Throughout art history, key artistic movements have often been closely linked to the support of collectors. Over time, threads present in the collection of a single individual can reveal the particular character of a given era. Many of UCCA’s patrons, from the 30 members of the UCCA Foundation Council, to our supporters in the UCCA International Circle and UCCA Young Associates, are also art collectors. This year marks UCCA’s fifteenth anniversary, as well as the tenth anniversary of our individual giving program. On this occasion, we have selected a series of artworks from the extensive collections of our Foundation Council members to share with viewers. These works echo UCCA’s mission and values, and reflect recent trends in contemporary art more generally. Over the past fifteen years, the countless artists, curators, institutions, and other collaborators who have worked with UCCA, along with the visitors to our exhibitions, have formed a community in which new ways of thinking about culture are enacted. The perspectives, debates, and insights triggered by the act of collecting are one starting point for the cultural scene we share today.
Based on their understanding of the works collected by our patrons, and aiming to situate them within current narratives of contemporary art, UCCA’s curatorial team has made an exhibition in five sections. The opening section “The Fluid Landscape” explores how the concept of landscape is constantly shifting under the weight of cultural and social constructions. “Epiphany of the Individual” presents artists’ concerns over the conditions of individual existence, as well as practices inspired by emotion and spirituality. The next section features artists caught in the gap between globalization and local traditions: as they explore contemporary art’s multitude of possibilities, attempting to remember the past while also looking towards the future, “Whose Tradition” is at stake? “Images and Forgetting” takes the image as a central point from which to reflect on the nature of “new” and “old,” as well as how memory and cognition overlap to shape the meaning of images. Finally, “Rethinking the Conceptual” focuses on research into conceptual art, analyzing the diverse creative strategies of contemporary conceptualism through several case studies.
Certain pieces in the exhibition may be familiar to viewers, or were long ago recognized by the critical establishment as important artworks. We believe that by reexamining and reinterpreting them today, we may discover new connections and resonances between the works and our present moment. The works shown here come from different countries, were made during different eras, and are owned by different collectors. Gathering all these pieces together in a single exhibition allows us to imagine further artistic possibilities, and speaks to UCCA’s commitment to openness and exchange.
Gratitude to members of the UCCA Foundation Council for their generous contributions to this exhibition. Genelec provides exclusive audio equipment and technical support and Dulux provides exclusive wall solutions support, UCCA also thanks the members of UCCA International Circle and Young Associates, as well as Lead Partner Aranya, Lead Art Book Partner DIOR, Presenting Partners Bloomberg, Voyage Group, and Yinyi Biotech, and Supporting Partners Active House, Barco, BenQ, Clivet, Dulux, and Genelec for their generous support.