M WOODS New Venue in Chengdu, China

M WOODS museum is pleased to announce that our new museum site in Chengdu, M WOODS People’s Park, will be open to the public in the summer of 2023!

Since 2014, M WOODS has been committed to invigorating the community by bringing the best in art to the local audience. As a crucial component of Chengdu’s Tianfu Culture Park Project, as well as a key deployment of M WOODS’ national strategic plan of “Three Cities, Four Museums,” themuseum’s new site in Chengdu will be the first step for M WOODS museum to expand its reach beyond Beijing and to a wider audience in China. M WOODS People’s Park will continue to uphold the museum’s mission by presenting a year-round program of exhibitions, performances, music, live events, and talks.

Located in the historical “100-year old street” of Citang (Ancestral Hall) Street, M WOODS People’s Park is positioned nearby the Sichuan Provincial Art Museum, Chengdu Museum, Sichuan Provincial Library, Kuanzhai Alley and other major city landmarks. Designed by Zheng Yong, chief architect of China Architecture Southwest Design and Research Institute, and his studio, the main building of the museum has 3 floors and covers an area of about 4,000 square meters, including exhibition galleries, public education spaces, as well as cafes, bookstores and other creative and innovative enterprises.

As part of the Ancestral Street Project, M WOODS will collaboratewith TASCHEN, innerflow, Guanxia, Patagonia among others, to create a rich cultural experience for the local community.

Past Exihibition

M WOODS 798  

Ann Veronica Janssens: pinkyellowblue
30 June 2023 – 26 November 2023
M WOODS 798, Beijing, China
Curated by Victor Wang, Artistic Director and Chief Curator, M WOODS

Past Exhibitions

M WOODS 798  

Genieve Figgis: Drama Party

2023.04.15 - 2023.06.04
Curated by Qi Yuanlin, Deng Yingy

Previous Exhibitions

M WOODS Publication

M WOODS Publishing Program.


Live events, music, performances, parties
M WOODS 798 and M WOODS Hutong

M WOODS Education 

M WOODS Education Program

M WOODS Tongue

M Woods Tongue restaurant

Current Exihibition

M WOODS Chengdu

Ryuichi Sakamoto | SOUND AND TIME

30 July, 2023 - 5 January, 2024
M WOODS (People’s Park), Chengdu

With collaborative works by Shiro Takatani | Daito Manabe | Zakkubalan | Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Curated by Sachiko Namba and Victor Wang

Exhibition Director: Deng Yingying

Previous Exhibitions


M WOODS Collection and F.A.T.  

M WOODS Conversations

M WOODS Conversations is a new platform to the museum that brings together well-known figures in the fields of art, culture, design, ecology, and other subjects.  M WOODS 798 and M WOODS Hutong 

Inaugural M WOODS Scholarship

The M WOODS Scholarship is a new fully-funded scholarship for two deserving applicants from China, or of Chinese decent, to attend a two-year program of their choice at The New Centre for Research & Practice.

Online  Projects

Art Is Still Here: A Hypothetical Show for a Closed Museum
2020 FEB 13 – ONGOING


Past Special Projects

Organs Underground

Date: 2020.10.30 — 2021.12.13

Council Acknowledgement

M Woods expresses our deep gratitude to all members of the Council for their continued support of the museum, and in helping us build a modern and contemporary institution that supports artists and art enthusiasts. We sincerely thank you for your time in discussing and supervising the development of M Woods Museum. Your influence and expertise in various areas and topics have helped us grow to international prominence.

We are grateful that you have decided to take this exciting journey with us, and we look forward to sharing the growth of M Woods Museum with you in the future.

List of Councils

杜杰 Du Jie  

关东元 Guan Dongyuan

洪俊伊 Jevin Hong

洪艳霞 Hong Yanxia

李侃侃 Kevin Li

李詠能 Li Yongneng

李战豪 Li Zhanhao

林霄 Lin Xiao

罗旭东 Luo Xudong

区结萍 Sabrina Ou

欧阳昆仑 Ouyang Kunlun

孙祎 Sun Yi  &  Karen Liu

刘杨 Vincent Liu

元冰 Yuan Bing

张楠 Zhang Nan

周小波 Patrick Chou & 周秀丽 Shoe-li Chou

About M WOODS  



798 Art Zone D-06,
No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing


M WOODS Chengdu (People’s Park)

Located in the historical “100-year old street” of Citang (Ancestral Hall) Street. 

Chengdu, China. 

M WOODS Collection

M WOODS Museum is the leading museum of contemporary art in China. At the heart of M WOODS museum lies a dedication to preserving, interpreting, and expanding art beyond traditional boundaries. The collection embraces diverse cultural perspectives, showcasing artists like Kader Attia and Danh Võ, alongside Buddhist sculptors from the Northern Qi Dynasty, and contemporary works by Olafur Eliasson and Yang Fudong, to name a few. M WOODS Museum primarily aims to actively promote and support contemporary art within the local community. M WOODS Museum not only focuses on actively promoting and supporting contemporary art locally but also serves as a venue and platform for international artists to receive their first institutional exhibitions. This commitment encompasses featuring works by both emerging and established Chinese artists, creating a space for experimentation and innovation, and offering a platform for local artists to achieve recognition both in China and abroad.

Kader Attia, “We Want to be Modern”, 2014, Permanent installation at M WOODS 798.

M WOODS Temple Galleries (M WOODS Art Community, LongFu Building).

