Exhibition — The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China


Duration: February 7, 2020 — August 2, 2020

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 8, 3-7 PM

Co-Presented at the Smart Museum and Wrightwood 659

Since the 1980s, Chinese contemporary artists are nurturing intimate relationships with their materials, establishing a framework of interpretation that revolves around materiality. Their media span the gamut from the commonplace to the unconventional, the natural to the synthetic, the elemental to the composite: from plastic, water, and wood, to hair, gunpowder, and Coca-Cola.

Artists persist in exploring and developing this creative approach, with some dedicating decades of their practice to experiments with a single material. For the first time, The Allure of Matter brings together works from the past four decades, where conscious material choice emerges as a symbol of the artists’ expression, embodying this unique trend in recent history.

The exhibition features 45 monumental works that harmonize in form, material, and visual impact.


Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Chen Zhen, Gu Dexin, gu wenda, He Xiangyu, Hu Xiaoyuan, Huang Yong Ping, Jin Shan, Liang Shaoji, Lin Tianmiao, Liu Jianhua, Liu Wei, Ma Qiusha, Shi Hui, Song Dong, Sui Jianguo, Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, Wang Jin, Xu Bing, Yin Xiuzhen, Zhan Wang, Zhang Huan, Zhang Yu, and Zhu Jinshi.