Liu Xiaodong: Diary of an Empty City, Curated by Jérôme Sans | 12.09 – 18.10 2015



Press release:






12.09 - 18.10.2015

OPENING 12.09.2015 FROM 4.00 - 6.00 PM


After the acclaimed Liu Xiaodong survey exhibition “Painting as shooting” presented at the Cini Foundation for the Venice Biennale, Faurschou Foun­dation is pleased to show, for the first time in its Beijing space, the most recent series of works created by the artist during his stay in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.

The exhibition shows a body of work painted live on location during the summer of 2015 entitled “Diary of An Empty City”. Liu Xiaodong has long been fascinated by the Chinese phenomenon of the “ghost city” frequently portrayed by the western press and urban planning aficio­nados, and has chosen a propitious location in Ordos, Inner Mongolia to set his latest scene for live painting and reflection on the Chinese dream life and dream city environment.

Ordos is situated in the center of a region, which has some of the largest deposits of coal in China, and has been transformed in record time from one of the poorest areas of China to one of the wealthiest. Local farmers and miners have become the protagonists of rags-to-riches stories as regional and city governments have built the dream city. Although it is a giant metropolis with amazing infrastructure including condominium towers, shop­ping malls, a museum and high-speed trains, Ordos remains a place mys­teriously empty with a population of approximately 20,000 inhabitants. A city without residents – an unfinished plan, a paradoxical place where the realization of a modern dream society in terms of urban infrastructure lacks only the inhabitants to live their fulfilled dream life.

Liu Xiaodong investigates the ideal of the dream life within the context of the reality of the current Chinese lifestyle, discreetly asking, “What is our dream?”

Could the Chinese common man’s search for his dream existence in some ways be an unattainable mirage? 

As Liu Xiaodong reflects on the question “A ghost city or a crowded city, which is better?”



Liu Xiaodong (1963) lives and works in Beijing. He holds a BFA and an MFA in painting from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (1988-1995). The artist gained recognition in the 1990s and represents the Chinese Neo-Realism style. His solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Graz, Austria (2012) and Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art, Beijing (2010), while his work was also shown in various group exhibitions such as the Shanghai Biennale (2000, 2010), the 15th Biennale of Sydney (2006) and the 47th Venice Biennale (1997).

Jérôme Sans is an internationally renowned curator, art critic, artistic director who has curated numerous major exhibitions around the world. He was the former director of the groundbreaking Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing and co-founder of the acclaimed Palais de Tokyo in Paris. He is currently co-artistic director of one of the most important urban development projects in Europe, the Grand Paris Express, and co-founder of Perfect Crossovers ltd, a Beijing based cultural consultancy group.



Faurschou Foundation is a privately owned art institution with a collection of contemporary art, and with exhibition venues at Copenhagen North Harbour as well as Beijing’s attractive art neighbourhood 798. Faurschou Foundation introduces the visitors to some of the world’s most acclaimed artists. Faurschou Foundation’s collection is constantly developed and expanded.

Over a very short period since its establishment in 2011 Faurschou Foundation has profiled itself as a significant art institution with solo exhibitions of among other artists Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Louise Bourgeois, Shirin Neshat, Gabriel Orozco, Danh Vo, and Bill Viola.



The exhibition will be open to the press on September 12, from 3.00 – 6.00 PM.


For further information and interviews with Liu Xiaodong, Jérôme Sans or Jens Faurschou, please contact:

Katrine Winther (Fine Arts Assistent, Faurschou Foundation) / T +45 60 14 00 55

 For Chinese: