, Beijing’s most esteemed private institution for contemporary art, has a major group show open now that’s well worth a look. The New Normal
starts with the question, 'What is the place of art in China today?', and attempts an answer by way of showcasing new work from more than 20 artists from China and elsewhere colonising all four of the UCCA’s gallery spaces. The exhibition title refers to an official PRC euphemism introduced in 2015 to describe China’s breakneck technological-economic acceleration; the show’s Chinese title translates to 'State of exception', 'a political situation in which the normal laws and regulations of a society are abruptly suspended'. Curators Guo Xi, Yang Zi, Alvin Li, and Wenfei Wang aim to trace the particularly disorienting turbulence of the present moment through art spanning different media, including Lawrence Lek
’s Sinofuturistic video game animation works. The UCCA has mounted a major group show like this every four years since 2009, starting with that year’s Breaking Forecast: 8 Key Figures of China’s New Generation of Artists
, and continuing with ON | OFF: China’s Young Artists in Concept and Practice
in 2013. We recommend this latest entry as an authoritative, if not necessarily definitive, presentation of the state of Chinese art.