The role of contemporary art has increased globally as markets and the role of cultural influence rapidly shift. China’s growth towards new ways of seeing and thinking, have given way to massive social media usership and love for new modes of consumption. Art worldwide has become more participatory and enthusiastic. Since 2011 China has become the world’s largest auction art market and artists from all over Asia are studying at art schools in Europe and the US in increasing proportions. Beijing and Shanghai’s contemporary art scenes have blossomed with high quality private museums and art fairs capturing even larger public audiences. As a reflection, the Chinese art market is mirroring China’s new stance on the geopolitical stage by embracing international contemporary art. Equally important is that Chinese collectors have started taking seats as Boards of Trustees of major Western art institutions. Influence, which used to flow one way is now fluid in both directions, East / West and West / East.
Beijing Art Summit recognizes that an increase in action is also a call for an increase in dialogue. Working for the best possible outcomes, this platform will be for hearty discussions on the range of substantial issues facing contemporary culture — both to exchange ideas, but also to challenge those ideas in different contexts with art professionals from China and the international art community.
Beijing Art Summit was initiated by the SevenStar Group, an enterprise that owns and runs Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. Many years before Chinese contemporary art developed into today’s scale, the 798 Art Zone trailblazed a sustainable ecology for contemporary art with international galleries establishing a foothold there as early as 2002. It has since developed into China’s largest and most dynamic center for contemporary art with influential institutions such as Ullens Center of Contemporary Art / UCCA, Faurschou Foundation, and M Woods Museum, and major galleries such as Long March Space, Pace Beijing, and Galleria Continua. In 2017, SevenStar launched Gallery Weekend Beijing, bringing together Beijing’s various contemporary art platforms, commercial and non-profit, to create a cohesive and coordinated art festival. Gallery Weekend Beijing 2019 will increase in scale substantially with an exhibition program including major international galleries. Beijing Art Summit, which will coincide with Gallery Weekend Beijing’s 2019 edition, expanding further SevenStar’s overall vision of sustainable art ecologies futher by inviting people from all over the world to discuss important issues together on an annual basis.
Colin Siyuan Chinnery: Artist, Curator
Mari Spirito: Founding Director, Protocinema since 2011; Curator, Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach Conversations, 2013–2018
Hu Xin: General Secretory of Sino-French Culture Forum
Located in the Beijing Jiuxianqiao Electronics Industry Zone, Beijing Sevenstar Science & Technology Co., Ltd. (Sevenstar Group), is a specialized high-tech industrial corporate group focused on basic electronics product service and cultural and creative industries. It has five subsidiaries including Beijing 797 Audio Co., Ltd., Beijing Flight Electronics Ltd., GreenSo-lar Equipment Manufacturing Ltd., Beijing 798 Cultural and Creative Industry Investment Co., Ltd. and Beijing Sevenstar Huasheng Electronics Ltd. Basic electronics product service of Sevenstar Group includes research and development, manufacturing, sale, and investment of electronic equipment and alternative energies. The 798 Art Zone, owned and managed by Sevenstar Group, is China’s earliest and largest district devoted to contemporary culture.
798 Art Zone
The 798 Art Zone, developed and managed by Sevenstar Group, is China’s earliest and largest cultural district. Constituting a complex of former factory buildings, 798 initially attracted artists and galleries because of its unique Bauhaus architecture built by East German engineers in the 1950s. Now it houses some of China’s best-known contemporary art institutions including Ullens Center of Contemporary Art/UCCA, Faurschou Foundation, and M Woods Museum, and major galleries such as Long March Space, Pace Beijing, and Galleria Continua, and it has been listed by Beijing Municipality as the first of 10 cultural and creative industry zones.
Gallery Weekend Beijing
Gallery Weekend Beijing, run by SevenStar Group and based at the 798 Art Zone, was launched in 2017 as an annual celebration of Beijing’s diverse range of art galleries and non-profit institutions. For a weekend very March, art organizations and artists work together to present the most exciting exhibitions of the year, galvanizing local collectors and audiences and attracting art professionals from the region and beyond. Gallery Weekend Beijing aims to actively promote Beijing’s overall contemporary art ecology, fostering a sense of community and collaboration between institutions and their patrons.