Ullens Center for Contemporary Art

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Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA)
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA).jpg
Established November 2007
Location 798 Art Zone, Beijing
Coordinates 39°59′21″N 116°29′17″E / 39.989057°N 116.48793°E / 39.989057; 116.48793
Visitors 851,347 (2014) [1]
Founder Guy and Myriam Ullens
Director Philip Tinari
CEO May Xue
Website http://www.ucca.org.cn

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Abbreviation: UCCA; simplified Chinese: 尤伦斯当代艺术中心; traditional Chinese: 尤倫斯當代藝術中心; pinyin: yóu lún sī dāng dài yì shù zhōng xīn) is a non-commercial contemporary art museum situated in Beijing, China.[2] Founded by Belgian art collector baron Guy Ullens and his wife Myriam Ullens,[2] the UCCA was officially opened on November 5, 2007.[3]

The center, located at the heart of the 798 Art District, was reconstructed by French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte in collaboration with Qingyun Ma who leads the Chinese architectural office MADA SPAM.[3]

The building covers a floor space of 8,000 square meters with 31-foot-high ceilings.[3]

With its contemporary arts library (one of the first libraries of its kind in China) and three large art galleries,[4] the center is annually visited by upwards of one million people.[5]


UCCA’s four main spaces play host each year to around fifteen exhibitions of varying scale. Educational and interpretive programs expand the reach of these displays, bringing viewers into closer contact with the ideas behind the work on view. As an international museum operating on Chinese soil, UCCA has a focus on recent developments and historical movements in Chinese contemporary art, pairing this with exhibitions devoted to major trends and figures from around the region and the world.


The Center has presented more than a hundred exhibitions and attracted more than 4 million visitors. Beginning its curatorial program with “85 New Wave: The Birth of Chinese Contemporary Art”, it has presented large-scale group shows “Breaking Forecast: 8 Key Figures of China’s New Generation Artists” (2009), “ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice” (2013), and “Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names” (2014); along with solo exhibitions “Liu Xiaodong: Hometown Boy” (2010), “Wang Jianwei: Yellow Signal” (2011), “Gu Dexin: The Important Thing Is Not The Meat” (2012), “Wang Xingwei” (2013), “Xu Zhen: a MadeIn Company Production” (2014), and “Liu Wei: Colors” (2015)

It has also presented the international surveys “Inside A Book A House of Gold: Artists’ Editions for Parkett” (2012), “Indian Highway” (2012), “DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA” (2013), and “The Los Angeles Project” (2014). It has served as a platform for the works of Olafur Eliasson, Tino Sehgal, Tatsuo Miyajima, Taryn Simon, and Sterling Ruby, introducing China to these significant figures in contemporary art.

On the 11th of February 2017, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art received the 2016 Global Fine Art Awards for Best Contemporary / Postwar / SoloArtist “Rauschenberg in China”.[6][7][8]

Public programs[edit]

Though its public programs, the center offers a meeting place for exchange, communication, study, and the sharing of interest, knowledge, and passion. Offering a wide range of events including talks and forums, art cinema, live performances, workshops, and family and school programs, UCCA’s Public Programs Department takes art as a starting point to provide content in many fields and on different levels.


UCCASTORE maintains a program of limited editions, having collaborated with more than forty artists to produce specially commissioned works. It also showcases the work of cutting-edge designers, offering a wide range of original products.

Education, Creative Studio[edit]

The UCCA Creative Studio is an art education program for children 2 to 11 years old. The studio’s curriculum incorporates: Regular Classes, Creative Workshops, and the Discovery Area. The curriculum takes a comprehensive approach to cognitive development through learning about perception, reflection, creation, and expression in the arts.

Site and history[edit]

Spread over three factory chambers built in the early 1950s to Bauhaus-influenced designs, UCCA's spaces maintain traces of their industrial past. Fully renovated by architects Jean-Michel Wilmotte and Qingyun Ma in 2007, it is a space capable of hosting international exhibitions of the highest caliber. With a total area of 8,000 square meters, it encompasses four main exhibition spaces including the signature Great Hall, the Central Gallery, the Nave, and the Long Gallery,


In May 2014, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei accused the UCCA of self-censorship when curators decided to omit his name from a public newsletter announcing the opening of an exhibition in memory of artist/curator Hans van Dijk.[9] Ai had originally contributed three works to the exhibition, including the first piece he ever exhibited in Europe as part of an exhibition curated by van Dijk in 1993, but removed the works during the opening ceremony, "in defiance of UCCA's portrayal of Chinese contemporary art.”[10]


External links[edit]