Andreas Schmid on Hans van Dijk

July 5, UCCA, Beijing, Talk with Andreas Schmid IEinladungInvitation140705 UCCA

The interest in contemporary art in China has only grown markedly in the broad art world over the last few years. But the reception of Chinese art’s development as a global phenomenon actually began exactly twenty years ago, here in Berlin. In 1993, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt hosted “China Avantgarde” – the very first exhibition of contemporary Chinese art outside China itself. Organised by Hans van Dijk and Jochen Noth together with Andreas Schmid, co-curator of “The 8 of Paths”, the “China Avantgarde” exhibition jump started an interest in Chinese contemporary art in the West.

July 5, 2pm, UCCA, Beijing: “Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names” Exhibition Talk: Andreas Schmid on Hans van Dijk and Contemporary Art in the 1990s

Dutch-born, Beijing-based curator, scholar, and dealer Hans van Dijk (1946 – 2002) was a foundational influence on contemporary art in China. His myriad contributions include the seminal 1993 exhibition “China Avant-Garde” (Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, with Andreas Schmid), the first major show of Chinese contemporary art in Europe; the New Amsterdam Art Consultancy (NAAC), which connected Chinese artists with collectors and curators abroad; and the China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAAW), an experimental gallery and exhibition space.

Hans van Dijk acted as a teacher, curator, dealer, and scholar in a time when art infrastructure in China was virtually nonexistent. He taught artists how to manage themselves and the minutiae of the art world: how to curate and have their shows curated, pack artworks, fill out loan forms, and show to local and international collectors. Critically, he was one of the first to view these artists within their larger context, both as a continuation of Chinese art history and as a part of international contemporary art practice. Van Dijk worked against predominant post-colonial attitudes, encouraging Chinese artists to see themselves as equal contributors to a global cultural dialogue. Based on extensive interviews and archival research, the exhibition “Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names” considers his legacy as it looks at the major artists he championed and the scene they inhabited during the 1990s.