(Berkeley, CA) October 15, 2015—An ambitious mural project by renowned Chinese artist Qiu Zhijie will be the first work that visitors and passersby see at the new UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and opening to the public on January 31, 2016. Part of the inaugural exhibition, Architecture of Life, Qiu’s work will be created on a 60 x 25-foot interior wall facing BAMPFA’s new multipurpose performance space. Visible from Center Street through the large front windows, the Art Wall provides a dramatic setting for a new series of large-scale commissioned projects by leading international artists.
Qiu’s mural will be the first in a biannual rotation of projects on the Art Wall. The artist will visit Berkeley in January to paint the mural, the subject of which will be the Chinese literati garden. This theme is especially significant in BAMPFA’s university context and will provide a meaningful point of reflection of the role of solitary scholarly contemplation in today’s fast-paced globalized society. The painting will be on view from the opening of the exhibition on January 31, 2016, through summer 2016.
“We are thrilled to inaugurate the Art Wall program with Qiu Zhijie’s project,” says BAMPFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “Not only does it resonate with contemporary themes of relevance to our campus and community, but it also echoes many dimensions of our opening exhibition, Architecture of Life, which explores architecture as a metaphor with which to illuminate diverse aspects of life experience.”
Qiu Zhijie is one of China's most recognized contemporary artists, known for his painting, calligraphy, photography, and installation works. He is also an accomplished writer, professor, and curator. His works have shown in museums and galleries all over the world, including MoMA PS1; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Asia Society; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell College, Iowa; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Queens Museum; and the 25th Sao Paolo Art Biennial in Brazil. Qiu is based in Hangzhou, China.
The Art Wall is made possible by major funding from Frances Hellman and Warren Breslau.
Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national, and global discourse on art, film, and ideas. Founded in 1963, BAMPFA is UC Berkeley’s primary visual arts venue with its screenings of some four hundred films and presentations of up to twenty exhibitions annually. BAMPFA’s mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
BAMPFA’s collection of over 19,000 works of art dates from 3000 BCE to the present day and includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and Conceptual art. The collection also includes over 17,500 films and videos, including the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, impressive holdings of Soviet cinema, West Coast avant-garde film, seminal video art, as well as hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film—many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.
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Media Relations Manager