A Share of a Future

Duration: 9th March – 30th April 2019

Private Preview & Opening: 14:30-17:30 Saturday 9th March 2019

Venue: Library and Campus, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing, China

Address: No. Ding 11, Xueyuan Rd, Haidian District, Beijing, China.

Scale: Approx. 110 artworks from over 70 artists (from China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Germany, the UK and the U.S.).


Steve Dutton (UK), Liu Chunmei, Annie Xu (UK-based), Xu Fang (Australia), Zhang Xiaohong (U.S.), Zhou Hongtao


Annie Xu (UK-based)


The world situation of today is getting more and more divided. In the context of Post-globalization Era, ‘sharing a future of coexistence’ might can be considered as a solution the complex problems in this world – As we all live on the same planet, which is our lonely home in the universe. It is our responsibility to share with each other and make the world better together. This is also the theme and main concept of this exhibition.

From my perspective, a contemporary artwork is not necessarily with the features of imitation or reproduction, whilst aesthetic forms or skills are not particularly required either. In this exhibition, artists expressed their contemporary thought on ‘sharing’ and ‘coexistence’. They created brand new artworks by breaking their former understanding of traditional aesthetic material and experience of art practice.

Just like the artworks, the exhibition also tends to break the limitation on presentation and displaying. Artworks are not necessarily ‘limited’ in frameworks or covered by glass. There’s no sign of ‘Do Not Touch’ or ‘Keep Distance’ in front of the artwork. The site of the exhibition is embraced the university campus, in order to engage with the audience. By ‘sharing’ the space and ‘coexistence’ with students and audience, the exhibition tends to encourage a free and open relationship with audience, spread our thought to younger generation.

Academic Symposium

Title: The Tower of Babel —— Contemporary art and infinite language

Time: 10:00-11:30 Sunday 10th March 2019.

Address: 2nd floor, Lecture Hall of Exchange of Center, CUMTB.


The Tower of Babel is a cautionary tale taken from the Book of Genesis. The gist of the story is that all of mankind used to speak the same language and they started to use that language to build a huge tower in order to reach the heavens and get closer to God. However, the Tower became a symbol of man’s vanity and misuse of power over nature, and the humans were cast out across the globe by an angry God and made to speak a multitude of different languages.

Although language was confused, and mankind scattered across the world, our contemporary world and technology allow us to make instant translations in the hope that we will be able to communicate despite our linguistic and cultural differences. Indeed, the contemporary may almost have come to mean exactly this, a permanent sense of a shared ‘now’. Yet, we will all be aware of the subtleties of language and cultural expression. Where we think we mean one thing, the act of translation, however accurate it attempts to be, will often show up the strange differences in meaning as much as the similarities.

This project aims to explore these territories of holes and gaps in language, to identify and occupy the strangeness implicit within our communications and to ultimately celebrate them, to see these spaces of misunderstanding as being as critical to any sense of a shared future as any illusions of understanding. In the end, successful communication of meaning may only be one element of a shared world, we may also need to learn to work with the surplus of meaning that artistic practices create. Misunderstandings, glitches, stutters, differences, and gaps may tell us more about ourselves as a global community than any approximation of collective meaning.

Curators’ Information

Prof. Steve Dutton, artist, curator, Bath Spa University, the UK.

Prof. Liu Chunmei, artist, China University of Mining and Technology, Beijing, China.

Dr. Annie Xu, curator, artist, University of Lincoln, the UK.

Prof. Xu Fang, artist, University of New South Wales, Australia.

Prof. Zhang Xiaohong, artist, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, the U.S.

Prof. Zhou Hongtao, artist, Tongji University, Shanghai, China.


Academic Chair of the Symposium: Liu Chunmei, Zhang Xiaohong

Keynote Speakers: Tang Bing, Steve Dutton, Ian Howard, Wang Qingli, Zhen Wei, Wang Xiaoming, and more.

Interpreter: Annie Xu