M WOODS 2019 Staff Photo

M WOODS operates as a not-for-profit organization, sustained through the generous contributions of its members, donors, and sponsors. This support is crucial for maintaining its programs, operations, and facilities. You can support M WOODS in several ways: by volunteering your time at the museum, becoming a member, or by joining our network of sponsors and partners.

Museum Volunteer

M WOODS recruits for volunteers throughout the year. To apply to be a Museum Volunteer, please send a short resume and a photograph of yourself to hr@mwoods.org.

Sponsorships and Partnerships

If you are interested in partnering or collaborating with M WOODS, please call +86 10 83123452 or email sponsorship@mwoods.org


798 Art Zone D-06, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing

开放时间 Opening Hours:

周二-周日 Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00

(最后入场时间 Last Admission 18:00)

每周一闭馆 Closed on Mondays

M WOODS Chengdu,

Building 1 & 2, Citang Street, Qingyang District,
Chengdu, Sichuan 610015,

People’s Republic of China

开放时间 Opening Hours:

周二-周日 Tue-Sun 11:00-19:00

(最后入场时间 Last Admission 18:00)

每周一闭馆 Closed on Mondays


798 Art Zone D-06,
No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing
Opening hours:
Tue-Thu 11:00-19:00
Fri-Sun   11:00-20:00


Qianliang Hutong 38, Building 3,
Longfusi St 95, Dongcheng, Beijing
Opening hours:
Tue-Sun 10:00-20:00  (last admission 19:00)
Online Purchase


798 Art Zone D-06,
No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing
(Behing M WOODS 798 Location)


Qianliang Hutong 38, Building 3,
Longfusi St 95, Dongcheng, Beijing
(Underneath M WOODS Hutong)

M WOODS Shop sells a constantly evolving set of products including art and design objects, books, gifts, exhibition-related materials and M WOODS merchandise. Proceeds from M WOODS merchandise go directly towards the museum's programme and development.
For more information, please contact:  shop@mwoods.org

Trance: Tianzhuo Chen Solo Exhibition


M WOODS is delighted to present Trance, a solo exhibition by artist Tianzhuo Chen in the museum’s location in 798 Art Zone. This exhibition will be Chen’s largest solo exhibition in China to date, and centers around a new 12-hour long performance of the same name. Presenting new work in conjunction with some of Chen’s most representative pieces, the exhibition will provide a comprehensive overview of the artist’s multidisciplinary practice that combines moments from previous exhibitions and performances from 2014 to the present.

Artists based in China that have grown up after the turn of the millennium are, in many ways, the country’s first generation of contemporary art creators with a diverse global vision. With cultural background and identity no longer isolated topics in need of clarification, these artists engage with a wide array of subjects within the framework of a broader social, political, and economic context. Having established a distinct voice in contemporary art, Tianzhuo Chen adopts an eclectic and multidisciplinary practice that includes performance, installation, video, photography, and work on paper, oftentimes skilfully merging all these elements in his complex and hypnotic all-encompassing performances that blur the boundaries between exhibition and theater.

Appearing within his work are fragmented pieces of information and symbols derived from sources such as electronic music, religion, club culture, cartoons, and Butoh, a form of Japanese dance theater. These wide-ranging and seemingly disparate sources are synthesized effortlessly by the artist to unpredictable and surprising chemistry. It is a process not unlike our own experiences surfing the web, where similarly, a vast array of information and material is available to be seen, used, and absorbed, all at the click of a mouse. Thus, although Chen’s work can be puzzling in its novelty and absurdity, it is not the artist’s intention to induce confusion, or to force viewers to unpack the meanings of each symbol and detail in order to understand his work. Rather, Chen seeks to create an alternative world, ambiguous in nature and situated somewhere between everyday reality and illusion, which demands the visitor’s visual, aural, and total physical sensory experience. Throughout Chen’s diverse and eclectic practice, what emerges as a constant is his intense – at times even overwhelmingly so – visual imagery, and their persistent reflection on the absurdity of life and death.

Over the course of three days, Chen’s artistic style and energy will be put to the stage in the brand-new performance piece Trance (2019), during the exhibition’s opening. With each performance lasting 12 hours and taking place once per day, this marathon-like performance project is the artist’s first trial after many years of preparation. Unbound by traditional genres of theatre, dance, or musical opera, Trance takes the entire museum as its stage, and presents six stories, all of which are related to human illusions, and previous artworks. Rather than adhering to established conventions of narrative, chronology, or delineation between work and the environment it is situated in, Chen immerses audiences in a spatially and temporally de-centralized performance, where visitors are free to wander for the entire 12-hour duration as if in an aimless stream of consciousness. Eventually, Chen expects viewers will cross a threshold, whereby they are no longer in control and enter a “state of trance” induced by their perceptions. After the first three days of live performances, a related video work will be created and exhibited in the central hall of the museum during the course of the exhibition.

Taking Trance as the starting point, M WOODS invites audiences to immerse themselves in the world of Tianzhuo Chen: in his rebellion against cultural monotony and stereotypical interpretation, and in his persistent search for sincere, genuine modes of expression.


Tianzhuo Chen (b.1985) graduated from Central St. Martins, and Chelsea College of Arts, London. He currently lives and works in Beijing, China. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at Kunsthalle Winterthur (2017); Long March Space, Beijing (2016); chi K11 art museum, Shanghai (2016); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015). Chen has participated in many international exhibitions including the Guangzhou Airport Biennale (2019); Athens Biennale (2018); Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art (2018); Biennale of Contemporary Arts, Portugal (2017); and the Shanghai Biennale (2016). His performance works have been staged at the Broad Museum, Los Angeles; the Barbican Centre, London; Theater Der Welt, Hamburg; and the Tokyo Festival, amongst many others.

