July 30th, 2015

UK denies Ai Weiwei full business visa based on disputed ‘criminal’ history

By: Tom Philipps        Source: The Guardian         Date: 30/7/2015


The dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has accused British authorities of turning their backs on human rights defenders after UK immigration officials rejected his application for a six-month business visa, claiming he had not declared a criminal conviction in his home country.

Ai spent 81 days in secret detention in 2011 after being seized by Chinese security agents during a crackdown on activists who Beijing feared were trying launch a “jasmine revolution”.

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July 24th, 2015

Politics, Rumors, and Ambiguity: Tracking Censorship on WeChat’s Public Accounts Platform

By: Jason Q. Ng            Source: Citizen Lab Report           Date: 20/7/2015


  • WeChat (known as Weixin in China) is a mobile application developed by China’s Tencent. In addition to its core chat functionality, it also has a blogging feature known as the public accounts or official accounts platform (微信公众平台).
  • This platform is similar in some ways to Weibo and has recently been the target of official scrutiny.
  • This report offers the first attempt to systematically identify what is censored on this platform. We downloaded over 36,000 unique public account posts between Jun 2014-March 2015, monitoring them over time and tracking whether they were deleted from WeChat.
  • Continue reading

July 23nd, 2015

Ai Weiwei, Chinese Artist and Provocateur, Is Given Back His Passport 


By: Austin Ramzy 王霜舟               Source: New York Times        Date: 23/7/2015


HONG KONG — The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei said he was given back his passport on Wednesday after being barred from traveling abroad since he was detained in 2011 in Beijing.

“Today, I received a passport,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram, along with a photograph that showed him holding the burgundy-colored Chinese travel document.

Mr. Ai, who was a design consultant on the Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing and exhibited his sculptural installation “Sunflower Seeds” at the Tate Modern in London, was detained in 2011 while trying to fly to Hong Kong from Beijing. He was held and interrogated for 81 days and later prosecuted on a charge of tax evasion. A court ruled against him and said his studio owed $2.4 million in penalties and back taxes. Continue reading

July 21st, 2015

Decoding the Chinese Internet eBook (2015 Edition)

Source: China Digital Times (CDT)      Date: 16/7/2015


China Digital Times has released an updated edition of “Decoding the Chinese Internet: A Glossary of Political Slang.” Classic memes, created by Chinese netizens to counter censorship, are joined by 25 new terms in an improved, image-rich format.

China Digital Times maintains a wiki of subversive Chinese Internet language, an essential element of China’s “resistance discourse” which counters state propaganda. This Grass-Mud Horse Lexicon is named after the unofficial mascot of Chinese netizenry, an alpaca whose name sounds nearly the same as a serious profanity. We have added hundreds of terms to the Lexicon, and in 2013 began to publish eBook glossaries of the most time-tested and ubiquitous terms.

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This bibliography, like the project itself, is a work in progress. It will be constantly updated and amended as I come across new journal articles, books, blogs, edited volumes, websites, podcasts and other relevant materials. I hope that it can serve both as a useful teaching resource and as a database for those interested in learning more about how art in China intersects with the internet. New titles and recommendations are warmly welcomed.


Internet Art and Online Visual Culture

Aceti, Balaskas, Jaschko and Stallabrass (eds.), “Red Art: New Utopias in Digital Capitalism”, The Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Jan, 2014), available online at http://www.leoalmanac.org/vol-20-no-1-red-art/

Archey, Karen and Peckham, “Art Post-Internet” an exhibition at UCCA in 2013. Exhibition booklet available at: http://ucca.org.cn/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/PAI_booklet_en.pdf

Bishop, Claire, ‘Digital Divide: Contemporary Art and New Media’, Artforum, September 2012, pp. 434-442

Cornell, Lauren and Halter, Ed (eds.), Mass Effect: art and the internet in the twenty-first century (Cambridge, Mass. 2015)

Fan Yali 范亚丽, “Wangluo yishu yu xin shenmei wutuobang 网络艺术与新审美乌托邦, ‘Net Art and new aesthetic utopias”, Zhengzhou Daxue shuoshi wenlun 郑州大学硕士论文, Master’s thesis from Zhengzhou University”, (2006)

Hillenbrand, Margaret, “Remaking Tank Man, in China”, Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 16, No.2 (2017), pp. 127-166.

