There are too many art galleries around the world that are considered a ‘must see’ for any art lover or enthusiast.
However, in China, where the unprecedented rise of the middle and upper class has created a demand for traditional and contemporary art from domestic and international artists, here are five must-visit contemporary art galleries in Beijing that we recommend on any art lover’s schedule.
The UCCA Centre for Contemporary Art is China’s leading contemporary art centre.
Located in a retrofitted and repurposed factory first built in 1957, the UCCA is popular with locals and international visitors with their up to date exhibitions. After opening their doors in 2007, it has grown to be one of the most sought-after galleries in all of Asia. It is also home to a range of non-profit foundations and commercial ventures, children’s education initiatives, collaborations and project work.
UCCA Beijing has developed from gallery to becoming a central hub for contemporary art in China, where Chinese artists can groom their careers and works around Asia and the world.
Beijing Commune is proudly known as the ‘springboard’ where many Chinese arts contemporary greats such as Zhang Xiaogang, Yue Minjun and Song Dong have launched their illustrious careers.
It focuses primarily on providing a melting pot for young artists to develop their ideas through the community it has established, offering a location for emerging artists to conduct their first solo shows.
The venue is home to the next generation of fine, contemporary art and a great location for investors to view works by emerging artists before they grow in value exponentially, riding on the back of the solo shows and potential opportunities provided by Beijing Commune.
Today Art Museum
Committed to boosting the development of Chinese contemporary art, the Today Art Museum has been providing exhibitions, seminars and educational programs for over a decade.
With a newly expanded function & exhibition space, the Today Art Museum is actively working on developing the contemporary art community and adopting a profit-based approach while supporting their social responsibilities.
Through their social programs, the museum focuses on community art projects, interacting and promoting their artists throughout China and the world.
Forbidden City (Palace Museum)
There are few places more recognisable when it comes to art, but where most people consider the Forbidden City to be a place of history and tradition, the Palace Museum is also known for its contemporary Chinese pieces as well.
Established in 1925 and with over 80,000 daily visitors, the Palace Museum has been the home to a vast collection of antiquities as well as some of the most groundbreaking contemporary art the world has ever seen.
From the inventory catalogued back in 1925 amounting to 1,860,000 items and growing, the expansion and rejuvenation of the museum have seen a new range of exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, thematic shows as well as curated international exhibitions.
CAFA Art Museum Beijing
The Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum or the CAFA holds a strategic mission of “serving the society with knowledge”, and does so through a wide range of catalogues, educational programs and exhibitions.
With academic research, restoration and education underpinning its operations, the museum holds the philosophy of open-mindedness and using the concept of knowledge to serve society. In doing so they strive to provide a viewing glass into the current, contemporary works of today, with generations of the future.
There is no doubt that a country so rich in history and heritage including an abundance of traditional art, dynasties of innovation and the difficulties of managing cultural revolutions with the demands of the ‘new age’ would have such a vast array of beautiful works.
As a starting point, do check out these five must-visit Beijing contemporary art galleries. Arts and Culture weave the social fabric of our history and heritage. Art institutions offer insightful perspectives through the works of artists that can serve as investment opportunities for those who know where and how to look.