43,000 more museums? Gao Peng on China’s museum challenge – interview

On 08/08/2013 by Site Default

China constructs over 100 new museums every year, a situation that presents challenges as well as opportunities to the country’s arts practitioners.

At 32, Gao Peng has youth and energy on his side, qualities which he considers essential in China’s fast-paced art scene. But the deputy director of Beijing’s Today Art Museum concedes that, along with the unique opportunities inherent in the “museumification of China”, there are still hurdles to be overcome.

When it comes to urban development, the figures coming out of China can boggle the mind. Since 2001, every month has seen growth equivalent to the construction of a city the size of Chicago. This explosive urban expansion has been matched with a verve for museum-building, as the country’s leaders strive to equal the art infrastructure of global competitors. The so-called “museumification” of China has gathered headlines around the world as media and art world commentators speculate on the motivations and methodologies behind the culture push. In China itself the discussion continues, as arts practitioners, gallerists and artists weigh up the positives and negatives of a government policy that sees over 100 new museums open each year…


Gao Peng, Executive Deputy Director, Today Art Museum. Image courtesy of the Today Art Museum.

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