Magazine article Art Monthly

Beijing Gold

Magazine article Art Monthly

Beijing Gold

Article excerpt

French curator Jerome Sans is expected to be the new artistic director of the Ullens Center of Contemporary Art in Beijing. While Sans's appointment is still pending confirmation from Chinese officials, the current artistic director Fei Dawei, a Chinese art critic, is stepping down to take on a research role, amid rumours of disagreements behind the scenes. Sans has an international profile: he has worked for various institutions, including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; more recently, for 14 months, he was the programme director at the Baltic, Gateshead. The new appointment, however, does highlight the diminishing presence of Chinese senior staff in the museum. This is a problem which Belgium art collector and food baron Guy Ullens, who completely funded the construction and the museum, will no doubt have to address, should the legitimacy of the museum as a site for Chinese creativity come into question.

The museum itself is situated in a large former munitions factory, engineered and constructed under East German supervision in the 50s. It was a squat for artists, before French and Chinese architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Ma Qingyun renovated the building, which opened last November. …

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