Ippolito, Jon, ‘Ten Myths of Internet Art’, Leonardo, Vol. 35, no. 5, 2002, pp. 485–498

Jin Feng, “How Much Space of Exchange is There on the Internet in Relation to Contemporary Art?” in Jörg Huber and Zhao Chuan (eds.), A New Thoughtfulness in Contemporary China. Critical Voices in Art and Aesthetics (Hong Kong Univ. Press, 2011), pp. 179-189

Joselit, David, After Art (Princeton, 2013)

Kholeif, Omar, (ed.), You are here: Art after the Internet (Cornerhouse: Manchester, 2014)

Olia Lialina, Olia and Dragan Espenschied (eds.), Digital Folklore: To Computer Users with Love and Respect (Merz & Solitude: Stuttgart, 2009)

Li Dawei 李大为, “Wangluo yu yishu pin shichang ‘xianglian’ neng zou duo yuan,网络与艺术品市场“相恋”能走多远, ‘How far can the relationship between the art market and the internet go?”, Yishu shichang 艺术市场, ‘Art Market’, No. 3, (2008).

McHugh, Gene, Post Internet: notes on the Internet and Art 12.29.09>09.05.10 (Brescia, 2011)

Olson, Maria, ‘Lost Not Found: The Circulation of Images in Digital Visual Culture’, in Lauren Cornell and Ed Halter (eds.), Mass Effect: Art and The Internet in the Twenty-First Century (The MIT Press: Cambridge, Mass., 2015), pp. 159-167

Stallabrass, Julian, Internet Art: The Online Clash of Culture and Commerce (Tate Publishing, London, 2003)

Steyerl, Hito, ‘In Defense of the Poor Image’, e-flux journal, no. 10, 2009, http://www.e-flux.com/journal/in-defense-of-the-poor-image/

Wu J., “E’gao: Art criticism or evil?”, China Daily, 22 January 2007, Available at: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2007-01/22/content_788600.htm

Wang Qiang 王强, “Wangluo yishu de keneng 网络艺术的可能, ‘The possibility of Internet Art’, Wenyi lilun yu piping 文艺理论与批评, ‘Literary theory and criticism’, No. 5 (2000). Available at http://www.cnki.com.cn/Article/CJFDTotal-WAVE200005028.htm

Wen Jing 闻婧, “Guanyu wangluo yishu yanjiu 关于网络艺术研究, ‘About Internet Art Research’”, Dalian Gongye Daxue 大连工业大学, ‘Dalian University of Technology Master’s Thesis,’,2008. Available online at http://cdmd.cnki.com.cn/Article/CDMD-10152-1014165233.htm

Voci, Paola, China on video: Smaller screen realities (Routledge, 2010)

Sinica Podcast: “From the underground to the Internet – contemporary art in China” http://popupchinese.com/lessons/sinica/from-the-underground-to-the-internet-contemporary-art-in-china

The internet and China

China Media Project: a project of the journalism and media studies centre at the University of Hong Kong http://cmp.hku.hk

Is China’s Internet Becoming an Intranet? A chinafile conversation with George Chen, Charlie Smith, Steve Dickinson, David Schlesinger, Xiao Qiang, Rogier Creemers, David Wertime, January 29, 2015. Available at http://www.chinafile.com/conversation/chinas-internet-becoming-intranet

Creemers, Rogier, China Copyright and Media https://chinacopyrightandmedia.wordpress.com/china-media-law-database/

de Seta, Gabriele, ‘Postdigital wangluo: The Internet in Chinese everyday life’, Anthropology Now, Vol. 7, no. 3, December 2015, pp. 106-117

de Seta, Gabriele and Michelle Proksell, ‘The Aesthetics of Zipai: From Wechat Selfies to Self-Representation in Contemporary Chinese Art and Photography’, Networking Knowledge, Vol. 8, No. 6, 2015, http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/404

deLisle, Jacques, Avery Goldstein, and Guobin Yang (eds.), The Internet, Social Media, and a Changing China (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016)

