Sunday, November 21, 2010

Three museums

Yesterday went to Today Art Museum, Beijing's first non-Governmental art museum, but not for an exhibition. A was invited to a birthday party masquerading as a pottery class in an adjacent studio. While she did that, we wandered around the vicinity which is full of small commercial galleries, cafes and art-related shops... although it could do with some people too. A made a large cup, with a handle which we hope will stay on when it comes out of the kiln.

In the afternoon I finally got to visit CAFA Art Museum, which is part of the Central Academy of Fine Arts campus, out in the north-east of the city. It's an impressive new (2008) building with an armadillo-like roof and large white galleries, designed by Arati Isozaki. Two good photography shows plus the V&A's Decode exhibition of digital art and a nice cafe if you don't mind paying £3.50 for a latte.

Today it was N's turn to be dropped off at a party, so the rest of us went to the National Art Museum near the Forbidden City. This is a more 'establishment' affair and currently features a sprawling Exhibition for the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Beijing Federation of Literary and Art Circle - which is as exciting as it sounds, basically hundreds of large oil paintings. Couldn't have been more unlike the above museums if it tried. But there was some interesting stuff and they do show more contemporary and international work as well.

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