1199 People: Collection of Long Museum is an ingenious exhibition, which is aim to break the traditional conception of curatorial philosophy and the plan of installation. Invited by Hans Ulrich Obrist who is the world-renowned curator and the Co-Director, Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects of Serpentine Galleries, the Chinese contemporary artist Xu Zhen proposed a personalized exhibition from an artist’s perspective.
Xu Zheng selected a number of the paintings with figure images from the rich collection of Long Museum and displays them in the order of the number of figures represented: single woman, single man, two figures, groups. This is a very original exhibition planning concept hardly adopted by the previous curators. Therefore, Hans Ulrich Obrist will have a conversation with Xu Zhen to discuss the concept of the exhibition and some other academic topics related to this exhibition. This dialogue will be published on the exhibition catalogues to enhance the audience's understanding of the exhibition and to provoke the interaction.
This exhibition will display more than three hundred pieces of figure paintings which created by hundreds of artists since Chinese Reform started from 1978. The number “1199” in the exhibition title is the overall number of figure images showing in the exhibition. By this show, the curator Xu Zhen tries to across a variety of artistic ideological trends and creative concept, simply purifying human relationships from the general appearance of the pictures, in order to reply the question: “Who we are and where we came from and where shall we go?” from the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, and providing various possibility to interpret this ultimate questions of human beings from the contemporary artistic perspective.