Secret Signs

08 Nov 2014 - 08 Feb 2015

XUE Song
Shape (Black Mao) © XUE Song, courtesy M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong. By donation XUE Song, Shape (Red Mao), 1996. © XUE Song, courtesy M+ Sigg Collection, Hong Kong. By donation
Calligraphy In Chinese Contemporary Art
A Cooperation of Deichtorhallen With The Sigg Collection And The M+, Hong Kong
8 November 2014 − 8 February 2015

The Deichtorhallen — in cooperation with the Museum M+ in Hong Kong and the Sigg Collection housed there — will be showing an exhibition project on the topic of writing in Chinese contemporary art as a part of CHINA TIME HAMBURG 2014.

Over 3,000 years old and having existed for over 2,000 years in almost unaltered form, the Chinese writing system is a phenomenon that is unique throughout the entire world. The exhibition in the Deichtorhallen shows that, from the end of the Cultural Revolution to the present, Chi- nese artists have posed the question of a Chinese identity with the theme of writing. This process has taken place under the sign of a remarkable incorporation of their old and highly developed culture, in the face of a fundamental insecurity stemming from the Maoist period and under the conditions of globalization as well as the westernization accompanying it. The exhibition will deal with topics such as the deconstruction of writing and the commercialization and trivialization of writing as a mass-cultural medium.

Furthermore, the exhibition will investigate the question of individual expression in light of the rich and long historical practice for learning calligraphy. The exhibition will bring together around 35 artists’ two-and three-dimensional works in various media: calligraphy, photography, video, installation, and sculpture. It begins with works from the 1980s and extends on to artworks conceived specifically for the exhibition — by Ai Weiwei, for example. Other well-known artists in the exhibition include Gu Wenda, Xu Bing, Qiu Zhijie, Zhang Huan, and Zheng Guogu, among others.

Secret Signs is part of CHINA TIME HAMBURG 2014

CHINA TIME Hamburg is an initiative of the Hamburg Senate. Established in 2006, this biannual series of events presents Hamburg’s focus on China, which is outstanding in Europe, to a broad audience. At the CHINA TIME Hamburg 2014, a diverse programme of events will cover topics from the fields of politics, society and law, education and science, economy and ecology, culture and lifestyle, as well as sports and health. The aim will be to give an insight into China and highlight the close, long-standing relationship between Hamburg and China. Numerous organizations, companies, foundations, initiatives and associations from Hamburg and beyond will contribute to the programme via talks, panel discussions, cultural projects and practical workshops. CHINA TIME Hamburg 2014 is taking place from 4 to 23 November, 2014. For more information visit

Tags: Xu Bing, Zheng Guogu, Zhang Huan, Ai Weiwei, O Zhang, Qiu Zhijie