As Manchester and the world celebrates Chinese New Year and welcomes in the ‘Year of the Monkey’, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) here in the Northern Quarter will celebrate its 30 year anniversary with a high profile exhibition programme spanning 6 months featuring some of the very best Chinese contemporary artists of today. The programme launched on Thursday 4 February with exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artist Xu Bing, the RareKind China international graffiti art project, Manchester legend Stanley Chow and the enigmatic artist Lu Xinjian.
Led by Heart of Manchester BID the Manchester’s four day celebrations include a giant inflatable dragon, parkour monkey runners, a table tennis competition sponsored by Tsingtao beer as well as the trademark red Chinese lantern. CFCCA will be joining the city’s festivities with a live Street Art exhibition in Exchange Square and along New Cathedral Street. Coordinated by RareKind China as part of CFCCA’s 30 year celebrations, Hong Kong based graffiti artists Rainbo (China Graffiti Girls) and Uncle (Afterworkshop) will reflect the story of Chinese New Year in Manchester. You may well have seen some of their work pop up around the Northern Quarter already, if not take a look on our Instagram page.
The anniversary programme will see CFCCA celebrate its history (you can find out more about that here) and achievements over the years including the many artists it has worked with who have gone on to achieve international acclaim. Starting with Xu Bing (2015 headline artist of Venice Biennale’s China Pavillion), CFCCA will feature a different high-profile artist each month including Cao Fei, Tsang Kin-Wah, Lee Mingwei and susan pui san lok.
Xu Bing’s exhibition presents his ongoing project Book from The Ground. An artist fascinated with language and communication, Xu Bing’s project presents a novel seven years in the making written in a “language of icons“. Telling the story of 24 hours in the life of office worker Mr Black, the book has no text, instead using logos, emoticons and pictograms. In Gallery 1 they recreate Xu Bing’s studio where he devised a universal language designed to be understood across the world. Xu Bing was also the first artist to exhibit in CFCCA’s current building in 2003.
“It feels an honour to be at the helm of this organisation during such an important milestone. CFCCA has been leading the UK in exploring a changing international dynamic through cultural exchange as we enter what is being acknowledged as the Chinese Century. Our 30 year anniversary programme is ambitious and really brings together the very best parts of our history, including the artists and people who have contributed to our legacy.” ~ CFCCA’s Current Director Zoe Dunbar
Last night also saw the unveiling of a specially commissioned exhibition of prints by Stanley Chow documenting his experiences growing up as a 2nd generation Chinese man in Manchester through the lens of his inStangram project parodying the popular social network.
2016 is a milestone year for Manchester’s relationship with China and, as ever, CFCCA are right on the frontline. More information on the entire programme can be found here.