Back in early February, when the pandemic looked like it might dissipate before too long, Gallery Weekend Beijing was among the first art events to announce a postponement, shifting its March date to mid-April. The annual affair—which includes shows, talks, and panels—opened instead in late May, once China got control of the virus.
In a sign that some things just may be returning to normal, Gallery Weekend Beijing is returning to its standard March slot for 2021—from the 23rd to the 28th, with a VIP preview for the two days before opening. On Friday, its team revealed that visitors will encounter a new format.
Instead of being dedicated to Beijing’s gallery-filled 798 Art Zone, the event will span that area and five other locations. In total, 31 galleries from the capital city will participate, and five will come from elsewhere: Thousand Plateaus Art Space (of Chengdu, China), AYE Gallery (Beijing and Hong Kong), Canton Gallery (Guangzhou, China), Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong/Shanghai), and Pilar Corrias (London). That visiting sector had previously been a collaboration with Zurich Art Weekend.
“Under the impact of the pandemic, we will be particularly active this year to develop contacts with domestic art museum institutions,” GWBJ’s director, Amber Yifei Wang, told ARTnews, “and at the same time ensure that those who cannot visit internationally can learn about our projects in time through online channels and maintain interaction with us.”
Indeed, even in the most optimistic scenarios now being floated for vaccine distribution, widespread international travel to Beijing is unlikely to occur, and so Gallery Weekend Beijing organizers are planning a robust digital program, streaming live events via its website and app. There will also be a viewing room—as is now expected for any art event these days.
While the March date of Gallery Weekend Beijing had previously allowed far-flung art travelers to link a visit with Art Basel Hong Kong, this year will be different, as the fair has moved to May for 2021.
Below, the complete gallery lineup for the event.
Asia Art Center
CLC Gallery Venture
Galerie Urs Meile
Hive Center for Contemporary Art
Long March Space
N3 Contemporary Art
Platform China Contemporary Art Institute
Tabula Rasa Gallery
Tang Contemporary Art
Tokyo Gallery + BTAP
White Space Beijing
Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
CAFA Art Museum
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art
Independent Art Institution
Visiting Sector Galleries
A Thousand Plateaus Art Space (Chengdu)
AYE Gallery (Beijing, Hong Kong)
Canton Gallery (Guangzhou)
Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong, Shanghai)
Pilar Corrias (London)