On May 21, 2020, with the opening of the Zhu Yu solo exhibition Mute, the newly renovated Long March Space opened to the public through its new entrance on 798’s First Middle Street. Since establishing the Long March Project Beijing office in 2002, Long March has undergone multiple self-improvements and profound shifts. In the second half of 2019, Long March Space and Long March Project jointly declared a ten point plan for the future under the title “A New Era, A New Direction, New Programs.” The total renovation of the space officially began shortly thereafter in July 2019.
The project, designed by Dutch designer Henny van Nistelrooy and his team at StudioHVN, encompasses a total of 2500 square meters. Van Nistelrooy applied entirely new circulation and floorplan to the space that recognize Long March’s historical traditions while providing a spatial solution for its future practices.
The most visible change was moving entrance from the north side of the Long March Space building, facing 798’s First Middle Street, to the same position on the south side, with the entrance to the exhibition space also moved to the south side.
What changed in the space?
In response to the new practices and business models of this new phase of the art market, the renovated space has upgraded the two large VIP showing rooms behind the exhibition space, expanding the private collection room into a private viewing space and an atrium.
The original Collectors Room has also been upgraded, with the addition of a new open Lounge—where a glass curtain offers broad views on the sculptures in the courtyard.
The new Artist Room will present the results of long-term research on key artists carried out by the Long March team, visiting scholars, and curators. This is a parallel space to the Gallery that will focus on long-term, deep, and systematic case studies on artists, using curatorial syntax, presentation design, and the sustained work of curators, critics and artists to create, critique, and expound upon the sites for the generation and presentation of views on art history.
The Gallery space has completely updated its lighting system, with lights that can be adjusted for brightness and color temperature, providing for better exhibition lighting.
Aside from the space, what else is changing at Long March?
While the facility has been under renovation, Long March Space has been actively working to explore new ways of connecting with the public. The first initiative is Long March Books, a publication program focusing on partner artists. Aside from the soon-to-be-released Yu Hong catalogue The World of Saha, books on Zhan Wang and Liu Wei are also in the works. The Long March Space website was also updated during the pandemic, alongside the launch of the Online Viewing Room digital exhibition and sales platform.
With an eye to our upcoming twentieth anniversary in 2022, Long March Project launched a new curatorial program this spring. Rooted in the historical view and theories of the Long March Archive launched in 2018, this program will carry out systematic sorting, definition and utilization of materials from the discourse, images, documents and methodologies of past Long March programs to produce an upcoming series of publications, exhibitions, and a new website recounting the past twenty years of practice by Long March Project, in the hope of catalyzing more possibilities for the future.