Art Is Still Here: A Hypothetical Show for a Closed Museum 

Here at M WOODS we recognize that the current health emergency in China has affected our communities and has forced many of our museums, institutions and galleries to close, leaving a space in which the arts can comment and reflect.

As a public museum, we ask how we then experience art during times of institutional closure: what are the forms that art and art museums must take when galleries become inaccessible to the public?

In light of this, M WOODS will present ‘Art Is Still Here: A Hypothetical Show for a Closed Museum’, an online exhibition of moments and happenings – contributions of artworks, videos, photographs, words, poems, instructions and thoughts – by artists and thinkers around the theme of ecology, nature, extinction, isolation and kinship, curated by our Artistic Director and Chief Curator Victor Wang.

Conceived as a long-term visual project that will virtually occupy both M WOODS museum locations (798 and Hutong), this experimental exhibition will unfold over a period of several weeks: different galleries of the museum will be open virtually, with accompanying artworks presented online through the museum’s online platforms – Weibo, WeChat, Instagram and Facebook – throughout the duration of the show. 

In the context of Mainland China, social media has now become a very powerful tool in sharing information and connecting communities both locally and internationally during the quarantine period.  With no end date set for this project, the timeframe is contingent on the opening of our museums and public institutions, and therefore artists will continuously be invited to participate.

Through this activity we hope to continue our mission of working with artists to provide art for the public, making it accessible at all times and in all circumstances.

[Opening February 13 – Continuous ]

With Contributions By:


Allora and Calzadilla

Annika Eriksson

Babi Badalov

Basim Magdy

Cerith Wyn Evans

Cheng Ran

Chulayarnnon Siriphol

Colectivo Los Ingrávidos

Daniel Steegmann Mangrané

Éléonore Saintagnan & Grégoire Motte

Fan Xi

Fang Di

Haroon Mirza

Hu Xiaoyuan

Huang Rui

Jonathas de Andrade

Katja Novitskova

Lawrence Abu Hamdan

Lawrence Lek

Li Binyuan

Lin Tianmiao

Li Tingwei

Liu Shiyuan

Lu Pingyuan

Lu Yang

Miao Ying

Michael Najjar


Oscar Murillo

Patty Chang

Raqs Media Collective

Reynier Leyva Novo

Richard Tuttle

Robert Zhao Renhui

Solange Pessoa

Stephanie Comilang

Sun Xun

Tania Bruguera

Timur Si-Qin

Victoria Sin

Xiang Jing

Xie Nanxing

Yang Yuanyuan

Yang Zhenzhong

Yu Ji

Zadie Xa

Zhang Enli

Zhang Peili

Zhao Zhao

AND more artists and contributions to be announced throughout the week!

Click here to enter the galleries:
WEEK 1, ROOM 1【0213AC】

WEEK 2, ROOM 2【02203AL】

WEEK 3, ROOM 3【0227BS】

WEEK 4, ROOM 4【0305FV】

WEEK 5, ROOM 5【0319HZ】

WEEK 6, ROOM 6【0326BY】

WEEK 7, ROOM 7【0402ZZ】

WEEK 8, ROOM 8【0409KZ】

WEEK 9, ROOM 9【0416LY】

NABUQI: A Question is Also a Form of Sculpture

Can an exhibition also be a form of sculpture, or, perhaps, can a question?

Curated by Victor Wang
M WOODS 798, BeijingMarch 22 - June 30, 2024

Take a step back with M WOODS as we circle around the first major mid-career survey of local Chinese artist Nabuqi—a comprehensive exhibition that when seen from one angle functions as sculpture, however, when viewed from another a ‘sculptural study’ appears with the shift of gaze, one that explores a decade of her artistic inquiry into sculpture and its transformation amidst the rise of manufactured and mass-produced goods.

Curated by Victor Wang, M WOODS’ Artistic & Executive Director, and developed closely with the artist over the past year, this experimental mid-career survey unfolds as a multi-sided object. Further, on each surface of this object, a series of ‘sculptural zones’ materialize, developing the ideas and questions Nabuqi has explored through her art. In total, the curator and artist have selected over 40 pivotal works by Nabuqi, that come together to create this unique physical experience.

The exhibition is constructed into two central thematic sections. The first floor of the museum is defined by a new large-scale Central Hall sculpture commission, a microcosm of a larger system that adopts a green screen-like outdoor environment, effectively turning the main gallery into an interactive public space. Here, audiences venture both inside and outside simultaneously, challenging the conventional separation of urban and rural areas. The Central Hall becomes both an interior world unto itself and a manufactured outside world, filtered through a monument that emphasizes the interconnections between public space and sculpture. 

