Pi Li (Hong Kong)

Reptile: a Metaphor about Creation and Collection

Curatorial Note

Synopsis: Li’s presentation tackles M+’s response to the rapid conceptual and technological standards in museums today through a case study, referencing the museum’s 2017 acquisition of Chinese avant-garde artist Huang Yong Ping’s monumental sculpture Reptile. Li outlines the importance of this work which revolutionized the collections protocol of M+. What does it mean to build a museum collection in the twenty-first century. More importantly, is it necessary for us to establish a canonical discourse for art in Asia, where such discourses have never existed, but rather, bracketed under a so-called “international” art history?

Pi Li’s FIELD MEETING participation is supported by M+ (Hong Kong).


Pi Li is the Sigg Senior Curator of M+, a visual culture museum in Hong Kong. He previously served as the deputy executive director of the art administration department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA, 2001-2012); the co-founder and director of Boers-Li Gallery (2005-2012) in Beijing, former Universal Studios-Beijing in Beijing. Exhibitions Li curated include Right is Wrong: Four Decades of Chinese Art in M+ Sigg Collection at Whitworth Gallery in Manchester and Bildmuseet in Umea 2015 and 2014, Under Construction at Tokyo Opera Museum in 2002 and Moist: Asia-Pacific Media Art at the Beijing Millennium Monument Art Museum in 2002 among many others. He has also served as curator for the Shanghai Biennial in 2002; and Allôrs la Chine at Centre Georges Pompidou in 2003. Publications include From Action to Concept (2015), Farewell to Moralism (2018).