'Art always works'

'Art always works'

Curator and VUB professor Hans De Wolf co-curator of Harmo-Power, the first international Jinan Biennale

The opening ceremony of the first Jinan International Bienniale took place on 12 December 2020. VUB professor Hans de Wolf is part of the curatorial team, with Fan Di’An, president of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of Beijing (CAFA), the main curator. De Wolf: “As one of three foreign curators in a team of 10, I had the opportunity in the middle of the corona pandemic to have some of our artists, who were facing very hard times, produce new work financed by our Chinese host.

Jinan is the capital of Shandong, one of the most dynamic provinces in China. The Biennale brings more than 150 big names to Jinan, including several Belgians. Emmanuel Van Der Auwera and Song Dong created new installations for this exceptional exhibition, and there is an impressive series of paintings by the Congolese artist Géraldine Tobe.

The Biennale has so far not had to close because of the pandemic and has been an enormous success. On an average Sunday, 15,000 people visit and there are long queues of visitors. De Wolf: “This is the first comprehensive project in the visual arts in the post-corona era in China. The thousands of visitors a day make it clear that people need art to give meaning to their lives again. It illustrates that artists are the first to understand that after corona nothing will ever be the same again. And it shows that the inventiveness and daring that characterise their commitment will always prevail. Art always works.”

The Jinan Biennale runs until mid-March


Hans De Wolf


0495 733 158

About Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.

The World Needs You

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel assumes its scientific and social responsibility with love and decisiveness. That’s why VUB launched the platform De Wereld Heeft Je Nodig – The World Needs You, which brings together ideas, actions and projects based on six Ps. The first P stands for People, because that’s what it’s all about: giving people equal opportunities, prosperity, welfare, respect. Peace is about fighting injustice, big and small, in the world. Prosperity combats poverty and inequality. Planet stands for actions on biodiversity, climate, air quality, animal rights... With Partnership, VUB is looking for joint actions to make the world a better place. The sixth and last P is for Poincaré, the French philosopher Henri Poincaré, from whom VUB derives its motto that thinking should submit to nothing except the facts themselves. VUB is an ‘urban engaged university’, strongly anchored in Brussels and Europe and working according to the principles of free research.



Press - Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Brussel