The second floor offers an overview of the last decade of Nabuqi's work. It foregrounds key questions in Nabuqi’s art, such as the ability of sculpture to maintain its unique artistic identity in an era dominated by manufactured and mass-produced goods. Additionally, it provides insights into the artist's continuous exploration of landscapes and nature as sculptural entities, showcased through a diverse presentation of Nabuqi's works. This curated look into the past features a selection of important works from 2014-2024, such as the A View Beyond Space series (NO.1, NO.4, NO.5, and NO.7-12). Featured pieces like A View Beyond Space No.4 and No.8 (Swiss Cheese Plant in a Plate) underscore Nabuqi's investigation into sculpture as a medium for interpreting the complex layers of urbanized nature. A View Beyond Space No.4, a meticulously constructed stainless steel landscape, reminiscent of a city skyline, immediately conjures thoughts of urban environments, representing the continual encroachment of urban structures into natural landscapes. In contrast, the 2022 bronze sculpture No.8 (Swiss Cheese Plant in a Plate) presents a fragmented tropical flowering plant. Its bronze sheen highlights the transformation of the Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) into an aesthetic object, bridging the stark, manufactured world of contemporary sculpture with the domestication and rapid cultivation of this popular indoor house plant. Additionally, the East Gallery on the second floor will showcase the interactive, large-scale work Board Game: Accidental Cases from 2022. This piece emphasizes play and participation, offering a unique, hands-on experience with the artwork.

To accompany the exhibition, a comprehensive exhibition catalogue will be produced, documenting Nabuqi's works alongside a series of commissioned essays. Further, a series of events will also be held at the museum, designed to deepen public engagement with the artist's work and offer a closer examination into her decade-spanning practice.

About Artist

What we perceive as real, the psychological nature of how we engage with objects and material, are running threads throughout the works of

Nabuqi (b. 1984 Inner Mongolia, lives Beijing).

Ranging from handmade sculptures to installations made from assembling readymades, there is a pull for the viewer to engage with detail and context, to be attuned to and reflect upon the spectrum between artificial and actual. As such, Nabuqi creates realms that prompt our understanding of the world around us and engage us in a play of spatial politics. Nabuqi plays with the optics and spectrum of observation, the programming that we accept and also question. Through addressing the familiar - nature, domesticity - the viewer is more deeply engaged in considering ‘presence’, how one perceives what is in front of them at present, what it was before and will be in the future. Nabuqi’s elaborate installations thus point to our epistemological idiosyncrasies and prompt, with wit and theatricality, a reflection on our constructed norms. 

Nabuqi graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2013. Nabuqi’s work has been widely exhibited in notable international exhibitions including: “Everything goes back to square one”, (West Bund Museum, Shanghai, 2022); “Mirror Image: A Transformation of Chinese Identity”, (Asia Society Museum, New York, 2022); “Feeling the Stones: The First Diriyah Biennial” (2021); “Noire Lumière”, (HOW Art Museum, Shanghai, 2020); “Study of Things. Or A Brief Story about Fountain, Brick, Tin, Coin, Wax, Stone, Shell, Curtain and Body”, (Guangdong Times Museum, Guangdong, 2020); 58th Venice Biennale “May You Live In Interesting Times” (2019); “Cold Nights” (UCCA Art Centre, Beijing, 2017); “Absent Paragraph” (Museum Beelden aan Zee, Den Haag, 2017); “Any Ball” (Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, 2017); the 11th Shanghai Biennale “Why Not Ask Again: Arguments, Counter-arguments, and Stories” (2016) and the 11th Gwangju Biennale “The Eighth Climate (What Does Art Do?)” (2016). She was nominated for the 2016 Art Sanya Huayu Youth Award.


Upcoming Exhibition

Florian Krewer:Nice Dog

M WOODS 798, Beijing

02 December 2023 – 02 March 2024
Curated by Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator, White Columns, and Victor Wang, artistic & executive director, M WOODS Museum

M WOODS Museum proudly presents “Nice Dog,” the most comprehensive survey of the paintings of Florian Krewer (b. 1986, Gerolstein, Germany) to date, and the artist’s first institutional solo exhibition in Asia. The exhibition is a collaboration with the Aspen Art Museum, which showed the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in the United States earlier this year.With the New York night as his muse, Krewer paints all the vastness, liberation, and uncertainty it has to offer. Derived from lived experiences and fantasy, the artist creates a seductive world of magical encounters set against the staged backdrops of imagined landscapes and interiors. Primal needs, longing, and precarious interactions are depicted with the greater intention of revealing our collective vulnerabilities.

Exploring the last six years of Krewer’s career, the exhibition features new paintings alongside a selection of paintings from collections around the world. It charts Krewer’s journey since his 2017 graduation from Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studied under the artist Peter Doig. Krewer’s more recent paintings reflect the relentless and often anxious energy of New York, his newfound home.

In the museum’s galleries artworks are thematically and biographically gathered, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a memory within a dream. In a significant context, Krewer's move from his homeland of Germany to New York City intersected with a turbulent period globally, marked by the unprecedented challenges of a pandemic. Notably, the incorporation of chained fences in his exhibition serves not just as a metaphorical barrier representing his own journey and the world's recent upheavals, but also as a transparent veil of the city, both guiding the viewer through the space while encapsulating the mood of Krewer's works from 2019-2022—a series deeply imbued with raw emotion, capturing the tension of a world in flux.

Exhibited in the urban sprawl of Beijing’s 798 district, the exhibition is punctuated by never-before-seen photographs by Krewer. These images, taken by Krewer, captures the off-beat pulse of city life, portraying figures in varying states of stress and release, ready for the night. Also on display will be a series of works on paper from 2019-2020 that capture raw and intimate moments in oil and graphite. Artworks are deliberately hung lower, fostering a more intimate connection with Krewer's characters that twist, merge, and engage with animals and shadows.

