Deutschland 8 in Beijing
Deutsche Bank Supports Spectacular Exhibition Project with Important Loans

A “more German” motif is scarcely conceivable: On an early morning in the fall of 2014, Andreas Mühe photographed Helmut Kohl at the Brandenburg Gate, capturing the “Chancellor of Unity” in front of a historic monument that transformed from a symbol of division to a symbol of the peaceful reunification of Germany. Like all of the photographer’s pictures, Kohl at the Gate is akin to a perfectly illuminated film image. But it is precisely this perfection that makes the photo looks like it was staged elaborately. Pathos as Distance is the programmatic title of Mühe’s exhibition shown recently at the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg.

Now this photographic work from the Deutsche Bank Collection, along with one of Mühe’s Angela Merkel portraits, photos by Bernd and Hilla Becher, and paintings by Neo Rauch are on exhibit in Beijing. They are part of Deutschland 8, the most comprehensive presentation of modern and contemporary German art in China to date. More than 300 works by 55 artists are on view at seven museums. And there is also a symposium on contemporary art in Germany.

The heart of the exhibition is the Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum in the Forbidden CityDeutschland 8 is the first exhibition to show Western contemporary art in this historic structure. The focus is on paintings by artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter who engage with history and memory. The Central Academy of Fine Arts is presenting the lion’s share of artworks in the show, featuring 17 artists and including paintings by Stephan Balkenhol, Isa Genzken, and Martin Kippenberger. The museum is documenting the enormous variety of content, approaches, and visual languages in the current German art scene.

One museum is concentrating on Informel and abstraction, another one presents the influential contemporary photography from Germany. The focal point is the Düsseldorf Becher School, but works by Katharina Sieverding and the Chancellor portraits of Andreas Mühe are also being shown. One exhibition is devoted to video and media art, another one to selected young and current artists including Michael Sailstorfer and Jorinde Voigt.

Deutschland 8 is an answer to China 8, the large Chinese contemporary art exhibition that was shown in eight cities in Germany’s Ruhr region. The project aims to promote intercultural dialogue. The curators, Walter Smerling und Fan Di’an, wanted to give Chinese audiences the opportunity to experience Germany and its cultural diversity through the lens of art, for art, the two curators believe, “can serve as a catalyst for better understanding.”

Deutschland 8. German Art in China

Tai Miao Tempel / Imperial Ancestral Temple Art Museum
Traces of Memory – Masterworks of Contemporary German painting

CAFA Art Museum
Paradigms of Art – Contemporary Art from Germany

Minsheng Art Museum
Language of Photography and the Duesseldorf School

Red Brick Art Museum
Prologue – German Informel Art

Today Art Museum
Arrested Time – New Media Art from Germany

Whitebox Art Center
Next Generation – Young German Art

Yuan Art Museum
Dialogue – The Spatial Dimension of Colour