Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company)

25.09.2015-10.01.2016 10:00-17:00

Opening: 26.09.2015, 6 pm

In cooperation with the steirischer herbst

Curated by: Katrin Bucher Trantow, Peter Pakesch,


Interview with Alexia Dehaene (MadeIn Company) and Curator Katrin Bucher Trantow about the exhibit

Xu Zhen has been seen for some years as one of the most critical and at the same time most virtuosic of the leading figures of a younger generation of Chinese artists. He has already twice participated in group exhibitions at the Kunsthaus Graz: China Welcomes You (2007) and Life? Biomorphic Forms in Sculpture (2008). His solo show – as his first larger exhibition project adapted for the locality in Europe – is the result of an ongoing engagement with artistic output.


Xu's artistic strategies are thus a mirror of a rapidly evolving Chinese art scene. They employ an 'art of conforming', veering between a partial use of conceptual art up to Re-enactment, with an ironic critique of the system and a craftsman's precision. The often theatrical, highly provocative sculptures, pictures, Performances and films confront contemporary China with social-political and cultural taboos, and more besides.


In Graz, too, the works on show, which can be produced serially in his 'MadeIn Company' (the term refers to the commonly found label 'made in China'), comment on a short-lived, globe-spanning consumerist society. They ask where our behaviour will lead in future and create possible systems offering cultural and spiritual reconciliation.


A catalogue accompanies the exhibition with texts by Christopher Moore, Petra Pölzl, Philip Tinari, and an interview with Xu Zhen conducted by Katrin Bucher Trantow. Preface by curators, Peter Pakesch and Katrin Bucher Trantow. 



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Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company)

Born in 1977, Xu Zhen lives and works in Shanghai as an artist, curator, critic, entrepreneur and networker. From 2001 to 2010 he was Art Director of the BizArt Art Center, the first non-profit Chinese centre for contemporary art for the promotion of new Chinese art and international cultural exchange projects. In 2006 Xu Zhen initiated together with other artists the online platform Art-Ba-Ba, a leading online forum for discussion and critique of contemporary art in Shanghai. In 2009 he founded the 'MadeIn Company' and relinquished his art practice of authorship in favour of a 'company for the creation and the exploration of the endless possibilities of contemporary art and culture'. In 2013 MadeIn Company introduced the ‘Xu Zhen’ brand and a year later founded the MadeIn Gallery.


Xu Zhen, MadeIn Company and Xu Zhen (Produced by MadeIn Company) were exhibited in numerous national and international institutions and biennials, for example as part of the Venice Biennial, Italy (2001, 2005), in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, US (2004), in the Tate Liverpool, UK (2007) as well as in the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2014). In 2015, Xu Zhen’s work is presented at the Kunsthaus Graz, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz (AT) in a solo exhibition developed specially for the location.

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