"Nice dog", the 2019 painting by Krewer, lends its title to the exhibition at M WOODS museum, adding a dimension of intriguing intimacy between humans and animals to the show. The dominant haunting figure in the painting, shrouded in black with only hints of facial features visible, emanates an air of solitude and contemplation, while the poised white dog at its feet offers a semblance of loyalty and perhaps protection. The vibrant cerise line that contours the dark figure adds depth, suggesting an unseen tether or a glimmering aura of protection. Much like "everybody rise" depicts moments of solace amidst a bustling cityscape, "Nice dog" captures a silent moment of introspection amidst dark chaos. Through Krewer's signature style of contrasting heavy tones and unruly figures, the painting, and by extension, the exhibition, encapsulates the intricacies of human connections that awaken at night and the dim-lit conversations between beings that blur the line between personal desires and societal expectations, revealing how solitude can sometimes converge with companionship.

The exhibition is guest curated by Matthew Higgs, director and chief curator, White Columns with Victor Wang, artistic & executive director, M WOODS Museum.

About the Artist

Florian Krewer’s work is held in important public collections worldwide. Recent solo exhibitions include light the ocean, Michael Werner Gallery, New York; everybody rise, Aspen Art Museum; Es liebt Dich und Deine Körperlichkeit ein Verwirrter, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; and ride or fly, Michael Werner Gallery, London. The artist is the 2022 recipient of the Prix Jean-François Prat awarded by the Bredin Prat Foundation, Paris, and currently lives and works in the South Bronx, New York.

About Aspen Art Museum

Located in Aspen, Colorado, USA, Aspen Art Museum is an artist-founded institution dedicated to supporting artists in the development of bold ideas to shape our museum and the field of art today. As an exhibition-focused, non-collecting museum, we are positioned to make strong commitments to meaningful exchange, both responding to—and driving—cultural change.

With special support from Michael Werner Gallery.

Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness
Curated by Victor Wang
December 6, 2020 – June 14, 2021

M WOODS is proud to present the first museum exhibition in China of the work of the celebrated Italian artist Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964).

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Morandi was born on July 20, 1890, in Bologna, Italy, and spent nearly all his life there, working quietly in a modest studio and apartment that he shared with his three sisters. Morandi’s acclaimed small-scale and contemplative landscapes and still life depictions of commonplace objects traverse a space of poetics that can be compared with what the poet T.S. Eliot described as ‘the intersection of the timeless with time’.[1]

The survey exhibition at M WOODS, Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness, explores six decades of Morandi’s practice across over eighty works, from his early life, when he first exhibited in Bologna in 1914, and was heavily influenced by avant-garde art movements like Cubism and Futurism, to the period between 1930 and 1956, when Morandi was professor of etching at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, and his later work in the 1960s just before his death. As the first museum solo exhibition of Morandi’s work in China, the show also considers Morandi’s silent investigations of form, meditative repetition of still life and introspective compositions in parallel with concepts of timelessness in both European and traditional Chinese thought and philosophy.

Just as the ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos, the former describing chronological time and the latter referring to the qualitative nature of time, a special moment or event in time, Morandi’s work also departs from classical temporal categories to create deep spaces of contemplation at the height of early twentieth-century war and conflict. Rather than following a chronological approach, the exhibition is assembled with reference to Morandi’s still life compositions. That is, in the same way that the artist arranged a series of different objects to create a single image, the galleries of the museum will be divided into different themes that expand on specific elements of Morandi’s practice, such as his use of repetition and recurrence throughout his career, or his long-term investigation into the natural scenery in Grizzana,  to bring together a portrait of the artist’s career through work in different mediums and from different periods of his life.

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

[1] Pedro Blas González,, ‘Time and Permanence in T. S. Eliot’s Four Quartets’, Oct 27, 2014, Russell Kirk Center, available at: https://kirkcenter.org/essays/time-permanence-eliot-four-quartets/

These themes are divided into four main sections: ‘Transitions’, ‘Recurrence’, ‘Landscapes’(Paesaggi e fiori), and ‘Late Works on Paper’.  Morandi once said “the feelings and images that the visible world awakens in us are very difficult to express or are perhaps inexpressible with words, because they are determined by forms, colors, space and light”.[1] For the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, the transcendental was a way to understand the boundary of things in the perceivable world, and he suggested that we can only understand space and time through our interaction with, and perception of, objects and things.[2] This section of the exhibition will trace the important transitions and formative influences on Morandi’s linguaggio formale, his formal language, through several key works such as  Still Life, 1914, one of his earliest still life paintings and Natura Morta con Bottiglia e Brocca, 1915, both works the artist made just before he was called up to fight in World War I, and Still Life, 1928, one of Morandi’s best known compositions that displays lingering visual elements from when Morandi was briefly associated with the Metaphysical Painting movement in Italy that embraced transcendental ideas of reality and objects. Also on show are Morandi’s more unusual still life paintings of shells, alongside his etchings and oil paintings of table tops with bottles, boxes, vases and flowers, that reflect both the shift in the political environment of the time, exemplified by artistic movements such as Strapaese, and a return to more regional modes of art that challenge the understanding of objects beyond their direct meaning or their perceived nature in the world, into a space that neither words nor cultural significance alone, as Morandi shows, can fully describe.  

