In keeping with the constantly evolving nature of the gallery and its desire to address as wide a public as possible, in 2005 Galleria Continua opened a new exhibition space in Beijing, China, the aim being to promote international contemporary art in a nation where it is little seen and to encourage new forms of cultural exchange.
Galleria Continua Beijing performs a particularly intense cultural mediation role, offering Chinese art-lovers the chance to visit exhibitions in which international-level artists devise projects specifically for the gallery space and reflect upon their experiences. It is a twofold challenge: for the foreign artist, who is exhibiting in China in a rather particular venue; and for the visitor, who is venturing into very different cultural territory. The gallery's interest in China arose principally as a result of its solid ties of friendship with Chen Zhen and Xu Min.
In April 2004 Galleria Continua participated in the first contemporary art fair in Beijing. Then, in November of the same year, the gallery hosted its first visitors to present them its project in the 798 Art District (the former 798 Factory), a reconverted industrial zone occupied by artists, gallery owners and art lovers. The premises taken over by the gallery (1,000 m2 and 13 metres high) had not yet been restored, and its 1950s Bauhaus style was intact. This style is preserved even after the renovation works.
Back in 2004, Galleria Continua was the first foreign art gallery to exhibit an international program in China. In May 2005 Galleria Continua held its inaugural show in the new space, featuring 16 artists from five continents.
Since then there have been exhibitions of the work of Chen Zhen, Buren, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Anish Kapoor, Antony Gormley, Ai Weiwei, Kader Attia and Michelangelo Pistoletto plus various other projects, monographic and group shows. The space has become an exciting venue for presenting artists from around the world, all the more remarkable given the comparative rarity of such ventures on the part of Western galleries. The underlying thread of Galleria Continua's activities in Beijing, as it is in San Gimignano, is to discover new artists and to provide showcases that bring together spheres of creativity and various different cultures.
Mario Cristiani, partner
Lorenzo Fiaschi, director and partner
Maurizio Rigillo, director and partner