Futurism of the Past —— Contemplating the Past and Future in Chinese Contemporary Art

Futurism of the Past —— Contemplating the Past and Future in Chinese Contemporary Art

June 15 – August 31, 2021

Beijing Exhibition Center
Beijing Contemporary Art Expo

Bao Dong

Exhibition Director
Wang Pin

Beijing Exhibition Center

Futurism was an artistic movement that originated in Italy and Russia in the early 20th century, glorifying the charm of industry, machine, technology, power and speed while repudiating all the artistic styles and forms from the past. Today, “futurism” has already become a historical phase while the reality is increasingly turning into what “futurism” once envisaged. The power and speed of industry no longer stun people. Neither does technological aesthetics. Looking back upon the past one hundred years, we’d realize that futurism has actually reflected and shaped the zeitgeist of the time.

When artistic concepts of the past have gradually turned into reality and reality has even made a step further than those artists concepts, would art still be able to take the role as “herald”, especially in the historical period like now which is imbued with all kinds of possibilities of the future? As the inaugural exhibition of the Culture and Art Hub of Beijing Exhibition Center and theme exhibition of “Beijing Contemporary ·STORY”, Futurism from the Past features works of forty artists, demonstrating their signature styles.

In the two almost symmetrical gallery spaces, what viewers would encounter is a mixture of our past visions of the future, present recollections of the past, present imagination of the future, and reverie of the past from a future perspective. Works on view, whether classic or recent, cast light on not only the imagery, imagination and narrative of the future in contemporary art, the historical anticipation of the past one hundred years of China, prospects of the future from a present perspective, but also a dynamical view of time that is unique to China: The future generations will look upon us just like we look upon our past.


Artists:aaajiao, AUJIK, Cai Lei, Cao Fei, Chen Xi, Cui Jie, Fan Wennan, Feng Mengbo, Gao Lei, Ce Jian, Jiang Zhi, Li Hanwei, Li Shun, Li Xinjian, Li Yousong, Liu Fang, Jiaying Liu, Liu Zhan, Lawrence Lek, Ma Liang, Ou Jin, Pu Yingwei, Qiu Anxiong, Shi Zheng, Song Kun, Song Ling, Tang Hui, Tong Kunniao, Wang Luyan, Wu Jian’an, Tiger Wu, Wu Wei, XU ZHEN®, Xu Hongxiang, Yang Guangnan, Yang Maoyuan, Zhang Guangyu, Zhang Hui, Zhang Yingnan, Zhuang Hui

Courtesy of Galleries and Institutions:AIKE, BANK MABSOCIETY, Beijing Commune, Galleria Continua, CLC Gallery Venture, The Cloud Collection, TANG CONTEMPORARY ART, Enclave Contemporary, FEEFAN’S ART, Hive Center for Contemporary Art, HdM GALLERY, WHITE SPACE BEIJING, MadeIn Gallery, Magician Space, PIFO Gallery, Sadie Coles HQ (London), Shixiang Space, SPURS Gallery, SOKA ART, ANTENNA SPACE, Vitamin Creative Space, Star Gallery, Asia Art Center, Triumph Gallery

Installation Views


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