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From a Poem to the Sunset


At Daimler Contemporary Berlin


Since 2013, the Daimler Art Collection has strengthened its international profile by adding to it a significant new aspect of global contemporary art – through the acquisition of more than 40 artworks by approximately 20 Chinese artists. In the course of 2015 and 2016 these newly acquired artworks will be shown in a number of exhibitions held in Berlin and Stuttgart. The Chinese artworks relate to a number of areas of special interest of the Daimler Art Collection, among others especially in terms of abstract and conceptual art tendencies as well as in new media forms. At the same time, these artworks represent an entirely new and distinctive complex within the collection – both culturally and aesthetically. The selected acquisitions of the Daimler Art Collection are centered around artists from the key regions of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. A forward-looking acquisition policy was developed that focuses mainly on the youngest generation of artists (those born circa 1980). Additionally, thanks to our collaborations with some major galleries, we were able to acquire significant artworks by artists who have already achieved an international reputation, plus a number of historically significant works. Taken together, these acquisitions provide an insight into a nation that is the subject of fascinating and heated discussion, and a nation that will be of critical and global importance in the 21st century – not only because of its thousands of years of tradition, but also because of its rapid economic and cultural development.


At first the new Chinese acquisitions will be presented in a two-part exhibition at Daimler Contemporary in Berlin. Both shows will showcase the Chinese artists’ work in the context of the Daimler Art Collection. The exhibition will juxtapose and put the Chinese artists in dialogues with international artists, the show will expand through time and different cultures, and it aims to bring out peculiarities and parallels in the diverse artistic strategies. The first part of the exhibition From A poem to the Sunset, which will run from May 1 to August 30, 2015, is devoted to conceptual approaches concerned both with the significance of artistic traditions and with the collision of divergent cultural, media and material worlds. Whereas the first part of the exhibition consists primarily of installations, conceptual artworks and videos, works of abstract painting and photography will be in the foreground of the second part of the exhibition On Curbstone jewels and cobblestones, from September 11, 2015 to January 17, 2016. With particular reference to their own biographies, the artists seek for individual means of expression, but also seek to incorporate answers to the issues of our time and direct environment. The artist’s responses to these may take the form of constructed parallel realms, documentations or portraits – or make the effort to have an impact on the influencing entity: on society. The displayed artworks reveal fundamental changes within the worlds in which we live. They give visible form to existing stereotypes and judgments (or prejudices) about “the other”, and discuss the social and political consequences of globalization.


The two Berlin presentations, curated by Renate Wiehager and Christian Ganzenberg, will be accompanied by a symposium dedicated to crossovers, interfaces and exchanges between Chinese art and international art. It is planned that several one-day events will take place between May and December 2015. The outcome of these events as well as the preparatory research will be made available online, and also in accompanying publications.


Curated by Renate Wiehager und Christian Ganzenberg

Curatorial advisor: Andreas Schmid


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