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, (Recurrence Gallery), courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Morandi’s method of continuously repeating still life compositions and subjects, or “serial variations”,[3] is highlighted in the section entitled ‘Recurrence’ and traced through the evolution of two specific objects: the white bottle and cylindrical white vase as seen in works such as Still Life, 1956. The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche described recurrence and timelessness as cyclical: not in terms of how long something lasts in the world, but in how things repeat again in time, and the many ways in which things are continued or passed on through time. “A white bottle is all that remains”,[4] Morandi said in 1962. For Morandi the use of repetition was key, and the same set of objects was revisited by the artist again and again in paintings and etchings. This section will highlight a series of works that centre on Morandi’s arrangements of vases and bottles from the 1920s to the 1960s, in addition to works from the late 1940s, when he received the First Prize for painting at the 1948 Venice Biennale.

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, (‘Landscapes’ (Paesaggi e fiori)), courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

‘Landscapes’ (Paesaggi e fiori), will highlight Morandi’s long-term investigation into the natural scenery in Grizzana and Bologna, and his innovative landscape paintings and etchings that reveal his fascination with the outdoors and Bologna’s urban landscapes. Here we will show key works such as Landscape of Grizzana, 1913, the artist’s second etching ever made. A specific gallery within this theme will also be dedicated to Morandi’s exploration of flowers in still life, with works such as Flowers, 1952, a subject that the artist was deeply passionate about.[5] Morandi became familiar with the work of French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists such as Claude Monet and Paul Cézanne through exhibitions in Venice and Rome, but he travelled very little in his lifetime, and only crossed the Italian border a few times. This section will display paintings, drawings and etchings immortalizing the natural scenery in Grizzana, a town at the foot of the northern Apennines in Emilia-Romagna where Morandi spent the summer months, alongside his paintings of casas colonicas (farmhouses) and landscapes and sketches made from his studio window in Bologna.

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

With special thanks to the Morandi family; Collezione Augusto e Francesca Giovanardi, Milano; Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m., Bologna/Milano/Paris; Institutional Collection and Private Collections, China; Private Collections, courtesy Imago Art Gallery-Lugano, Switzerland.

[1] “STILL LIFE”, (NATURA MORTA), 1942, “A Backward Glance: Giorgio Morandi and the Old Masters”, Guggenheim Bilbao, 2019

[2] Nicholas F. Stang, ‘Kant’s Transcendental Idealism’, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2018), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2018/entries/kant-transcendental-idealism/>.

[3] Giorgio Morandi: 1890-1964: Nothing Is More Abstract Than Reality, (exhibition catalogue), edited by Maria Cristina Bandera and Renato Miracco (Milan: Skira; London: Thames and Hudson, 2008), p. 260

[4] Giorgio Morandi: 1890-1964: Nothing Is More Abstract Than Reality, p.280

[5] Giorgio Morandi: 1890-1964: Nothing Is More Abstract Than Reality, p. 49

1)  Natura morta con bottiglia e brocca, 1915
2) Flowers, 1942
3) Still life, 1960
4) Still life, 1938
5) Still life, 1950-1951
6) Landscape, 1928
7) Still life, 1914
8) Flowers, 1952
9-15) *

*Installation view, ‘Giorgio Morandi: The Poetics of Stillness’, courtesy M WOODS 798, Beijing, 2021. Photo by M WOODS photography team

Images courtesy of the Collezione Augusto e Francesca Giovanardi, Milano; Galleria d’Arte Maggiore g.a.m., Bologna/Milano/Paris; Institutional Collection and Private Collections, China; Private Collections, courtesy Imago Art Gallery-Lugano, Switzerland. All images © Morandi family/SIAE, Rome.

Collective Care: A House with Many Guests
Date: 2020.06.12 - 2020.09.13
Location: M WOODS 798

With artworks by: Kader Attia, Pierrette Bloch, Gustave Courbet, Martin Creed, Dong Dawei, Tomoo Gokita, Katharina Grosse, Gu Changwei, Charles Harlan, He Xiangyu, Jeppe Hein, David Hockney, Pierre Huyghe, Raoul de Keyser, Austin Lee, Li Ming, Pixy Liao, Liu Heung Shing, Paul McCarthy, Sabine Moritz, MR., Nicolas Party, Alex Prager, Robin Rhode, Sterling Ruby, Nicola Samorì, Taca Sui, Wolfgang Tillmans, Dahn Vo, Guo Xi, Wang Yin, Cristof Yvoré, Yu Ji, Zhou Siwei, Zhou Tao.

If, as independent exhibition designer Harald Szeemann suggested in the 1980s, a museum is a ‘house for art’, then what is the museum in 2020?

As M WOODS’s first exhibition in our 798 location since its temporary closure in early January, we look to collectivism and networks of sharing collections locally as a relevant model for exhibition-making in China during our new distinctive post-Covid-19 present.

Collective Care: A House with Many Guests invites eight local collections to be presented alongside the museum’s collection in an exhibition that crosses chronological boundaries as well as conventional stylistic categories by displaying both art objects in a variety of mediums and periods, from installation art to Chinese antiques, alongside non-art objects from the early 1990s to the present.

Divided into separate autonomous spaces, the exhibition asks how museums might become more open spaces comprised of intersecting voices and fingerprints, while also looking into the concept of care, as a crucial component to every museum and collection moving forward.

Imagining a new ‘local turn’, Collective Care: A House with Many Guests is both an exhibition and a model of sharing collections that works locally and within a collecting network of sympathetic individuals and guests. Showing that hospitality, as French philosopher Jacques Derrida suggested, “can only be poetic”. By opening up M WOODS to these mixed voices and collections, the museum also hopes to reflect on what role a museum can play in the larger art ecology of the region.