Herold, David and Peter Marolt, eds, Online society in China: Creating, Celebrating, and Instrumentalizing the Online Carnival (London: Routledge, 2011) 

Hughes C and Wacker G (eds), China and the Internet: Politics of the Digital Leap Forward (London: Routledge, 2003)

Iam Chong-Ip, “Feminist Counter-publics and the Internet in China”, Paper presented at the 2013 IAMCR Conference in Dublin, Ireland, June 25-29 2013. Available online at https://www.academia.edu/3812587/Feminist_Counter_publics_and_the_Internet_in_China 

McDonald, Tom, Social Media in Rural China (UCL Press, 2016) Available online: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-rural-china

McMillan SJ and Hwang JS, “Nailing Jell-O to the wall and herding cats: A content analysis of Chinese and U.S. newspaper coverage of the Internet in China”, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 31(2) (2002), 107–125

Qiu JL, “China and the internet: Technologies of freedom in a statist information society”, in Castells M (ed.) The Network Society: A Global Perspective (London: Edward Elgar, 2004), 99–124

Tai Zixue, The Internet in China: Cyberspace and Civil Society (London: Routledge, 2012)

Tsui L, “The panopticon as the antithesis of a space of freedom: Control and regulation of the internet in China”, China Information: A Journal on Contemporary China Studies 17(2), (2003), 65–82

Tu Bage, ‘Rang zimu fei: Hulianwang “dan mu” shipin quan fangwei jiexi’, Let the Subtitles Fly: A Comprehensive Analysis of Internet “Danmu” Video’, Dazhong Ruanjian, ‘Popular Software’, Vol. 15, 2011, pp. 19–27

Xinyuan Wang, Social Media in Industrial China (UCL Press, 2016) Available online: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucl-press/browse-books/social-media-in-industrial-china

Yang Guobin, The power of the Internet in China (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2009)

Yang Guobin (2011) “Technology and its contents: Issues in the study of the Chinese Internet”,  The Journal of Asian Studies, 70(4), (2011), 1043–50

Yang Guobin (ed.), China’s contested internet (Copenhagen, 2015)

Yuk, Hui, The Question Concerning Technology in China: An Essay in Cosmotechnics (Urbanomic 2016)

Zhang L, “Behind the ‘Great Firewall’: Decoding China’s internet media policies from the inside”, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 12(3) (2006), 271–291

Zhang Tao, “Governance and Dissidence in Online Culture in China: The Case of Anti-CNN and Online Gaming”, Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 30 no. 5, (September 2013) 70-93

Zheng Yongnian, Technological empowerment (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008).

Internet Censorship/ censorship

Abrahamsen. Eric, “The real censors of China”, The New York Times, June 16. 2015. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/17/opinion/the-real-censors-of-china.html?_r=0

An Xiao Mina, “Batman, Pandaman and the Blind Man: A Case Study in Social Change Memes and Internet Censorship in China”, Journal of Visual Culture, vol. 13 no. 3 (December 2014) 359-375

Couldry N (2003) Beyond the hall of mirrors? Some theorectical reflections on the global contesta- tion of media power. In: Couldry N and Curran J (eds) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World. Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield, 39–56.


Dai X, “Chinese politics of the internet: Control and anti-control”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 13(2) (2000), 181–194

Deibert RJ, “Dark guests and great firewalls: The internet and Chinese security policy”, Journal of Social Issues 58(1) (2002), 143–159

Goldkorn, Jeremy (2012) Behind the Great Firewall, in Geremie R. Barmé (ed.), Red rising, red eclipse, (Canberra: ANU, 2012), 170-192

MacKinnon, Rebecca, “China’s censorship 2.0: How companies censor bloggers”, First Monday,14(2) (2009)

MacKinnon, Rebecca (2011), “China’s “networked authoritarianism”, Journal of Democracy 22(2) (2011), 32–46

MacKinnon, Rebecca, Consent of the networked: The worldwide struggle for internet freedom (Basic Books: new York, 2012)

Morozov, Evgeny, The net delusion: the dark side of internet freedom (New york: PublicAffairs, 2011)

