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Bejiing soon obligatory instead of Basel?

Jörg Immendorff at WHITE SPACE BEIJING

On May 2nd, the China International Exposition 2005 (CIGE) is opening for the 2nd time at the Beijing Trade Center of the Chinese World Trade Centers. Compared to last year, when visitors had to search for foreign and internationally-active galleries, this year, numerous galleries from the West and the USA are participating along with 27 Beijing and Shanghai dealers.

With a total of no less than 85 galleries, the CIGE already seems to make a mark in the 2nd round, as the hip art fair for contemporary art in Eastern Asia.

Jack Tilton Gallery, New York, is participating beside the Gagosian Gallery. Alexander Ochs will be coming from Berlin, and will, like Lothar Albrecht, Frankfurt/M., present his Beijing branch gallery. From Cologne, Barbara Grässlin and Christian Nagel will be attending; along with Krinzinger, Vienna, Lukas Leitner will open his booth for Austria; Johnson Chan with his Hanart TZ from Hong Kong, Koyanagi from Tokyo (among others) will take part while the Korean galleries are led by BHAK. In addition, magazines and new media will have a big share since besides or the Shanghai based ´Art China´, ´Art + Auction´, the London ´Art Newspaper´ as well as Marek Claassen, Berlin, promoting his, are going to show.

The German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder at WHITE SPACE BEIJING on the occasion of the exhibition ´24 Living Artists in China´

Alexander Ochs states: "It can also be noted that the exhibition programs of the Beijing galleries distinguish and internationalize themselves in a locally unknown pace. As for ourselves, we will be showing Jörg Immendorff until the fair starts. On May 3rd we will then be opening ´The Languages of Nature´ with Franz Gertsch and Fang Lijun at our gallery in Dashanzi. In parallel to the art fair, the ´2nd Dashanzi Art Festival´ will be held in the former industrial halls in the North-East of Beijing. Last year, the festival reached more than 80 000 visitors and surely, back then, the Dashanzi Art Festival had to fight in order to survive. This seemingly belongs to the past: the protagonists of the festival, among them several galleries participating in the art fair, offer more than 100 different exhibitions, concerts and lectures; a bus shuttle takes the fairgoers to the gallery district.

Alexander Ochs: "Further synergies which were found last year, appear. In December 2004, at my gallery, the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder handed over a painting by A.R. Penck to the President of the Beijing Central Academy (CAFA) for their collection. Now, the Academy is inviting the Berlin collector Erika Hoffmann-Koenige and us to Beijing. Erika will lecture on her collection in front of students and an interested audience. Beginning of May, the Circle of Friends of the Art Academy Munich will come to Dashanzi; mid May, Karlheinz Essl, Museum Kloster Neuburg, will follow our invitation and will thus present his museum concept at the Academy. I hope that in the future, Beijing in May will become as an obligatory date in Asia, as Basel in June is already for the West."

Text: Nadine Dinter


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