Participating collections include: Du Jie, Hong Yanxia, Jevin Junyi Hong, Li Zhanhao, Vincent Liu, Ouyang Kunlun, Yuan Bing, Patrick & Shoe-li Chou

Yinka Shonibare CBE: Radical Hybridity
Curated by Victor Wang   
25 August – 11 October 2020
M WOODS Art Community, LongFu Building, Temple Galleries, 9th Floor, Beijing
Opening: 25 August

M WOODS is proud to première two film works in our Temple Galleries by the influential British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. 1962).

Yinka Shonibare CBE, who was awarded the CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2019, has spent three decades exploring the European colonial impact on African identities and their diasporas. Rather than taking a fixed position on visual identity and cultural representation, Shonibare CBE opens up a space of cultural hybridity and duality in his practice.

The films are shown within the museum’s specially reconstructed Ming dynasty temples that were originally built on the museum’s current site in 1452 by the Jingtai Emperor of the Ming dynasty. These temples were the only ones in the city to accommodate both lamas and monks.

Visitors are invited to view Shonibare CBE’s films Odile and Odette (2005) and Addio del Passato (2011) within this unique setting and context of the rebuilt temples, thus combining tradition, Chinese history and contemporary art. The period during which the temples were built was also itself a significant one in terms of cultural migration and cross-pollination in a Chinese context.

This première also marks the first project in a new series of programming and initiatives at M WOODS that will reconsider aspects of post-colonial theory, diasporic knowledge and Black intellectual thought in the context of China and East Asia. 

“I’m delighted that M WOODS have chosen to show my films at this prescient time”. Says artist Yinka Shonibare CBE. “This will be the first significant presentation of my films in China, in such a unique setting and I’m happy to contribute to the wider important conversations on post-colonial affects and diasporic influence within this context.” (Yinka Shonibare CBE)


(M WOODS Art Community: Longfu Building, Temple Gallery)

About the Artist:

[Photo credit: Yinka Shonibare CBE, 2014, Photo: RA Marcus Leith]

Yinka Shonibare CBE

Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. London, UK, 1962 -) studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art (1989) and received his MFA from Goldsmiths College, London, (1991).

His interdisciplinary practice uses citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities within the context of globalization. Through examining race, class and the construction of cultural identity, his works comment on the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories.

In 2004, he was nominated for the Turner Prize and in 2008, his mid-career survey began at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; touring to the Brooklyn Museum, New York and the Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C. In 2010, his first public art commission Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle was displayed on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square, London, and was acquired by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.

In 2013, he was elected as a Royal Academician and was awarded the honour of ‘Commander of the Order of the British Empire’ in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List.  His installation ‘The British Library’ was acquired by Tate  in 2019 and is currently on display at Tate Modern, London.

His work is included in notable museum collections including Tate, London; the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

About the films:

Odile and Odette (2005-2006) is a film made in collaboration with the Royal Opera House. Here, Shonibare CBE re-imagines a classical episode from Tchaikovsky’s Ballet Swan Lake, where the lead roles 'Odile' and 'Odette' engage in a close dialogue of gestures and movement. Odile and Odette are characters which embody “good” and “evil” and are traditionally danced by a sole prima ballerina. The artist transforms this classical part into a complex and subtle interplay between two dancers in which the duality of the characters is played out in racial difference. Mirroring each other’s expression on either side of an ornate Baroque frame, Shonibare CBE suggests that their movement is both estranged and united. The dancers perform a passage from the ballet in a studio stage set to silence, the rhythm of their pointe shoes creates the only soundtrack to the film.

Filmed from one side of a “stage set” but using two cameras, the doubling effect is further played out as the dancers switch side of the mirror frame and creates a visual environment where the viewer is privileged to see the work performed from both sides of the 'mirror'. The film's narrative and construction suggest that both characters are one and that their complex relationship is both co-dependent and formed by each other.

In a recent interview Shonibare CBE said: “What I find interesting is the idea that you cannot define Africa without Europe. The idea that there is some kind of dichotomy between Africa and Europe - between the ‘exotic other’ and the ‘civilized European’, if you like - I think is completely simplistic. I am interested in exploring the mythology of these two so-called separate spheres, and in creating an overlap of identities.”

Addio del Passato (2011) is the title of an aria about betrayal, love and loss from Verdi’s opera La Traviata, sung by the dying heroine Violetta. In this film Shonibare CBE alters the characters so the aria is performed by a black singer in the guise of Frances Nisbet, the wife who Nelson betrayed and abandoned during a lengthy affair with Lady Hamilton. Here Nisbet agonizes over her own life and Nelson’s absence, even envisaging his death in a series of tableaux (the Fake Death Pictures) that occur outside the immediate action of the film, as though giving form to her tortured thoughts and daydreams.

Addio del Passatois Shonibare CBE’s first investigation of Nelson’s wider human story; more typically he views Nelson in a purely metaphorical sense, as a cipher for empire. As an artist he works with aesthetics, metaphor, politics; indeed, his headless and faceless figures are purposefully not “individuals” with whom we could identify as people. As such, despite its obvious artifice, the level of emotional intensity and engagement offered by Addio del Passato is unexpected, breathtaking. Like Un Ballo in Maschera (2004), this work features what at first seems to be the looping of the film. However, this is not a loop, but an actual live replaying, the singer beginning her song and her walk through the house and landscape again. In this case the repeated action implies an endless cycle of sadness and despair that amplifies the potency offeeling and sense of hopelessness. The film explores the concept of destiny as it relates to themes of desire, yearning, love, power and sexual repression.

