Reflecting Chinese Landscapes

Contemporary artists are increasingly engaging with the Chinese tradition of mountain-water painting, questioning and updating it.

Harmony and Transition

Reflecting Chinese Landscapes

20 June – 4 October 2015, Marta Herford (Gehry Galleries)

In recent times the shan-shui tradition of mountain-water painting is becoming increasingly important. Contemporary artists are updating the genre and transferring it to the media of photography, sculpture, installation, video and performance.

Landscape painting in China looks back on a tradition of over 1500 years. It does not concentrate on reproducing a true image of a visible outer world, but reflects the inner experience of the painter. The opposite poles of mountain and water, the solid and the liquid, are subjected to a dynamic exchange as a symbol of the balance in the world.

The invited artists reflect the tradition dedicated to harmony, and develop alien and yet pictorially powerful worlds of experience which extend beyond national borders and make nature the medium for individual systems of order and ideals, but also for change and upheaval.

A project in collaboration with Philipp Bollmann


Marina Abramović & Ulay, Darren Almond, Hans Op de Beeck, Katinka Bock, Cai Guo-Qiang, Chi Peng, Hamish Fulton, Hai Bo, Huang Yan, Markus Huemer, Ji Dachun, Isaac Julien, Nadav Kander, Kitty Kraus, Han Lei, Roy Lichtenstein, Maleonn, Kris Martin, Isa Melsheimer, Maki Na Kamura, Ni Youyu, Qiu Shihua, Yehudit Sasportas, Nadja Schöllhammer, Richard Serra, Julia Steiner, Thomas Struth, William Tucker, Anna Vogel, Sonja Vordermaier, Wang Tiande, WassinkLundgren, Xue Song, Yang Jiechang, Yue Minjun, Yun-Fei Ji, Zuoxiao Zuzhou


A three-part series of publications will appear alongside the exhibition: “Guide” is an informative, brief guide through the exhibition. “Index” is a collection of all the exhibits with a picture and full details of the work, and “Show” offers an extensive photographic tour through the exhibition.

Marta Guide Harmonie und Umbruch Marta Index Harmonie und Umbruch Marta Show Harmonie und Umbruch Format: each 13.3 x 18.7 cm, brochure
Guide: 96 pages, texts with illustrations
Index: 24 pages, illustrated list of works
Show: 56 pages, installation views
Languages: German | English
Publisher: Marta Herford gGmbH
all 3 publications as a package: 10 Euro
Exhibition sponsor

Material sponsor


Thank you

Many thanks to the Marta Herford Corporate Partners and Corporate Premium Partners for their ongoing support of our program.

Exhibition poster "Harmony and Transition"

Exhibition poster

Video-Trailer Harmonie und Umbruch

Video: Exhibition trailer