(b.1964, Fujian, China)
In London, as a student at Goldsmiths College in the late 1990s, Lu Jie conceived the Long March Project. One of the first two people from mainland China to study creative curating abroad, he had travelled vast distances not just physically but professionally, having moved from being a traditional painter to being a curator of contemporary art. This journeying led him to think about the ways that contemporary art could connect with social development and change.
In 2002, Lu initiated the 'Long March Project - A Walking Visual Display'. This participatory programme, involving over250 artists, writers, theorists, curators and scholars from China and abroad, aimed to retrace Mao Zedong's historic Long March, creating public performances, exhibitions and discussions at points along the six-thousand mile route. Since then, the Project has also established the Long March Space in Beijing and has set up international projects. The most recent of these is the Ho Chi Minh Trail, a collaborative contemporary arts project investigating collective memory, migration, history and identity in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
The Long March: a case study
The Long March Project (LMP) is a complex and highly innovative international arts organization and participatory programme based in China.
In this class, Lu Jie, LMP's director and chief curator, presents Long March as a case study. Describing the Project as a movement which overcomes seemingly insurmountable setbacks, he discusses the relationship of LMP - a non-profit organisation in a country that does not recognise such enterprises - to the Long March Space, a leading commercial gallery in Beijing. This unusual mix of ambitious public art projects and a business venture is a survival strategy which has much to teach independent curators in the West. As Lu Jie says, 'everyone should undertake their own Long March. That means educating and sharing.'
Concessions: 50% off (limited availability)
Venue: Hayward Gallery Classroom 3
Approximate duration: three hours