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State Legacy

Cornerhouse 3rd April to 24th May 2009
The Holden Gallery, MMU 3rd April to 8th May 2009

State Legacy is a Manchester first, an exhibition of new, previously unseen artworks by five prominent contemporary Chinese artists.

Wang Guangyi, Lu Hao, Wang Jianwei, Zeng Li, Sui Jianguo.

Opening first in Manchester, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and touring to China later this year, this exhibition presents visual reactions to China's recent industrialisation and modernisation. It takes place at Cornerhouse: Manchester's International Centre for Contemporary Art and Film and Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

The exhibition is the result of a curatorial collaboration between John Hyatt, Director of MIRIAD (Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK) and Huang Zhuan, Director of OCAT (Overseas Chinese Town Contemporary Art Terminal, Shenzhen, China).

As well as bringing new international artists to the UK, State Legacy will give audiences the opportunity to see exciting new work not seen before outside China. The pieces chosen will generate debates about the role of art in industrial societies and enhance our understanding of Chinese culture.

The five artists in the exhibition are all internationally renowned through their past works: for example, Wang Guangyi's paintings The Great Criticism series and Sui Jianguo's sculpture Mao's Suit. However, the new works they showcase in this exhibition were commissioned especially to respond to the theme of China's industrialization and modernisation. Featured works include:

Wang Guangyi - an installation: East Wind - Golden Dragon

Lu Hao - a large-scale model: Replicated Memory

Wang Jianwei has made a virtual civic installation, working in partnership with Arup, Manchester: The Grandstand

Zeng Li - a series of photographs: The Shuicheng Iron & Steel Works

Sui Jianguo's multi-screen projected video piece: Raising Speed on the Railway

Download Exhibition Guide pdf icon

Consultants: Wu Hung, Wang Hui, Zhao Tingyang

Exhibition will tour to OCAT, Shenzhen, China 19th September to 19th November 2009

Events at Cornerhouse and MMU

Alongside the exhibition, Cornerhouse and MMU are producing a series of events to explore the content of the exhibition and the research behind it. See State Legacy Fringe / Birthplace of the Industrial Resolution.


Applications for the State Legacy residency at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal in Shenzhen, China have now closed.

Organised by

Supported by

Wang Guangyi


70 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH

Tue - Sat 11am to 6pm
Thu until 8pm
Sun 2pm to 6pm

Holden Gallery

Grosvenor Building
Manchester Metropolitan University
Cavendish Street
Manchester M15 6BR

Tue - Sun 10am to 4pm