Elmgreen & Dragset create a fictional art fair in Beijing

The maverick Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset focus on an art world staple—art fairs and their enduring popularity—in their latest show, The Well Fair, which opens at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing on Sunday (24 January-17 April).

The artists have transformed the main hall of UCCA into a fictional fair by building multiple rows of rectangular booths, mimicking the generic architecture of art fairs worldwide.

Michael Elmgreen says: “In each booth we have created a narrative, a whole small-scale solo show, so that the exhibition contains multiple solo shows with different concepts and stories.” Two adjacent stands staffed by dealers played by identical twins, showing the same works hung in an identical fashion, are a comment on the generic, conveyor-belt aspect of art fairs. UCCA staff, meanwhile, double up as fair guards and information desk staff.


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