The Szechwan Tale
China, Theatre and History a cura di Marco Scotini
FM Centro per l'Arte Contemporanea - via Piranesi 10 Milano

Opening hours:

from Wednesday to Friday 5-10 pm

Saturday and Sunday 11 am-6 pm


free admission -


Guided tours and other days / times by reservation - with the opportunity to visit the Open Care restoration laboratories.

From April 12 until July 15, 2018, FM Centre for Contemporary Art present The Szechwan Tale. China, Theatre and History, a new large-scale exhibition curated by Marco Scotini – artistic director of FM Centre – focused on the Chinese context, following the line of research set with the latest exhibitions Non-Aligned Modernity, focused on Eastern European Art, and The White Hunter, on African Art.

The Szechwan Tale. China, Theatre and History will open on April 12, 2018, during the Milan Art Week and miart, the International Modern and Contemporary Art Fair of Milan.

The exhibition is tracing the relationship between East and West around the grand themes of Theater and History, covering these subjects within a sort of meta-theatre in which more than thirty international and Chinese artists provide a deconstruction of the tools of the theatric machine – such as: the audience, the curtain, the actors (the automaton, the puppet, the shadow theater), the costumes and the backdrops (a changing and unchanging environment), the text and the music – as metaphors of an equal number of social phenomena and of their historic nature.


The exhibition is an evolution of the project that the curator Marco Scotini realized in Anren, Sichuan (China), at the first Anren Biennale (28 October 2017 – February 2018), titled Today’s Yesterday, with the addition of other internationally renown Chinese artists. Original artworks included will range from painting to photography, installation to video and documentaries, coming from prestigious private collections.


The title of the exhibition is a reference to the theatrical work by Bertolt Brecht The Good Person of Szechwan (Der gute Mensch von Sezuan) written in 1938-1941, also staged by Giorgio Strehler at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 1957-58. The figure of Mei Lanfang (1894-1961), one of the most famous Peking Opera artists, which influenced Russian and German avant-garde theater will be central to the exhibition. Other references include the opera, with the lavish costume that the soprano Gina Cigna worn in the '30s for Puccini's Turandot at the Teatro alla Scala.


Artists: Cao Fei, Cornelius Cardew, Chen Zhen, Chia-Wei Hsu, Céline Condorelli, Peter Friedl, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Piero Gilardi, Dan Graham, Joris Ivens, Jia Zhangke, Joan Jonas, William Kentridge, Lin Yilin, Liu Ding, Mao Tongqiang, Mei Lanfang, Rithy Panh, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Lisl Ponger, Qiu Zhijie, Pedro Reyes, Santiago Sierra, Sun Xun, Marko Tadić, Ulla von Brandenburg, Clemens von Wedemeyer & Maya Schweizer, Wei Minglun, Yang Yuanyuan, Zhang Huan, Zhuang Hui.


The exhibition will be held in collaboration with Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum - Beijing, Istituto Culturale Italo-Cinese and NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti - Milan.


OPENING: Thursday April 12, 8-11.30 pm


Talk and Catalogue Launch The Szechwan Tale. China, Theatre and History

Saturday 14th April 11.00 am – Sala Carroponte of FM Center for Contemporary Art

with Marco Scotini, curator of the exhibition; Lü Peng, art historian of Chinese art; Liu Zhen, director of Mei Lanfang Memorial Museum – Beijing; Liu Ding, Mao Tongqiang, Zhuang Hui, artists


Special openings during miart (free admission):

Friday, April 13-Saturday 14 April: from 11 am to 10 pm

Sunday, April 15: from 11 am to 7 pm


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