Podcast: Conversations with Art Writers

2021.03.16 Tuesday


WeChat Official Accounts “HEICHIMAGAZINE”/ Ximalaya Account: Heichi Radio

Guest: Jia Li, Yang Zi, Hu Hao (the list will be updated continuously)

Host: Chen Yujian


Conversations with Art Writers is an interview podcast presented by Macalline Art Center and Heichi Magazine. Writers active in the art industry are invited to share their thoughts, questions, and experiences in an interview format.

Art writers have been absorbed into the art market, and their words printed on various surfaces in art settings actively and passively serve as sources of guidance and connoisseurship. These words lead readers toward artworks and exhibitions, but not the writers themselves. Now, how should we think about this group of interpreters? These conversations provide a window into the people half-hidden behind these beautiful words. This podcast does not deal in trade secrets or prescriptions, but it will illuminate how people “cooking” with words cut the wood, wash the pot, light the fire, and make a dish.

Now that social distancing has become normal, we hope that these writers’ voices will convey a long-lost sense of closeness. Working to cast off the auras created by the artists, we sincerely interrogate the practice of art writing. We want to ask questions and inspire discussion, instead of offering solid answers or a guide to success.

This project is hosted by Chen Yujian, he is the Assistant Curator at Macalline Art Center and Assistant Editor at Heichi Magazine.

About Guests:

Jia Li

Jia Li is an independent curator and author based in Beijing. She graduated from Peking University with a double major in Law and in Economics in 2005, and received a M.A in Art History from the same university in 2008. She worked as an associate director at Pace Beijing from 2012 to 2015, and then was the senior curator at Taikang Space, a non-profit art institution in Beijing, from 2015 to 2020. She has curated/organized dozens of individual programs and group exhibitions, including A Geography of Resistance (2019-2020), Other Lives of the Alternative Spaces (2019), Genders Engender (2018), Precariousness (2018), Light Pavilion Series (12 consecutive shows, 2016-2018) among others. She was awarded the first Hyundai Blue Prize (Creativity) for achievement in curatorial practice in 2017. Li is a regular contributor to Artforum, Leap and Randian. Her articles were also published in ArtAsiaPacific, Flash Art, Yishu, etc.

Yang Zi

Yang Zi is an independent curator. In 2020, he was awarded the first Sigg Fellowship for Chinese Art Research; he was the jury member of 2020 Gallery Weekend Beijing; in 2019 he served as one of the primary judges of Huayu Youth Award; he was a finalist for the 2017 Hyundai Blue Prize.

He was the curator and the head of Public Programs in UCCA.he was the executive eidtor on series of UCCA catalogues for artists such as Wang Yin, Liu Wei, Xu Zhen, and Zeng Fanzhi, and curated numerous exhibitions and public programs, including “The New Normal: Art and China in 2017”, “Pity Party”, “Land of the Lustrous”, “In Younger Days”,“Golden Flow”,and other projects, as well as solo exhibitions by artists such as Zhao Bandi, Xie Nanxing, Bu Di, Wu Chen, Wu Wei, Yang Luzi, Yu Honglei, and Zhu Changquan.

Yang Zi has nearly ten years of experience in art critic writing and curation. In 2011, he served as editor of LEAP, and wrote extensively for a range of publications such as LEAP, Artforum China and the Art Newspaper China. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religious studies from Nanjing University.


Macalline Art Center is a practice-oriented site focused on contemporary visual inventions. The Center engages with artists and art groups by building physical and online communities through events and research. The Center is guided by the working processes of artists, constantly re-defining and testing itself and renewing perceptual and cognitive systems in contemporary situations and contexts.