Hans van Dijk: A Life with Art in China is dedicated to the life and work of Hans van Dijk (b. the Netherlands, 1946) and outlines his seminal role in Chinese contemporary art. Van Dijk — or Dai Hanzhi, — was both a witness and a catalyst in the development of Chinese contemporary art. He was active as a curator, art historian, and gallerist in China from the late 1980s until his death in 2002.
This richly illustrated publication documents the recent history of Chinese contemporary art through the lens of van Dijk’s extraordinary life and work. The book includes never-before-published correspondences between him and artists such as Ding Yi and Huang Yong Ping, over 20 interviews with artists close to van Dijk including Geng Jianyi, Wang Xingwei, and Zhang Peili, historical photographs, as well as a full-length scholarly essay about the history of Chinese modern and contemporary art by van Dijk.
This publication follows the exhibitions Hans van Dijk: 5000 Names (Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 24 May – 10 August 2014) and Dai Hanzhi: 5000 Artists (Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, 4 September 2014 – 4 January 2015)