The film was shot in the magnificent surroundings of Syon Park, just outside London, which is the ancestral home of the Duke of Northumberland. Originally built in the sixteenth century, it was extensively remodeled in the eighteenth century by two of the most renowned designers of the period to reflect contemporary fashions - Robert Adam working on the house and Capability Brown on the landscape. This location extends Shonibare CBE’s reference to the aristocracy and the trappings of wealth.

M WOODS Scholarship

Application Dates: July 30th – Sept 4th 2020
Application deadline: September 4, 2020, 11:59pm

The M WOODS Scholarship is a new fully-funded scholarship for two deserving applicants from China, or of Chinese descent, to attend a two-year program of their choice at The New Centre for Research & Practice. M WOODS is a leading independent non-profit art museum in Beijing with two museums, M WOODS 798, and the newly opened M WOODS Hutong. Through this scholarship, M WOODS hopes to make education more accessible for those who wish to peruse a career in the creative industries.  

To apply for the M WOODS Scholarship for any two-year Graduate-level Certificate Programs at The New Centre, please complete The New Centre's Application Form and select M WOODS Scholarship. The application process has been streamlined to take less than ten minutes to complete.

Applicants for the M WOODS scholarship should submit all materials in English and Chinese in a single PDF. All applicants to the M WOODS scholarship must have a strong command of English to participate.

Applicants can choose from the following Two-Year Certificate Programs:

Art & Curatorial Practice
Critical Philosophy
Transdisciplinary Studies

“The M WOODS Scholarship is an extension of the museum’s mission to make art free and accessible to all. This initiative with The New Centre for Research & Practice is the first of several actions to come to help support those who wish to continue their education, or to pursue an education that will enable careers within the industry, for free” says M WOODS Artistic Director and Chief Curator, Victor Wang.

About The New Centre for Research & Practice:

One of The New Centre for Research & Practice’s central mandates has been to provide new possibilities for our members and students, especially those who practice their work outside or in-between existing institutional frameworks in the Arts, Humanities, & Sciences. We help those transitioning between one degree and another, or between one institution and another, to expand their research networks beyond what can be offered by any single institution. Our members and certificate students enjoy access to face-to-face, real-time engagements with emerging thinkers and scholars, collaborating with them and with each other while producing new forms of knowledge.

All of the seminars are conducted online via Google+ Hangouts, enabling participants to engage from anywhere in the world. Our Certificate Students automatically become Members of The New Centre and thus receive all members’ benefits, including access to our twelve Research Groups, our Writing Centre, our Member Symposia, reading groups, and roundtable events, as well as opportunities to publish their research on our &&& platform.

More information 

David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection

30 August 2019 - 5 January 2020 M WOODS - Hutong

With a “big splash” at the heart of Beijing, M WOODS proudly announces both its most anticipated show of the year and the grand opening of its second location, M WOODS - Hutong. In partnership with Tate, M WOODS – Hutong presents as its inaugural exhibition “David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection”, the artist’s first museum survey exhibition in China.

As one of the world’s most influential and popular artists, David Hockney holds the record for the highest auction price for a painting by a living artist. Born in Bradford, UK in 1937, Hockney attended Bradford School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London, before going on to make some of the best-known images of the last 60 years. Since his first retrospective exhibition at London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1970 when he was only 33, Hockney has continued to attract widespread critical and public attention.

Drawing on many different sources including popular imagery and the works of old and modern masters, Hockney’s subject matter concerns the traditional themes of art – still life, portraiture and landscape – and his principle obsession with representation and perspective. With nearly 100 works, the exhibition spans his career from the mid 1950s to the present, and demonstrates the range of possibilities in his work, not only within the traditional areas of painting, printmaking and drawing, but also in his more recent use of photography and digital technologies. Works are drawn primarily from the Tate’s collection in the UK and include some of Hockney’s most iconic paintings including A Bigger Splash (1967), Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy (1970-71), andMy Parents (1977).

In accordance with M WOODS’ founding philosophy that all art should be F.A.T. (free, alchemical and timeless) this exhibition explores for the first time Hockney's relationship with China. Hockney first visited China in 1981 with Stephen Spender, a British poet, and the two collaborated on the book China Diary (1982) chronicling their journey. Hockney went on to explore his fascination with traditional Chinese scroll painting in the 1987 film A Day on the Grand Canal with the Emperor of China or: Surface Is Illusion But So Is Depth. In the film, Hockney examines the pinnacle of Qing dynasty court painting The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour painted by a group of artists led by the master Wang Hui, guiding viewers through the vastness and subtlety of the scroll and its dynamic lesson in time and space. The exhibition reveals how Chinese painting has continued to have a profound influence on Hockney's practice in terms of painting theory, technique and perspective. Presenting the rarely shown The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour (Scroll 6) alongside Hockney’s ‘Moving Focus’ series of prints and more recent works in paintings and photography, it follows Hockney’s remarkable journey through the myriad ways he has interrogated the nature of looking and representation, from his days as a promising student to his place as one of the finest artists working today.

M WOODS would like to express deep gratitude to Tate and its team, as well as the individual lenders who loaned their works to the exhibition. We would also like to sincerely thank Pace Gallery for its support, and David Hockney Inc. for its involvement – without which this exhibition would not have been possible.

The presentation of David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection is a collaboration between Tate and M Woods.

M WOODS Museum is a registered nonprofit museum in China, with two venues:


798 Art Zone D-06,
No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang, Beijing


Citang Street, Qing Yang District,
Chengdu, Sichuan

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