December 22, 2019
On December 19, the Center in Beijing hosted a gala opening for the new art exhibit in the Steven Sun Gallery. Curated by UChicago Professor of Art History Wu Hung, “The Painted Screen: An Exhibition About an Exhibition” features three works of art from different artists: The Double Screen by 10th-century painter Zhou Wenju; The Door and Window Screen by contemporary artist Song Dong; and The Second Night, The Fifth Night, and The Seventh Night from artist Peng Wei’s painting series The Seven Nights.
With only three groups of works, this exhibit reflects on and conceptualizes “The Painted Screen: Past and Future,” a much larger show that took place in the Suzhou Museum, hence being considered “an exhibition about an exhibition.” The gendered spaces in The Double Screen are expanded and individualized by the two contemporary works, one by a male artist and one by a female artist. Song Dong utilizes abandoned materials from demolished residential housing, creating layers of illusionistic spaces. In Peng Wei’s works, the white, screen-like surfaces display dream scenes, inviting the audience to decipher and imagine the implied narrative.
The gala opening was followed by a discussion panel, featuring Professor Wu Hung, exhibit artists Song Dong and Peng Wei, as well as Chen Danqing, a Chinese-American artist, writer and art critic who is a friend of both Professor Wu and Peng Wei. After the discussion, the 150 attendees enjoyed a catered reception with the panel speakers.