Fairs Market USA

China focus for next Armory fair

Ullens Centre director aims to focus on galleries not already on the international circuit

Philip Tinari

The Armory Show is looking east for its 2014 edition. The organisers have selected China as the subject of the fair’s fifth regional focus section. Curated by Philip Tinari, the director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, the section will have around 15 galleries from Beijing, Shanghai and other cities across China.

Although the selection process is still in the works, Tinari aims to focus on galleries that “are not necessarily on the international fair circuit yet”, he says. Instead of presenting work by an older generation of market stars like Zhang Daqian (who ousted Picasso as the top-earning artist globally at auction in 2012) and Qi Baishi, Tinari plans to feature artists who came of age in the late 1980s and 1990s, after China opened up and began experiencing economic reform. “So much of the interesting work being done in China today is still very much unknown and unfairly dismissed by a Western audience,” Tinari says.

The Armory team met with the Chinese consulate in New York last month to discuss the project, but Tinari expects his curatorial process will remain independent. “Of course, if you can get the official support it is helpful, but this [event] is happening outside China. It is not simply a projection of the China that anyone above wants us to see,” he says.

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