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Picasso – Birth of a Genius
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Picasso – Birth of a Genius

On 17 July 2019, as the strategic partner of UCCA, NUO Hotel Beijing held “An Encounter with Picasso - NUO Night VIP Guided Tour” event, an exclusive event at UCCA for the exhibition "Picasso - Birth of a Genius" together with the hotel’s distinguished guests.

The event started with a delicious and bespoke canapé cocktail reception with the finishing touch of the jointly created dessert, Jasmine Peach Cake, inspired by Picasso's artistic genius.

Later on, Bernhard Wimmer, General Manager of NUO Hotel Beijing made a welcome speech to all VIP guests and media friends. In his speech, he shared “Art has linked NUO and UCCA together. As art is part of NUO's DNA, the respect for art is shown in every detail of the hotel - every corner is an art world of its own. NUO began to discuss with UCCA several months ago on how to further work together on this exhibition, trying to seek broader cooperation based on our mutual understanding and interests.”

Guests then went on the private guided tour to enjoy and explore the world of “Picasso - Birth of a Genius” with over hundreds of his original masterpieces.

"Picasso - Birth of a Genius" Exhibition in Beijing

To coincide with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relations, "Picasso - Birth of a Genius"-the most significant exhibition of work by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) ever to take place in China-will be presented at UCCA between 15 June and 1 September 2019. The exhibition, which offers a comprehensive overview of the first three decades of Picasso's career, is drawn from the collection of the Musee national Picasso-Paris. There are 103 works in total, including paintings, sculptures and works on paper, etc.

Taken together, these works realised between 1893 and 1921, tell the story of the creative formation and evolution of the most daring, original, and prolific talent in the history of modern art. The exhibition, curated by Emilia Philippot, curator of the Musee national Picasso-Paris, has been conceived and organised specifically for this presentation at UCCA and in China.

The three decades under consideration here were a period of artistic discovery and ferment for the young Picasso, whose style underwent numerous changes, from the academic realism of his student days to this post-war return to classical style after the great Cubist adventure; from the alternately somber and carnivalesque motifs of the Blue and Rose periods to the primitivist-explorations which ultimately led to the multiple phases of Cubism. Accordingly, while reaffirming the coexistence of several seemingly contradictory languages in Picasso's works, the exhibition will put some artworks from the artist's personal collection into dialogue with his own productions, thereby highlighting the painter's affinities with the works of his predecessors or contemporaries.

"For UCCA, this exhibition marks the realisation of a dream we have held since our opening in 2007, to present not only recent developments in contemporary art but to examine the very underpinnings of the contemporary by showing modern masters," remarked Philip Tinari, UCCA Director and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that the story of Picasso is relevant to our audience in China, as individuals here continue to answer the challenges of creativity, originality, and innovation."

For the Musee national Picasso-Paris, the exhibition marks the most substantive presentation of its collection in China to date, and the first since Laurent Le Bon assumed the directorship in 2014. He "is pleased with this new stage in the international cooperation policy led by the Musee national Picasso-Paris."

Located close to the 798 Art District and as the strategic partner of UCCA, NUO Hotel Beijing is appointed to provide exclusive accommodation for distinguished VIP guests and the opening VIP dinner of the exhibition, and a dedicated theme dessert has been created jointly with UCCA to commemorate the grand occasion.

About NUO Hotel Beijing
NUO Hotels celebrates the depth and richness of Chinese culture and shares it generously for the pleasure of guests in a contemporary way with the opening of its flagship property-NUO Hotel Beijing. Located near Beijing's 798 Art District, the pulse of China's dynamic art movement, NUO Hotel Beijing is a contemporary showcase of unique design inspired by the "Golden Age" of prosperous Ming Dynasty heritage literature, art and culture, the perfect example of tradition blending in harmony with the future of contemporary China.

As art, literature and music are the ultimate expressions of culture, NUO Hotel Beijing proudly positions them at the centre stage of guest experience in striking ways. The hotel serves as an art destination in its own right, with a dedicated art gallery and the hotel lobby, guestrooms and suites, and food & beverage outlets acting as backdrops for a stunning series of carefully curated pieces by the country's most critically acclaimed artists, from newly emerging to world-renowned, including four exclusive, custom-created artworks by Zeng Fanzhi, considered by international art experts as "China's greatest living artist". In his role as NUO Hotels' honorary art consultant, Mr. Zeng created two majestic masterpieces, Le Shan, a silver and bronze sculpture, and Landscape 2014, an oil painting, as the dramatic centre pieces of the hotel's grand lobby.

A lifestyle destination with key interiors designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, NUO Hotel Beijing is comprised of 438 guestrooms and suites as well as an Executive Club Lounge, all with floor-to-ceiling views of the city. Elegant furnishings in warm woods and leather, hushed jewel-toned accessories, plush silk-patterned walls, rich wooden and textured marble floors combine harmoniously in a contemporary interpretation of Ming Dynasty-inspired residential style. Guestrooms bring the hotel's art destination experience vividly to life with each room featuring an artwork originated from Zeng Fanzhi's paintings on paper, an interpretation of "Stepping on Snow to Look for Plum Flowers", "Mountain", and "Rempike".

