You are here

Monday, April 15, 2019 - 19:30

From the Stars exhibition to 798 Art District – 40 years of contemporary art in China: A conversation between Huang Rui and Berenice Angremy

Huang Rui and Berenice Angremy 

Please note: this event will be on a Monday.

Please note that due to limited capacity registration for this event is now closed

Embassy of Tunisia
1 Sanlitun Dong Jie Chaoyang District 100600

100600 朝阳区 三里屯东街 1 号 突尼斯大使馆


In 1979 a small group of self-taught artists called The Stars (Xing Xing 星星),  whose work had been rejected from official institutions, organized an unauthorized exhibition on the fences of the National Art Gallery. This defiant act is the pioneering event of contemporary art history in China. The unofficial exhibition attracted an audience that was eager and open to new ideas and art forms. Within 3 days, 30,000 Beijingers discovered 150 artworks, including wood sculptures by Wang Keping, prints by Ma Desheng, paintings by Huang Rui and Qu Leilei and collages by Li Shuang, among others. Contemporary art in China was born. The Stars inspired generations of artists that followed, carving a path of artistic freedom in China.

In 2001, Huang Rui returned to Beijing after 14 years of exile in Japan and founded the 798 Art District. Within a few years it had become the hub of contemporary art, with 100 studios and galleries by 2005. In 2006, 798 became the first state-recognized and protected art district in China. The success was due in large part to Huang Rui's efforts to promote the district through the Dashanzi International Art Festival (DIAF) and his book 798 in Beijing.

This conversation between Huang Rui and Berenice Angremy will take us on a journey of contemporary art in China.


Huang Rui is a seminal Chinese artist known for his paintings, sculpture, installation and performance which play rebelliously with language, form and colour.He was a founding member of The Stars group, which included Wang Keping, Ai Weiwei, Ma Desheng and Li Shuang. In the mid-1980s, Huang moved to Japan, and began producing work emphasizing symmetry and formal experimentation. He returned to Beijing in 2001, and was a driving force behind the 798 Art District, the area that came to represent China’s flourishing contemporary art scene. He continues to live and work in Beijing, China. 


Bérénice Angremy is the co-founder of Doors Culture and Art Agency and co-director of Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival.  She previously worked as cultural attaché at the French Embassy in China and as co-director of Thinking hands culture company. During her 18 years living and working in China, she contributed to the local art scene by setting up two important events:  the 798 Dashanzi International Art Festival (DIAF, 2004-2007) with Huang Rui and the Caochangdi PhotoSpring - Arles in Beijing festival with photographers RongRong and inri. Doors Culture and Art agency is behind numerous art programs such as the forthcoming Picasso, Birth of a Genius exhibition, which will open at UCCA on June 15. 


We would like to remind you that it is necessary to register before each event by writing to info [at]

Registration will be closed when we reach the venue’s maximum capacity. The very latest registration is midday (12.00pm) on Monday 15 April. We cannot accept RSVPs after this time.

BIS events are open to foreign passport holders only, please remember to bring your passport.

Reservations are valid only upon receipt of a confirmation email from BIS.

All BIS events are off-the-record. Photography, filming and recording are not permitted.

Non-members welcome for a single lecture fee of RMB 60;

students with valid ID RMB 30. 

Membership desk open 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm lecture