press release

In coproduction with europalia.china, the Centre for Fine Arts presents a daring group exhibition. The State of Things: Brussels/Beijing brings together about 50 contemporary Belgian and Chinese artists. The works of art have been selected by two internationally renowned artists, Luc Tuymans and Ai Weiwei.

In The State of Things Luc Tuymans and Ai Weiwei set out to take stock of the state of play in the world of contemporary art in China and Belgium. The exhibition is asubjective diagnosis, from the point of view of two artists who are themselves involved in the art market and the international art scene. Confronting the two individual visions of Luc Tuymans and Ai Weiwei brings things sharply into focus. The State of Things looks at how art and the art world in two very different cultural contexts organise and construct their own visibility and image. On the one hand, clichés about national identity are undermined; on the other, it will also become clear just how differently the relationship between fiction and reality is constructed in the two cultures. These are explored in the context of, on the one hand, a booming China, with all its contradictions, and, on the other, tiny – but complex – Belgium.

The current economic crisis, moreover, provides a context that calls for a critical examination of the recent hype about Chinese contemporary art and of the future role of the West, which is gradually losing its dominant position to Asia.

In the summer 2010 the exhibition will travel to the National Art Museum of China in Beijing (to be confirmed).