Beijing-based art centre Director Philip Tinari named Curator of Armory Focus 2014

Beijing-based art centre director will shine a light on Chinese art for the 2014 Armory Show in New York.

Chinese art will take centre-stage in New York’s next Armory Show, with Ullen’s Center for Contemporary Art Director Philip Tinari taking charge of the fair’s Focus section. Having worked in Beijing for ten years as an art critic, publisher and curator, Tinari will provide an insider’s perspective of Chinese contemporary art.

Philip Tinari. Image courtesy Ullens Contemporary Center of Art.

Philip Tinari in 2013. Image courtesy Ullens Center for Contemporary Art.

Philip Tinari, Director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA), has been appointed as the next curator of the Focus section of The Armory Show scheduled for 6 to 9 March 2014 at Piers 92 & 94 in New York City.

Armory Focus, now in its fifth edition, will feature contemporary art in China, showing works by twenty artists who range in age from the “Stars” generation of the late 1970s to the post-Mao generation born after 1975.

Ai Weiwei, 'Forever Bicycles', 2011, bicycles. Image courtesy Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

Ai Weiwei, ‘Forever Bicycles’, 2011, bicycles. Image courtesy Taipei Fine Arts Museum.

About Philip Tinari

An expert on contemporary art in China, Philip Tinari (b. 1979) received his MA in East Asian Studies from Harvard University, a BA in Literature from Duke University and was a Fulbright Scholar at Peking University. Based in Beijing for ten years, in 2010 he co-founded LEAP, the international art magazine of contemporary China.

In The Armory Show’s press release Tinari, who is fluent in Mandarin, states,

China is central to the makeup of the world system today in ways that are well understood on the level of geopolitics but have not yet been fully elaborated in the realm of culture.

He said the initial national survey shows of Chinese art gave viewers an impression of gaudy and derivative work, a misperception which Tinari is intent on rectifying.

This persistent memory clouds efforts by individual actors to illuminate the dynamism, seriousness, and originality of the Chinese art scene and system today. This section aims to change that.

In addition, a series of talks are scheduled with topics such as “The development of the institutional infrastructure to the ongoing diversification of the Chinese market.”

Welcoming sign to the Armory Show in New York. Image courtesy The Armory Show.

Welcoming sign to the Armory Show in New York. Image courtesy The Armory Show.

What Is Armory Focus?

Armory Focus was established in 2010 to focus on a geographical area’s contemporary art and gallery scene. Unlike other sections of the fair, Focus is defined “by a singular curatorial vision,” as stated in the press release.

The size of the geographical remit of Armory Focus differs from year to year. In 2013 the section featured galleries from the USA, the preceding year turned the spotlight on “Nordic Countries”, 2011 tried to cover the entirety of Latin America whereas 2010, the first year, focused on just one city, Berlin.

The Armory Show

The Armory Show, New York’s largest art fair, shows international modern and contemporary art. It takes place every March on Piers 92 & 94 in central Manhattan.

Founded in 1994 by a small group of Manhattan art dealers, the show dropped the original name of Gramercy International Art Fair, in favour of The Armory Show, a homage to the infamous 1913 art exhibition of the same name.

Susan Kendzulak


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