All guestrooms have been thoughtfully designed and equipped with the modern traveller's security, comfort and productivity in mind: complimentary broadband and wireless Internet access, flat-screen high-definition televisions, Bluetooth-enabled Bose stereo speakers, in-room bars and Nespresso coffee machines, walk-in wardrobes, ensuite laundry and valet delivery cabinets, sophisticated air purification systems and high-level soundproofing, all-marble bathrooms with large soaking tubs, glass-enclosed rainforest showers and custom NUO Pu'er tea-infused bed and bath accessories. Guests may avail of the hotel's round-the-clock butler service, in-room dining and lifestyle concierge whilst Club accommodation and suite guests have exclusive access to the hotel's 25th floor Executive Club Lounge.

Committed to serving authentic cuisine, NUO Hotel Beijing carefully sources ingredients from partner green local farms and producers, which are then creatively prepared in the hotel's six restaurants and bars by a team of global culinary experts from around the world. Diverse dining and entertainment venues at NUO Hotel Beijing include Jia, the hotel's signature Chinese restaurant; N'Joy for international all-day dining; authentic Japanese restaurant Koji; sleek avant-garde O'Bar with its craft cocktails and outdoor terrace; gourmet boutique U'Deli as well as the hotel's sumptuously elegant, art-bedecked Lobby Lounge. 

The tradition of tea is a significant highlight and unique to NUO Hotel Beijing. Yuan tea house, with its graceful interiors evoking an exquisite courtyard and garden in a contemporary interpretation of a Ming Dynasty-era tea house, and where a variety of premium teas sourced directly from the NUO plantations in Yunnan, Anxi and Wuyi mountain regions are offered, including bespoke teas created exclusively for NUO Hotel Beijing.

For relaxation and wellness, guests may avail of NUO Fitness' well-equipped lifestyle gymnasium and a 25-metre heated indoor swimming pool, and NUO Spa, with its nine treatment rooms. With its opening, NUO Hotel Beijing unveils a total of 2,500 square metres of conference and banqueting facilities, including 14 function rooms and the pillar-free 1,600-square metre Yongle Grand Ballroom, which can accommodate up to 1,200 guests and features natural daylight, a 9 metre-high ceiling designed for flexible lighting installations, LED dynamic lighting to change the room's mood, and direct-access elevators with the capability to accommodate cars. Event organisers benefit from a dedicated events manager on standby at all occasions.

In keeping with NUO Hotels' commitment to "low-carbon green intelligence", NUO Hotel Beijing is equipped with a sophisticated air-purification system with high performance "F8 classification recognised by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), an intelligent lighting system and an energy-saving curtain wall system designed by German firm Schuco which reduces air-conditioning and heating wastage in the hotel. The hotel has stayed faithful to the "green building" template, carefully adhering to gold-level certification standards in LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Building Rating System), as well as achieving gold level certification.

About the Exhibition
This exhibition is presented in collaboration with Musee national Picasso-Paris. It is made possible by Morgan Stanley, Sotheby's and artistic partner Marie Dalgar. The children's educational programs for this exhibition are made possible by Asia Ying's Baby World Limited and YeeHoO Children Growth Foundation. BenQ provides film projection support. Accommodation and event support for this exhibition come from NUO Hotel Beijing and transportation support comes from D-LUX Travel. Thanks to TMALL and UCCA's Strategic Partners Bloomberg and Aranya, for supporting "Pablo Picasso - Birth of a Genius."

As an important part of Festival Croisements 2019, "Picasso - Birth of a Genius" has received support from numerous French and Chinese national institutions; by presenting a selection of important work by one of the 20th century's preeminent artists, who spent much of his life in France, UCCA hopes to promote the cultural and artistic exchange between these two countries. The exhibition is designed by Studio Adrien Gardere (, taking the audience on a rhythmic journey through the diverse themes brought together in the show, and organized with the support of the art and culture agency Doors (Men Yi) (

To honor Picasso's frequent collaborations with musicians and performers, on June 22, July 20, and August 24, UCCA will host an exhibition-themed art festival, including performances, screenings, and lectures which explore the artist's unique contribution. In addition, it has organized a symposium on "Picasso in China," set to take place on June 15, convening speakers such as Emilia Philippot (Head of Collections, Musee national Picasso-Paris), Cai Tao (Professor, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts), Wu Xueshan (Associate Professor, School of the Humanities, Central Academy of Fine Arts), Yu Zhongxian (Researcher and Ph.D. Advisor, Institute of Foreign Literatures, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences), and Jose Lebrero (Artistic Director, The Picasso Museum in Malaga) to discuss Picasso's influence on both the Chinese and international art worlds.

In addition, UCCA will publish a bilingual catalogue for "Picasso: Birth of a Genius," including original essays by curator Emilia Philippot and Wu Xueshan on Picasso's enduring legacy both in China and beyond, as well as high resolution images of all 103 artworks exhibited.

UCCA Kids will also offer a series of children's art education programs designed specially for this exhibition. Children can participate in a guided tour and an art workshop after purchasing a bag of art materials; all proceeds will be used to support UCCA's mission to bring art to children of different backgrounds.

About Musee national Picasso-Paris
Musee Picasso's considerable collection was established after two donations made through "acceptance in lieu," an alternative to inheritance tax, by Picasso's heirs in 1979, and later by the heirs of his widow, Jacqueline, in 1990. This is the first major endeavor that the Musee Picasso will have undertaken in China since its institutional revitalization in 2014, under the leadership of new director Laurent Le Bon, and his novel curatorial framework.

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