UChicago MFA Cohort Explores Contemporary Art Scene in Beijing

  • UChicago graduate students view paintings on display at Red Gate Gallery, which is located in a restored Ming Dynasty city wall watchtower. Photo by Yuxuan Li.

  • Renmin University and University of Chicago Masters in Fine Arts students discuss their practice and schooling, with interpretation provided by Renmin University translation students. Photo courtesy

  • UChicago MFA students visit the studio of Renmin University oil painting professors, alongside Renmin art students and student interpreters. Photo courtesy of Renmin University of China

October 29, 2013

September 1-11, 2013

A group of rising second-years in UChicago's Masters in Fine Arts program visited Beijing in September, along with Department of Visual Arts professors Laura Letinsky and Geof Oppenheimer. The study tour program, the second in a yearly series, offered the MFA students the opportunity to delve into Beijing's flourishing contemporary art scene via gallery tours, studio visits, and discussions with prominent artists and curators. This year's program concluded with several days of exchange activities with the Renmin University of China art department.

Program Schedule

Sept. 1, Sunday

Arrive at Beijing International Airport

Sept. 2, Monday

12:00pm          Meet with Wu Jian’an, artist, at Central Academy of Fine Arts

Afternoon        Studio Visit with Cia Jin, artist

Sept. 3, Tuesday

10:00am          Meet with Philip Tinari, Director, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in 798

1:30pm              Studio Visit with Chen Xiaoyun, artist

Afternoon: Visit Chambers Fine Art; walk through Caochangdi arts area galleries

Sept. 4, Wednesday

11:00am          Visit with Ai Wei Wei at the Fake Factory and Studio

2:30pm            Tour and discussion of Three Shadows Photography Art Centre

Sept. 5, Thursday

3:00pm              Meeting at ShanghART with a local collector of Chinese contemporary art

Sept. 6, Friday

1:00pm                Red Gate Gallery tour and discussion with Brian Wallace, Founder and Director

Afternoon            Visit to Red Gate Residency

Sept. 7, Saturday

Panjiayuan "Ghost" or "Dirt" antiques market

Sept. 8, Sunday

Climb the Great Wall at Mutianyu

Sept. 9, Monday

Morning           Graduate students from both schools meet up (translators provided) at Renmin University Art College to talk, then visit the students' studio

Lunch with Renmin school leaders

Afternoon        Laura and Geof give short artist talks

Dinner             Snack tasting with Renmin University students

Sept. 10, Tuesday

Morning           Speech about art, China's political history, and Marxism at Renmin University

Group lunch in teachers' restaurant

Afternoon        Visit Renmin University faculty painters' studios in Western Hills area

Dinner with Renmin University Art College students

Sept. 11, Wednesday

Depart Beijing