Art and China after 1989
Theater of the World

Organised by Alexandra Munroe, with guest cocurators Philip Tinari and Hou Hanru


Venues & dates:
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
6 October 2017 to 7 January 2018
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
11 May 2018 to 23 September 2018
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Fransisco, USA
10 November 2018 to 24 February 2019

Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World presented work by 71 key artists and groups active across China and worldwide, the exhibition text claimed, “whose critical provocations aim to forge reality free from ideology, to establish the individual apart from the collective, and to define contemporary Chinese experience in universal terms.” It went on to explain the specific time period: “Bracketed by the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, it surveys the culture of artistic experimentation during a time characterised by the onset of globalisation and the rise of a newly powerful China on the world stage.” The exhibition was subtitled Theater of the World, referencing the installation by Xiamen-born, Paris-based artist Huang Yong Ping: a cage-like structure housing live reptiles and insects that coexist in a natural cycle of life, an apt spectacle of globalisation’s symbiosis and raw contest.