Chinese Art

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

Grant period

2012 - 2017



The Guggenheim’s Chinese Art Initiative, made possible by a major grant from the Foundation, explored key ideas and artists shaping contemporary art, as well as the discourse of Chinese art within a global context, catalyzing wider appreciation and understanding of the field in the 21st century. The research, curatorial, and collection-building program focused on the commissioning of major works from artists born in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Central to the Initiative was the formation of a curatorial team dedicated to Chinese art. The team organized a series of commissions, with new works presented in three exhibitions at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Each was accompanied by education programs and bilingual catalogues.

The first work commissioned was Beijing-based artist Wang Jianwei’s Time Temple, encompassing sculpture, painting, film, and performance. The second commission-exhibition, Tales of Our Time, featured works by artists from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong and challenged the conventional understanding of place. Chia-En Jao, Kan Xuan, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah, the Yangjiang Group, and Zhou Tao explored concepts of geography and nation-state through portraying often-overlooked cultural and historical narratives. China was presented in the exhibition not only as a country but also as a notion open for questioning and reinvention. The third and final exhibition, One Hand Clapping, featured works by Cao Fei, Duan Jianyu, Lin Yilin, Wong Ping, and Samson Young, testing visions of a global, homogeneous, and technocratic future.

All the commissioned works, known as The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection, have entered the Guggenheim Museum’s permanent collection.

Wang Jianwei
Time Temple, 2014
Acrylic and oil on canvas
Four panels, 258.5 x 822 cm overall, 258.5 x 205.5 cm each
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Acquisition in process, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection
Photo: Xu Boxin, courtesy the artist
All works by Wang Jianwei © 2014 Wang Jianwei, used by permission.

The frames designed for the display of the tetraptych are not illustrated. The frames are of varying depths (35, 40, 45, and 50 cm respectively) and create an undulation of images to the fore and back, alluding to time and movement.

Wong Ping
Dear, can I give you a hand?, 2018 (detail)
Color video installation (with sound, 18 min., edition 1/3) with custom-modified LED panels, fiberglass and polyester resin with motor and LEDs, and plastic wind-up toys with spray paint and metal foil
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Collection
© Wong Ping
Photo: David Heald © 2018 The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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