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The ‘Stars’ (Xing Xing): The Origins of Contemporary Chinese Art


Friday 25 September 2015
6.30 — 7.30pm

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Part of our

Ai Weiwei

events programme
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'Stars' (Xing Xing) group of artists

Photo Helmut Opletal

Former ‘Stars’ group artists Qu Lei Lei and Li Shuang join journalist Barnaby Martin to discuss their involvement alongside Ai Weiwei in the avant-garde ‘Stars’ group between 1979 and 1983.

In this event, we explore a group of avant-garde and self-taught artists operating in Beijing known as the ‘Stars’. Ai Weiwei, Li Shuang and Qu Lei Lei were among the twelve original members of the group, which began in 1979 when the group staged an unpermitted exhibition on the railings of the China Art Gallery after being denied an official exhibition space. When they were forced to remove these works, they organised a protest march in the name of human rights and subsequently were allowed to hold their second exhibition within the China Art Gallery itself. By 1983 the group faced increased political pressure and eventually separated. The majority of members left China, with Qu Lei Lei moving to England, Li Shuang to France and Ai Weiwei to New York.

Join Barnaby Martin, author of Hanging Man, and artists Li Shuang and Qu Lei Lei to hear what it was like growing up during the Cultural Revolution and to find out how the ‘Stars’ were able to establish the foundations of artistic freedom and expression in China.

All tickets include a drink.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Friday 25 September 2015

6.30 — 7.30pm

Reynolds Room, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts

£16 (includes exhibition entry). £12 (event only). Reductions available.