In conversation – UCCA Beijing


“Breaking News” 2: Art and Culture – 20 Years of Report Evolution

At Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) Sunday, 20th September, 4pm

Guest Speakers: Caroline Puel and Helen Couchman

Caroline Puel, European and French citizen, born in 1963, has been following China policy for the last 25 years as a young diplomat, student, journalist and writer. Graduated from the Political Institute in Paris (Sciences Po), she studied Chinese at the French Institute for Oriental Languages and The Chinese Institute of Diplomacy, she quitted diplomacy in 1988 to become a journalist. War correspondent between 1989 and 1996 (China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, first war in the Gulf, Iran, Irak, Nicaragua, Yugoslavia) she has been in charge of Liberation office in Hong-Kong between 1993 and 1997 and founded the China Office for Liberation and Le Point, based in Beijing in 1995. She quitted Liberation in 2000 and has developed Le Point Asia Office (based in Beijing). Le Point is now the first French language news magazine. She is also chronicler for Radio France, Radio Suisse Romande, Art Critic (author of more than 15 books about Chinese Contemporary Artists) and Lecturer. She teaches journalism and China Contemporary History in Sciences Po Paris. Founding member of the International Women’s Forum Asia (steering committee), President of Sciences Po Alumni Club in China, member of the jury for the best Chinese translator Fu Lei Prize, She received the Albert Londres Award (EQ. French Pulitzer Prize) for her coverage of China.

Helen Couchman was born in 1973 in England and studied art in London, first a B.A. in 1996 and an M.A. graduating in 1998. She has always had a fascination for travel and have when possible worked abroad, working in Armenia, USA and Cyprus. When she first came to Beijing arriving off the Trans-Mongolian train from Moscow she was immediately interested by the city, because of a long held interest in the country and in particular in places that are changing fast.

Couchman’s project WORKERS 工人 (2008) celebrates the workers who have built the iconic buildings to house the Beijing Olympic Games. The book documents 143 men and women working on the building site and their signatures. Couchman’s practice often focuses upon buildings, landscape and during the last four years in Beijing the notion if the ‘gift’. Having spent some time at the Olympic site she quickly realised that her interest lay with the people who were making this new city possible. So for the first time she made a portrait project that was constructed of portraits of people other than herself. Both her previous exhibitions here in Beijing’s 798 Art District – Gift (2006) and New Work (2007) focused on ideas of exchange and the WORKERS 工人 book stemmed directly from that. Because the participants took home a 15x20cm portrait of themselves there are now homes in the provinces these migrant workers hail from with the portraits either treasured or on display.

Couchman is now preparing two new pieces of work to be exhibited in London in November and a new book, Mrs. West’s Hats, remembering her grandmother.

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“独家号外”系列 2: 艺术与文化-20年发展报告

生活在中国已近20年的Caroline Puel 对中国的社会发展有着深刻地认识,与我们一起回顾中国文化的发展变化,并讲述在过去的20年中法国媒体对中国发展的看法。


蒲皓琳 (Caroline Puel),欧洲和法国公民,1963年出生。过去的25年里,以留学生、记者、作家以及外交官的多重身份在中国生活,并熟知中国的政策。

Helen Couchman,1973年出生在英格兰,在伦敦学习艺术专业,1996年她获得了学士学位,1998年获得了硕士学位。她总是对旅游充满了热情,只要 有机会她就会到国外工作,美洲,美国和塞浦路斯都是她工作过的地方。第一次从莫斯科乘火车穿过蒙古来到北京时,她一下就对这个城市充满了好奇。因为这是她 一直以来所向往的国度由其是这里的快速变化。

Couchman的工人(2008)项目赞美那些建造了北京奥运会上标志性建筑的工人们。这 本书记录了143位男女工人在施工现场的照片以及他们的签名。Couchman的实践经常集中在建筑,景观,在北京过去的四年中她的观念是“礼物”。在北 京奥运会场馆的施工现场工作一段时间后,她很快发现她的兴趣全部集中在让新城市成为可能的人们身上。因此她第一次做了一个肖像项目, 是由这些工人们的肖像构成的而不是她自己。她之前在北京798艺术区举办的展览–礼物(2006)和新工作(2007)都主要体现了其想法的转换,《工 人》这本书的梗概也由此而来。那些参与拍摄的工人们都带回家一张他们自己的15x20cm的照片,它们现在都陈列在这些工人的老家,或是珍藏或是展示。



Left to right: Lucy Hornby our MC and long time correspondent for Reuters. Caroline Puel correspondent for Le Point who has been in China since 1984. Coco our translator and myself.