M Woods opens second space in Beijing's historical hutong area
Updated 09:01, 31-Aug-2019
By Shen Li

Beijing's dynamic art scene gets another boost as one of the emerging private museums, M Woods, opens a second space in the historical Longfusi area. 

For its inaugural exhibition in partnership with the Tate Collection, the new venue M Woods Art Community celebrates the creative energy of British artist David Hockney and his unique relationship with China.

A total of 100 works give visitors an in-depth look at English artist David Hockney, one of the world's most influential living artists. 

The exhibition entitled "David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection," 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. 

Excerpts from "China Diary." /CGTN Photo

Excerpts from "China Diary." /CGTN Photo

Pianist Lang Lang was present for the inauguration and couldn't contain his excitement to see authentic Hockney pieces at the heart of the Chinese capital, and joked that he's probably the most famous but also the most expensive artists living today.

"I did narrations for five of David's paintings. I think it's amazing to show contemporary art to as many young people as possible. It's kind of like promoting classical music, or our wonderful Chinese folk art. It's the same thing," Lang shared with CGTN.

Hockney first visited China in 1981 with Stephen Spender, a British poet, and the two collaborated on the book "China Diary" chronicling their journey. 

Hockney was fascinated by the artistic conception of Chinese paintings while boating on the Lijiang River in Guilin, south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and while staying in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province. 

The exhibition also reveals how Chinese painting has continued to have a profound influence on Hockney's practice in terms of painting theory and technique, by presenting the rarely shown "The Kangxi Emperor's Southern Inspection Tour alongside Hockney's Moving Focus" series.

A piece of work by David Hockney on display at M Woods Art Community in Beijing. /CGTN Photo

A piece of work by David Hockney on display at M Woods Art Community in Beijing. /CGTN Photo

Lei Wanying, co-founder of M Woods Museum added, "What's also really surprising is that just two days before the exhibition opens, a collector approached us with a David Hockney's work which was done while he first visited Beijing in 1981. And it was a picture of the Tian'anmen Square and the Forbidden City. And now it's on exhibition."

With the David Hockney exhibition, the founders hope it will bring the urgently need energy and creativity into this historic neighborhood.

"We always think that to look back is to better look forward," said Lei Wanying, co-founder of the museum shared their future plans for the art space. 

She added, "Longfusi has long been the cultural heart of Beijing, right next to the National Museum and all the treasures of the city. When we were asked to open a second museum here, we jumped at the chance to bring art culture and especially the younger generation who form a large number of our audience to return to this historical site."

"David Hockney: Works from the Tate Collection" runs at M Woods Community till January 5 next year.