Ng, Jason Q.,’Blocked on weibo’:  http://blockedonweibo.tumblr.com

Sautedé, Eric “The Internet in China’s state–society relations: Will Goliath prevail in the chiaroscuro?”, China Information, vol. 27 no. 3 (November 2013), 327-346

Thorton, Patricia M., “Censorship and surveillance in Chinese cyberspace: Beyond the Great Firewall”, in Peter Gries and Stanley Rosen (eds), Chinese politics: State, society and the market, (London: Routledge, 2010), 179–99

Tsui L, ‘The panopticon as the antithesis of a space of freedom: control and regulation of the internet in China’, China Information 17(2) (2003),  65–82.


Tsui L, “An inadequate metaphor: The Great Firewall and Chinese internet censorship”, Global Dialogue, 9(1–2) (2007), 60–68

Weber I and Lu J (2007) Internet and self-regulation in China: the cultural logic of controlled commodification. Media, Culture & Society 29(5): 772–789.


Wines M, “A dirty pun tweaks China’s online censors”, New York Times, 12 March 2009. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/world/asia/12beast.html?_r=1

Xiao Qiang and Perry Link, “In China’s Cyberspace, Dissent Speaks Code”, Wall Street Journal  4/1/2013, Available online http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323874204578219832868014140

Digital Culture

Douglas, Nick, ‘It’s Supposed to Look Like Shit: The Internet Ugly Aesthetic’, Journal of Visual Culture, Vol. 13, no. 3, December 2014, pp. 314-39

Hockx, Michel, Internet literature in China (New York: Columbia University Press, 2015)

Inwood, Heather, Verse gone viral: China’s new media scenes (Univ. of Washington Press, 2014)

Liu Kang, “The Internet in China: Emergent Cultural Formations and Contradictions” in David Leiwei Li (ed), Globalization and the Humanities (Hong Kong: Univ. of Hong Kong Press, 2003), 187-212

Tian Xiaofei, “Slashing the Three Kingdoms: A Case Study of Fan Production on the Chinese Web”, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 27, no.1 (Spring 2015), pp. 224-277


An Xiao Mina, “Going viral: the mimetic world of Ai Weiwei” in Ai Weiwei spatial matters, 444-451

Pickerel W, Jorgensen, H and Bennett L, “Culture jams and meme warfare: Kalle Lasn, Adbusters, and media activism”,(2002) Available at: http://depts.washington.edu/ccce/assets/documents/pdf/culturejamsandmemewarfare.pdf

Szablewicz, Marcella, “The ‘losers’ of China’s Internet: Memes as ‘structures of feeling’ for disillusioned young netizens”, China Information, vol. 28 no. 2, (July 2014) 259-275.

Nooney, Laine and Portwood-Stacer, Laura (eds), themed special edition of the Journal of Visual Culture on Internet Memes, December 2014; 13 (3), available online http://vcu.sagepub.com/content/13/3/248.full.pdf+html

Tang L and Yang P, “Symbolic power and the internet: The power of a ‘horse’”,  Media, Culture & Society, 33(5) (2011), 675–691.

P Yang, L Tang, X Wang, ‘Diaosi as infrapolitics: scatological tropes, identity-making and cultural intimacy on China’s Internet’, Media, Culture & Society 37 (2), (2015), 197-214.


Politics and Satire

Cammaerts B, Jamming the political: Beyond counter-hegemonic practices. Continuum 21(1) (2007), 71–90

Chase M and Mulvenon J, You Have got Dissent!: Chinese Dissident Use of the Internet and Beijing’s Counter-strategies, (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2002)

Davies, Gloria, Worrying about China: The language of Chinese critical inquiry (Cambridge, MA:Harvard University Press, 2007).

