwin Wurm are on display on the terrace in a concurrent exhibition titled “Urban Theatre: A Comedy in Four Acts.”

Upcoming programs at UCCA Edge include solo shows of Chinese painter Liu Xiaodong and Pop icon Andy Warhol, opening in August and November, respectively.

Chloe Morrissey is an editorial intern at ArtAsiaPacific.

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