Lin Yan
City View #3, 2012
Xuan paper and ink
Courtesy of the artist and Amy Simon, Westport, CT
Photo courtesy of the artist

Alois Kronschlaeger
Grid Structure #1, 2014
Site-specific installation
Bass wood, calligraphy ink, black and silver metallic spray paint, aluminum mesh, black plexiglass, fluorescent lighting, black sand and gravel
Courtesy of the artist and Tierney Gardarin Gallery, New York; Photo by Marc Lin.

Tales of Two Cities: New York & Beijing

May 3, 2014 - August 31, 2014

This exhibition focuses on two of the world’s leading centers of art—New York and Beijing—and offers a visual pairing of five New York-based artists with five Beijing-based artists. The ten artists have been engaged in five different global, cross-cultural, artistic dialogues over the course of two years via email, Skype, in person, sometimes with translators, about issues ranging from political and social upheaval, the concept of global culture, and questions about materials and techniques. Some of the artists are creating new works for the exhibition including two site-specific works being created at the Museum, others are represented by existing or historic works.

Click here for programs related to the exhibition.

Click here for ongoing information in the Tales of Two Cities Exhibition and Artist Blog.

The concept for this show grew out of an earlier collaboration curated by Pan Qing at Columbia University’s Studio X in Beijing in 2010 between New York-based artist Michelle Fornabai and Beijing-based artist Qin Feng, both of whom are featured in the present show.

“Watching Michelle Fornabai and Qin Feng communicate silently through the brush helped to open my mind to the myriad possibilities of visual dialogues between artists from very different artistic backgrounds,” Qing explains. “After discussing this idea with the other curators and advisors of this exhibition — Michelle Y. Loh, John Rajchman and Sarah McNaughton — a decision was made to expand on this theme by seeking out more opportunities to pair artists from disparate cultures.”

The curators matched the pairs based partly on the kind of work that they do and their artistic processes, but more importantly on the type of dialogue in which they suspected the artists might engage within the context of their respective urban environments. Many of the ten artists are themselves peripatetic, on the move between global art centers, not only New York and Beijing, but also in Latin America and Europe.

Paired artists include:

  • Michelle Fornabai(NYC) and Qin Feng (Beijing)
  • Joan Snyder (NYC) and Wei Jia (Beijing)
  • Alois Kronschlaeger (NYC) and Lin Yan (Beijing)
  • Jorge Tacla (NYC) and Li Taihuan (Beijing)
  • Simon Lee (NYC) and Chen Shaoxiong (Beijing)

Selected artworks illustrate parallels between the pairs’ work and themes that arose during their conversations. Some of the artists are represented by existing or historic artworks, some have created new pieces, and some have collaborated to create site-specific work. The works range from Joan Snyder’s My Pain Is No More Than Being’s Pain, which dates from 1983 and is in the Bruce Museum’s collection, to pieces created specifically for this exhibition.

Click here for more images.

The exhibition is generously supported by The Charles M. and Deborah G. Royce Exhibition Fund and a Committee of Honor.

Don't forget your cell phone:
This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day.  Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions will be available at the front admissions desk.

Qin Feng, Civilization Landscape Series – Album, 2009. Courtesy of the artist and Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT. Photo courtesy of the artist

Qin Feng
Civilization Landscape Series – Album, 2009
Ink and coffee on xuan paper
Each album: 31 ½ x 39 ft. 4 ½ in.
Each panel: 31 ½ x 23 5/8 in.
Courtesy of the artist and Amy Simon Fine Art, Westport, CT
Photo courtesy of the artist


Michelle Fornabai, Installation view of Synesthesia Series, 2013, Yuan Art Museum, Beijing. Photo courtesy of the artist

Michelle Fornabai
Installation view of Synesthesia Series, 2013
Ink on piano roll, MP3 player, music box
Dimensions variable
Yuan Art Museum
Beijing, China
Photo courtesy of the artist