Davies, Gloria, “Discontent in digital China”, in Geremie R. Barmé (ed.), Red rising, red eclipse,(Canberra: ANU, 2012), 120–42

Davis, Jessica Milner and Chey, Jocelyn, Humour in Chinese Life and Letters: Modern and Contemporary Approaches (Hong Kong Univ. Press, 2012)

Esarey A and Xiao Q, “Political expression in the Chinese blogsphere: Below the radar”, Asian Survey 48(5) (2008), 752–772

Harold C, “Pranking rhetoric: ‘Culture jamming’ as media activitism”, Critical Studies in Media Communication 21(3) (2004), 189–211

Link P and Zhou K, “Shunkouliu: Popular satirical sayings and popular thought” in Link P, Madsen R and Pickowicz P (eds), Popular China: Unofficial Culture in a Globalizing Society (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 89–110

Meng Bingchun, “From Steamed Bun to Grass Mud Horse: E Gao as alternative political discourse on the Chinese Internet ”, Global Media and Communication, Vol. 7, No. 1(April 2011) 33-51

Nordin, Astrid, “Subverting official language and discourse in China? Type river crab for harmony”, China Information, vol. 28 no. 1, (March 2014) 47-67

Poster M, Information Please: Culture and Politics in the Age of Digital Machines,(Durham: Duke University Press, 2006)

Rea, Christopher, The Age of Irreverence: A New History of Laughter in China (University of California Press, 2015)

Thornton Patricia M., “Framing dissent in contemporary China: Irony, ambiguity and metonymy”, The China Quarterly, 171 (2002), 661–681

Wasserstrom, Jeffrey N. and Elizabeth J. Perry, Elizabeth J.,  (eds), Popular protest and political culture in modern China, 2nd edition, (Boulder: Westview, 1994)

Yang Guobin and Min Jiang, “The networked practice of online political satire in China: Between ritual and resistance”, International Communication Gazette, vol. 77 no. 3 (April 2015), 215-231

Yang Guobin, “Political contestation in Chinese digital spaces: Deepening the critical inquiry”, China Information, vol. 28 no. 2 (July 2014), 135-144

China Digital Times, Decoding the Chinese Internet: a glossary of political slang (2015), available for download here http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2015/07/decoding-the-chinese-internet-ebook-2015-edition/

Social activism

Bennett WL, “New media power: The internet and global activism”, in Couldry N and Curran J (eds.) Contesting Media Power: Alternative Media in a Networked World, (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2003) 17–37

Gleiss, Marielle Stignum, “Speaking up for the suffering (br)other: Weibo activism, discursive struggles, and minimal politics in China”, Media Culture Society, Vol. 37 No. 4 , (May 2015), 513-529

Hancox, Simone, “Art, activism, and the geopolitical imagination: Ai Weiwei’s “Sunflower Seeds”, Journal of Media Practice, 12(3), (2011), 279–90

Marolt, Peter, “Grassroots agency in a civil sphere? Rethinking Internet control in China”, in David K. Herold and Peter Marolt (eds), Online society in China, (London: Routledge, 2011), 53-68

Yang Peidong, Tang Lijun and Wang Xuan, “Diaosi as infrapolitics: scatological tropes, identity-making and cultural intimacy on China’s Internet”, Media Culture Society, vol. 37 no. 2 (March 2015) 197-214

Social Media

Ambrozy, Lee, Introduction, in Ai Weiwei and Lee Ambrozy, Ai Weiwei’s blog, (Cambridge , MA: MIT Press, 2011), xvi–xxviii

Bamman, David, Brendan O’Connor and Noah Smith, “Censorship and deletion practices in Chinese social media”, First Monday Vol.17(3) (2012)

Dean, Jodi, Blog theory (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010)

Goldkorn, Jeremy, “The day Ai Weiwei learned about Twitter”,  Danwei, 25 May 2010. Available at http://www.danwei.org/internet_culture/the_day_ai_weiwei_learned_abou.php,

Hassid, Jonathan, “Safety valve or pressure cooker? Blogs in Chinese political life”,  Journal of Communication 62, (2012), 212–30

He Z, “SMS in China: A major carrier of the nonofficial discourse universe”, The Information Society, 24(3) (2008), 182–190

Jones JP, “A cultural approach to the study of mediated citizenship”, Social Semiotics, 16(2) (2006), 365–383

Lei Guo, “Collaborative efforts: An exploratory study of citizen media in China”, Global Media and Communication, vol. 8 no. 2, (August 2012 ), 135-155

Strafella, Giorgio and Berg, Daria, “’Twitter Bodhisattva’: Ai Weiwei’s Media Politics,”Asian Studies ReviewVolume 39Issue 1, (2015), 138-157

Sullivan, Jonathan (2013) “China’s Weibo: Is faster different?” New Media & Society (in print).

