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Crescent Exhibition Closing Programme

Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum


Crescent Exhibition Closing Programme

Time: 2pm, July 1, 2018

Venue: Conference Room, Inside-Out Art Museum

Free admission

The Exhibition Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu will come to a close on July 1, 2018. We are honoured to invite Professor Dai Jinhua from the Peking University as keynote speaker to join our closing ceremony. This is also the first presentation of our new lecture series “ China as an Issue” (updated from the previous Interim Meetings project) . After the lecture, we will have a book launch for the exhibition catalogue, and the participating artists of Crescent will join a booking signing session as a sweet end to the exhibition. We will also invite our 8 volunteers who participate in guided tours during the exhibition period on each weekend, thanking them for their contributions by offering them an opportunity to have a close-door dialogue with the two artists. 

Join us on July 1!!! 

China as an Issue Lecture Series (3)

Retrieved and Lost: Historical and Cultural Memories

Keynote Speaker: Dai Jinhua


The 20th century in China is undoubtedly an era when both Chinese society and civilization witnessed radical transformations. This lecture intends to draw from the convention and rhetoric of historical narratives -“rupture” and “continuation”- to discuss the cultural symptom of China’s modern history narrative in the 20th century and even the 21st century, which contains ruptures and deficiencies, memories and amnesia, delirium and speechlessness. It further investigates the loss and restoration of historical memories, exploring the social process and cultural dilemma between the recovery and loss of our historical memories, and reflect on the path and possibility of cultural memory and historical narrative.


Dai Jinhua, lives and works in Beijing. Graduated from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature at Peking University, she taught in the Department of Film and Literature at the Beijing Film Academy for 11 years. She started to teach at the institute of Comparative Literature and Comparative Culture in Peking University since 1993. She is Distinguished Professor of Humanities, Peking University, Director of the Film and Culture Research Centre of Peking University. Her research area includes film, mass media and gender studies. She offers dozens of courses including Intensive Film Studies, Chinese Film Cultural History, Theory and Practice of Cultural Research, Gender and Writing etc. She has lectured over ten countries and regions in Asia, Europe and North America. She published more than 10 monographs. Her monographs and papers have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. Representative works include: Scenes in FogFilm CriticismInvisible WritingYesterday's IslandGendering China, and etc.

About “China as an Issue” Lecture Series

Inside-Out Art Museum has started out a series of work with the intention to better understand ourselves since the beginning of 2017. We continuously return to the local sites of art and intellectual histories, searching for threads of ideas, logic of language, and concepts of art that continue to exert impact on us in spite of multiple changes of time and space. Insisting on facing  the realities in China and the issues of it, we strive to track the development inherent in art history using suitable methods on the premise that we are a part of History, Asia, and the Globe.

For a long time in China’s art world, many art practitioners yearn for and wish to learn from Europe and North America’s art, art historical narratives, theories, institutional practices and system construction, which are regarded as effective reference and universal experience. In the current practice of many art museums, similarly, it has become an increasingly widespread phenomenon to import star artists, curators, or ready-made practices effective in the Western context, and to worship them as a classic without reservation.

There is a lack of interest in the in-depth discourses on ourselves or our problems, so is there a lack of confidence and methodology to form our own inner tensions. Even when confronted with work to comb through our own history, practitioners in China’s art world tend to display their unfamiliarity and arrogance of ignorance. It is against this background that the Inside-Out Art Museum practices. By describing differences, returning to ourselves, and more importantly, by appealing and mobilizing, we wish to take the lead to improve initiative and develop in-depth observation in China’s art world, while constantly re-visiting the historical context and political situation of our work.

Therefore, we decide to raise the agenda “China as an Issue” for further discussion on the basis of our previous project series “Interim Meetings”. “China as an Issue” is the starting point inherent in all our work that is neither a nationalist viewpoint nor an ambition driven by the imagination of nation-state. We raise this issue in consideration of the specificity of our practice, because China, as the place and settings where our practice takes place, is our existence and reality. Another consideration relates to the situation that our peers within and without China have displayed excessive neglect of the issues of China as well as the thoughts and practices generated here. We question and criticize the revelry and fantasy resulted from the flattening of history and cultural relativism in global discourses.

With the appeal to re-imagine and historicize ourselves, at the beginning of 2018, we initiated “Interim Meetings”, a project that includes writing, lecturing and publishing. The project proposes to consider the present time as an object of continuous dialogue and identification, and to repeatedly view the growing and changing trends inside and outside the art world. We hope that, through this project, we can inspire actions and discussions in the art and culture industry to face up to the realities. In the past several episodes of “Interim Meetings”, we invited active researchers and young peers in the art community to participate in the project and share their achievements in their respective practices. Now, we have decided to clarify our appeal to present “China as an Issue” as an upgraded version of this project. This upgraded project will keep focusing on new thoughts and practices arising from reality, while trying to refine its background and position in the history and present.

“China as an Issue” is not a slick mirror image that responds to the opportunistic actions in the dominant nationalist narrative, nor does it present an insular tendency to reject foreign theories in the research of domestic issues. Rather, it is the foundation of our practice and vision, as well as  the boundary to be challenged; it is a critical viewpoint born out of cultural, historical and political relatedness instead of exclusiveness. We would like to invite and call upon our peers in the art and academic circles again to participate in our following lectures, exhibitions, publications, and to start the debate and discussion on “China as an Issue”.

Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu Exhibition Catalogue Launch and Book Signing

Zhao Wenliang, YangYushu


On the last day of Crescent: Retrospectives of Zhao Wenliang and Yang Yushu, we are honoured to invite the two elderly artists to the museum. We will have a book launch for the exhibition catalogue, and the artists will join a booking signing session as a sweet end to the exhibition. We will also invite our 8 volunteers who participate in guided tours during the exhibition period on each weekend, thanking them for their contributions by offering them an opportunity to have a close-door dialogue with the two artists.

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Zhao Wenliang (b. 1937) and Yang Yushu (b. 1944) are the central figures of the loosely organized Yuyuantan Painters School emerged in the 1960s and the No Name (Wuming) Group emerged in the 1970s. From 1963 onwards, Zhao engaged himself in out-door sketch practice and persisted in painting and sketching by all means during the Cultural Revolution. He had influenced a group of young fellow artists during those years. On December 31, 1974, Zhao organized and participated in an underground art exhibition of what was to become the No Name Group. The exhibition was held at Zhang Wei’s residence (Room 305, Fusuijing Building, Beijing). Zhao then organized and participated in the first and second public exhibitions of the No Name Group (Hua Fang Zhai, Beihai Park, Beijing), in 1979 and 1981 respectively. Yang Yushu, who sees Zhao as his mentor of painting, participated in all those exhibitions as well. Invited by Liu Haisu in 1983, Zhao and Yang participated in the Five Painters Show at the residence of the poet Huiwa. In 1984, a German friend invited them to hold a one-week exhibition at his place at the Beijing Friendship Hotel. They held the Joint Exhibition of Zhao Wenliang and Yushu at the National Art Museum of China in 2004. In 2006 and 2007, they participated in the retrospective exhibition of the No Name Group (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou).