Suzhou Documents

21.8.2016 bis 20.10.2016 | Suzhou Art Museum, Suzhou/ China

The summer of 2016 does see the inauguration of Suzhou Documents, a large-scale exhibition of contemporary art held at several venues within the city of Suzhou, including the Suzhou Art Museum and Suzhou Industrial Park. Jointly curated by Zhang Qing and Roger M. Buergel, Suzhou Documents features 40 international artists and researchers over a period of two months. The aim of Suzhou Documents is to both access China’s artistic legacy and to comprehend its environmental and technological challenges through the prism of the ancient city of Suzhou. Located in the Jiangsu province some 80 kilometers from Shanghai, Suzhou belongs to China’s most densely populated area.

As a starting point for the Silk Road that once connected China with Persia, India and Europe, Suzhou flourished as the undisputed cultural capital of Ming Dynasty-China (1400-1700). Connected with the Yangtze River, Suzhou saw off the fleet of Zheng He, a Chinese Muslim admiral whose early-15th century maritime expeditions brought Imperial China in contact with India and coastal East Africa (present-day Yemen and Sudan). Suzhou Documents will address Suzhou as a centuries-old but also futurist global hub, exploring through artistic and other speculative means a largely unwritten history of transcultural encounters between East and West in all their vagaries, conflicting timelines and unforeseeable beauties.

After the first edition in the summer of 2016, Suzhou Documents will be developed into a series of exhibitions (or an institution in its own right) destined to move beyond the largely exhausted biennale-type exhibition model with its bouquet of arbitrary themes and emphasis on spectacle. Instead Suzhou Documents looks to Cultural Objects from Wuzhong – a highly popular exhibition from 1937 (shortly before the Japanese invasion) that displayed the intellectual and material resources of Suzhou’s luminaries in a conceptual manner.



John Akomfrah (UK/Ghana), Ibon Aranberri (Spain), Maja Bajević (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Thomas Bayrle (Germany), Tiffany Chung (Vietnam) , Maya Deren (USA), Gonzalo DĂ­az (Chile), Sheela Gowda (India), Tina Gverović (Croatia), Kyungah Ham (South Korea) , Hu Rongsheng (China) , Hu Xiangcheng (China), ISOZAKI (Japan), Yong-ik Kim (South Korea), Sakarin Krue-On (Thailand), Leung Mee Ping (China Hong Kong), Liu Ye (China), Liu Yue (China), Lv Meili (China), Ma Baozhong (China) , NC Group, Pei Yongmei (China) , Willem de Rooij (The Netherlands), Sigrid Sandström (Sweden), Imogen Stidworthy (UK), JĂŒrgen Stollhans (Germany), Sun Zhezheng (China), Tang Yingshan (China), Franco Viola (Italy), Vo Tran Chau (Vietnam), Simon Wachsmuth (Germany), Xu Bing (China), Xu Jiang (China), Yang Fudong (China), Haegue Yang (South Korea), Yu Xuhong (China), Yue Minjun (China), Zheng Mahler (Hong Kong)


Suzhou Art Museum, Pu Garden, Suzhou Silk Museum, Twin-Pagoda, Yan Wenliang Memorial Museum, Wu Zuoren Art Museum