Leibold, James, “Blogging alone: China, the Internet, and the democratic illusion?”, The Journal of Asian Studies 70(4), (2011), 1023–41

Sullivan, Jonathan (2012) “A tale of two microblogs in China”, Media, Culture & Society Vol. 34, 773–83

Yu H., “From active audience to media citizenship: The case of post-Mao China”, Social Semiotics, 16(2) (2006), 303–326


Chan, Dawn, ‘Asia-futurism’, Artforum, Summer 2016, https://www.artforum.com/inprint/issue=201606&id=60088

Zhexi Zhang, Gary, ‘Where Next?: Imagining the Dawn of the Chinese Century’, Frieze, ay 2017 https://frieze.com/article/where-next

Wang, Xin, ‘Asian-Futurism and the Non-Other’ e-flux no. 81 (April 2017) http://www.e-flux.com/journal/81/126662/asian-futurism-and-the-non-other/

Huang, Betsy, Roh, David S. and Niu, Greta A., (eds.), Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media (Rutgers University Press, 2015)





Miao Ying, Net Art and the cultural hybridity of the ‘Chinternet’

Landscape, 2013, GIF installation, reclining chairs, touchpad devices, welcome mat, sheets, crumpled paper

Landscape, 2013, GIF installation, reclining chairs, touchpad devices, welcome mat, sheets, crumpled paper

In this post I’m going to be taking a closer look at the recent works of Miao Ying 苗颖, a young artist whose practice explores the intersections between digital imagery, net art and the co-existent yet often culturally distinct web cultures that have developed within China and beyond the so-called ‘Great Firewall’. In Miao’s work memes, viral images, videos and audio recordings often coalesce in unforeseen and imaginative ways in a process that comments upon both the limitations and the vibrancy of what has affectionately been labelled the ‘Chinternet. ’ 

Born in 1985, Miao graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the New Media Art Department 新媒体艺术系 of the China Academy of Art (CAA) 中国美术学院 in  2007 and an MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University’s School of Art and Design in 2009. She was among the first generation of new media students at CAA to be tutored by the artists Zhang Peili 张培力 and Geng Jianyi 耿建翌, who are widely regarded as pioneers in the field. Indeed CAA’s ‘Intermedia Art Institute’ 跨媒体艺术学院 features a number of prominent artists, curators and critics amongst its permanent teaching staff, from Yang Fudong 杨福东 to Qiu Zhijie 邱志杰, Gao Shiming 高世名 and Wu Meichun 吴美纯. The New Media Art Department encompasses a wide range of disciplines spanning computer programming to animation, photography and video, an interdisciplinarity that is reflected in Miao’s eclectic approach to her practice. Continue reading

July 8th, 2015

Manchester show is a taster of what’s to come at Hong Kong’s vast M+ museum

By: Ben Luke       Source: The Art Newspaper        Date: 1/7/2015


Weng Fen, On the Wall – Shenzhen (I) (2002) from the collection of Uli Sigg

Weng Fen, On the Wall – Shenzhen (I) (2002) from the collection of Uli Sigg

Although M+, Hong Kong’s vast museum for visual arts, does not open until 2019, it is beginning to offer glimpses of what to expect. Eighty pieces from the Swiss collector Uli Sigg’s donation of close to 1,500 works were shown in Umeå, Sweden last year and starting 1 July, a slightly different cluster of works is at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, UK—the last European venue for the display before it begins an Asian tour leading up to the museum’s opening.

Sigg—who initially worked in business in Beijing before becoming the Swiss ambassador there—has built one of the largest and most comprehensive holdings of Chinese contemporary art, after realising in the 1990s that both private and institutional collections of such work had been put together in a “purely random manner”. He began to eschew personal taste as a collector at that point, in order to “mirror the art production of the experimental artists living in the People’s Republic of China chronologically, and across all media”—a mission statement worthy of a museum rather than an individual.
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