A fascinating display of works by 30 Chinese artists is set to feature across Manchester from 27th September until 23rd November in response to the theme of ‘conflict and compassion’ examining the conflicts and harmony of China.  The exhibition comes after three decades of change in mainland China which has seen unprecedented political reform, economic development, growth, urbanisation and the handover of Hong Kong.

The Harmonious Society project has invited more than 30 artists from mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong to develop artistic responses which will be featured at six major venues across the city – the Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art; ArtWork; John Rylands Library; Museum of Science and Industry; National Football Museum and Manchester Cathedral.  The majority of the works are UK premieres and many have been specially commissioned and site-specific.

So what’s on where?

The Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art will feature works by Liu Xiaodong and Pak Sheung Chuen and is located at Market Buildings, Thomas St, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1EU.  Opening hours Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm.

ArtWork features a large number of works, sculptures, paintings, collections, animations and film installations and is located at 95 Greengate, Salford, M3 7NG.  Opening hours from 27 September – 5 October 10am-5pm.  Nb access if via stairs and there are no toilet facilities.

John Rylands Library is set to welcome ‘breathing books’, ‘ceramic books’ and a ‘muted music performance’ which requires performers to play with the same energy and seriousness as you would normally expect but to try to suppress and silence the sound. 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.  Opening hours Monday and Sunday 12noon – 5pm; Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm.

Manchester Cathedral hosts site specific works including freestanding light boxes representing the 12 Apostles and Jesus and intricate mirror sculptures. Victoria Street, Manchester, M3 1SX. Opening hours Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 10am-6.30pm (times may vary during special events).

Museum of Science and Industry visitors can expect video settings (including a piece by internaionally renowned artist Chen Chieh-jen) and, appropriately, technical installations.   Liverpool Road, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FP.  opening hours 10am-5pm daily.

National Football Museum goers will find works 5 pieces representing artists’ responses to sport and culture including a recreation of China’s most famous lardmarks in the museum’s Hall of Fame and a film revealing how football fans in China experience the English game. Urbis Building, Cathedral Gardens, Manchester, M4 3BG.  Opening hours Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-5pm.


Harmonious Society is a key strand of Asia Triennial Manchester 2014 and is the largest exhibition of Chinese Contemporary Art in the UK to date.  It has been producted in collaboration with the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture, Tang Contemporary Art and the University of Salford.

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