Notes Towards a Model Opera
William Kentridge’s Major Retrospective in Peking

He investigates the repressed chapters of modern history—colonialism, Apartheid in his native country of South Africa, and the massacre of the Hereros, which he addressed in his Black Box / Chambre Noire, a commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim, today the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle. William Kentridge’s animated films and drawings are highly political, yet far removed from any sort of obvious agitation. He prefers ambiguity and the evocative, poetic power of images.

His first exhibition in China at the 2000 Shanghai Biennial, which was curated by Hou Hanru, not only won over the critics, but also inspired young artists like Sun Xun, who, similarly to the South African artist, works with expressive hand-drawn animation. Now, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Peking presents Kentridge in Notes Towards a Model Opera, his largest show in Asia to date. Among the 25 works shown are earlier animated films based on Kentridge’s alter ego Soho Eckstein, as well as ambitious video installations such as The Refusal of Time, which caused a sensation at documenta 13 in 2012. The title of the exhibition is taken from an installation that premieres at the UCCA, for which Kentridge has adapted the pictorial language of classical Chinese propaganda art. Following its premiere in Peking, the show will also make guest appearances at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul and the Sifang Art Museum in Nanjing.

William Kentridge: Notes Towards a Model Opera
6/27 – 8/30/2015
Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Peking