State Legacy

This exhibition is a UK first and presents previously unseen works by five prominent contemporary Chinese artists. The exhibition presents new commissions responding to the achievements and problems of China’s recent industrialisation and modernisation, generating debate about the role of art in post-industrial societies.

Featured works at The Holden Gallery (MMU) include, Wang Guangyi’s installation, East Wind – Golden Dragon Car, a replica model of the first ever Chinese produced car that was presented to Chairman Mao as a gift and Lu Hao’s Replicated Memory, a large-scale light box showing a map of Beijing, with ghost-like models of the city gates that were destroyed during modernisation. In Cornerhouse galleries we present Wang Jianwei’s The Grandstand – Tiananmen, a virtual civic installation, produced in partnership with ARUP, Manchester. In Gallery 1 and Gallery 2, Zeng Li presents a series of photographs entitled The Shuicheng Iron and Steel Works, detailing an abandoned factory that had remained hidden amongst mountains during the cold-war. And in Gallery 3 see Sui Jianguo’s Raising Speed on the Railway, a multi-screened projection of a high-speed train as it travels around a circular testing track.

A publication of selected essays, images and background research documents to accompany the exhibition is now available to buy online.


“Spread over two sites, the results are visually striking and have a lasting resonance, even for viewers without any knowledge of China’s history or culture” Aaron Lavery, Mertro, Thu 9 April 2009

“All of the pieces are equally as provocative as Jianguo’s work. […] Lu Hao’s Replicated Memory is a painstakingly detailed recreation of the nine gates of Beijing city, remade in ghostly perspex models uprooted from the map of Beijing below to mark their destruction by the government to widen the roads for car use.” Sarah Walters, MEN, Thu 2 April 2009


Applications for the State Legacy residency at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal in Shenzhen, China have now closed.

Exhibition continues at The Holden Gallery until Friday 8 May and will tour to OCAT, Shenzhen, China, 19 September to 19 November 2009.

Exhibition organised by OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), He Xiangning Art Museum, MIRIAD, Manchester Metropolitan University and Cornerhouse.

Exhibition funded by: Arts Council England, Manchester Knowledge Capital, MIRIAD.

Exhibition supported by: ARUP, QHotels The Midland Manchester, Tsingtao Beer and Red Chilli Restaurant.

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