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2013.04.27 Sat - 2013.06.16 Sun
Opening Exhibition
04/26/2013 16:00
798 Art District, No. 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu Chaoyang District, Beijing, China 100015
+86 10 5780 0200
Opening Hours
Tuesday - Sunday, 10am-7pm
Philip Tinari 田霏宇

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[Press Release]

Press Release


UCCA exhibition to highlight Marcel Duchamp’s work and its influence on contemporary art in China.

The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art is proud to present DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA, an exhibition featuring works by Marcel Duchamp and Chinese artists influenced by his work. Opening April 27, 2013 and running through June 16, the exhibition centers on Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise, a “portable museum” consisting of miniature reproductions of his key works, shown for the first time in Beijing. Literally translated “box in a suitcase,” this work serves as a centerpiece for the exhibition, with additional context provided by related Duchamp works and works by Chinese artists. Taking its title from the subtitle of the boîte-envalise itself (“by or of Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Selavy”), this exhibition is both the most comprehensive exhibition of Duchamp’s work yet mounted in China, and an investigation into Duchamp’s lingering influence on the development of contemporary art in China.

Marcel Duchamp, “Rotoreliefs (Optical Disks),” 1965. Set of six cardboard disks, supplied with a suspension unit, a wooden box covered with black velvet, supporting a motor on the back  which drives a revolving turntable. Disks printed on both sides in  color offset lithography, Ed. 75/150.
Each disk 20 cm diameter; turntable 24.8 cm diameter. box 7.5 x 37.5 x 8.5 cm

While the Boîte-en-valise will take center stage in the UCCA Long Gallery, it will be flanked by 30 other works by Duchamp, as well as works by more than 15 Chinese artists including Huang Yong Ping, Wu Shanzhuan, Wang Luyan, Song Dong, Lee Kit, and Ai Weiwei. The exhibition is curated by Francis Naumann and John Tancock, two New York-based scholar-curators who together have a deep knowledge of Duchamp and a strong understanding of contemporary Chinese art. On the selection of artists for the exhibition, Tancock notes that the artists featured are those who have, “clearly demonstrated their interest in Duchamp or whose work seems to be in fundamental sympathy with his aims and methods.” Duchamp’s legacy is so various and far-reaching it would be impossible to provide a complete survey of his impact on Chinese art. This exhibition seeks to shed light on the ways in which some of the questions raised by Duchamp’s work and central to the very ideas of modernity and conceptual art have travelled and been translated through the 20th and 21st centuries DUCHAMP and/or/in CHINA is presented in partnership with the Institut Français de Chine (IFC) as part of the 2013 Croisements festival.


Marcel Duchamp, From or by Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy (The
Box in a Valise); 1936­-41/1966; 68 miniature replicas and color reproductions of works by Duchamp contained in a cardboard box  covered in red leather.Edition of 75 from a complete edition of 300; 415 x 38.5 x 9.9 cm

The Boîte-en-valise was begun in 1935 and completed in 1941. It was produced in an edition of 300 examples, but released in various formats through the remaining years of Duchamp’s life, the edition finally completed after his death in 1968 by his widow, Alexina. The first 20 boxes in the edition were all placed in a leather suitcase hence the name, Box in a Valise, and considered “deluxe” because they each contain a unique item. The edition being presented at UCCA is notable for the bright red leather of the box, and contains 80 reproductions of different Duchamp works. A number of works reproduced for the valise will also be shown in other forms in this exhibition, including both an aquatint and pochoir version of Duchamp’s Bride, and a pochoir version of Nude Descending a Staircase – a painting that caused great controversy when it appeared at the first Armory Show in New York in 1913, exactly a century ago. The pochoir method was used to make the reproductions for the valise, but separate hand-colored prints were also produced for sale in order to help fund the project.

In total, 31 Duchamp works will be shown, ranging from reproductions of paintings to magazine covers featuring ingenious typographic work and striking prints. Duchamp often asked the publishers of the art and literary magazines he designed for to run off extra rounds of copies for collection in his “museum”. Etchings and posters from historic exhibitions complete the array of Duchamp pieces that will be shown at UCCA.

Polit-Sheer-Form Office,”Prize” 2010. Installation, cardboard box, unknown contents. 30 x 18 x 31.5 cm, Courtesy the artist and MABSOCIETY

Polit-Sheer-Form Office, “Prize (Detail)” 2010. Installation, cardboard box, unknown contents. 30 x 18 x 31.5 cm, Courtesy the artist and MABSOCIETY