Serpentine Galleries and WF CENTRAL Officially Open Serpentine Pavilion Beijing

BEIJING, May 30, 2018

The first international Serpentine Pavilion officially launched today with a spectacular laser and digital media performance curated by acclaimed new media artist Feng Mengbo and singer, musician and producer Zhang Yadong, which followed a ceremonial ribbon cutting attended by Ms Carma Elliot, Minister (Culture and Education), British Embassy Beijing, Mr Raymond Chow, Chairman of Wangfu Central Real Estate Development Company Limited and Executive Director of Hongkong Land, Ms Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries and Mr Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, Mr Liu Jiakun, Principal of JIAKUN Architects along with Ms Shirley Lam, Vice President, China Commercial Property of Hongkong Land.

Designed by renowned Chinese architect Liu Jiakun, founder of eminent architectural practice JIAKUN Architects, the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion Beijing is the first co-commissioned Serpentine Pavilion presented outside of the UK. It forms the stunning architectural centerpiece to The Green at WF CENTRAL, the world-class, 150,000 sq. m. retail, fine dining and hospitality hub in Wangfujing, in the centre of Dongcheng District.

Drawing from both historical and social context of Wangfujing and reflecting the significance of the 18-year history of the Serpentine Pavilion commission, the design of the Serpentine Pavilion Beijing features an arched form that balances the forces of tensions and compression. The Pavilion takes inspiration from Confucianism with an architecture that is a physical representation of the traditional pursuit of Junzi. The design is characterised by the figure of the archer, in the form of a curved cantilever beam that incorporates the forces of elasticity through cables stretched between steel plates.

The Pavilion provides the creative architectural backdrop to the WF CENTRAL and Serpentine Pavilion Beijing programme, a unique and highly diverse series of cultural and artistic activities, special events, inspiring lifestyle experiences and exciting social encounters to be experienced by visitors to WF CENTRAL from June to October 2018.

A key feature of the Pavilion programme will be the ‘Inspiration Talk Series’, a special series of talks and panel discussions involving leading architects and artists, together with thought-leaders across a wide spectrum of industries including leading finance, media, entertainment, retail and hospitality experts, invited to debate a range of topics exploring the role of art and culture in subjects such as urban renewal, innovation and social inclusion.

“The Serpentine Pavilion cultural programme at WF CENTRAL focuses on community and explores the power and social benefits of art and culture,” explained Mr Raymond Chow, Chairman of Wangfu Central Real Estate Development Company Limited and Executive Director of Hongkong Land. “The Serpentine Pavilion Beijing provides the architectural focal point for these activities, as part of WF CENTRAL’s ongoing vision to engage, connect and build community through a considered curation of art and cultural creativity and experiential lifestyle.”

“Today marks an important milestone as we officially open the first Pavilion co-commissioned by the Serpentine outside the UK,” explained Mr Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries. “Over the past 18 years, the annual Serpentine Pavilion commission has become a pioneering and powerful example of living architecture for people of all ages and we hope that experience will be replicated in Beijing.”

Ms Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries, said: “Liu Jiakun’s inspiring Pavilion, set alongside the historic setting of the House21 (the Courtyard House), and wonderful open space of The Green, sets the scene for a thrilling programme of art, cultural and social events and happenings. Like the London Pavilion that inspired it, the Serpentine Pavilion Beijing will serve as a place for meeting and exchange, creating an engaging and rewarding cultural experience for all.”

“What I hope we have achieved is a spatial installation that goes beyond mere function to push the boundaries of contemporary architectural practice,” explained Mr Liu Jiakun. “I hope this work will also prove to be both an inspirational physical environment as well as a thought provoking and creative catalyst for lively intellectual debate, fun community activities and joyful social engagement.”

At the core of the Serpentine’s Pavilion programme is a wide range of art, cultural and lifestyle activities programmed within and around the structure. Activities include special ‘Pavilion Weekends’, which, once a month, in conjunction with two themed thought-leadership talks in the ‘Inspiration Talk Series’, involve a wide range of community events focused on the family; including well-being and creativity workshops; lawn parties; kids disco classes; digital performances and specially curated outdoor art-cinema evenings.

The Serpentine Pavilion Beijing programme at WF CENTRAL provides visitors and the local community with the opportunity to not only appreciate but actively engage with the installation itself and enjoy the social and cultural activities that take place alongside and within the Pavilion.

WF CENTRAL is a premium lifestyle retail destination, a world-class, 150,000 sq. m. retail, fine dining and hospitality hub in Wangfujing, in the centre of Dongcheng District, Beijing. It sets a new benchmark for retail and lifestyle through its FIVE Core categories. Each category offers unmatched experiences namely: Luxury; Fashion; World-class Gastronomy; Lifestyle & Wellness; and Art & Culture.

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