Millennium Point launches arts strategy


Chinese artwork to be the first exhibit.

A giant inflatable suckling pig will be installed inside Millennium Point as the first exhibition in its new Arts Strategy.

The artwork, House of Treasures by Chinese artist Cao Fei will be positioned in the central atrium of Millennium Point, forming an arresting and surreal experience for the many hundreds of visitors who pass daily through the building. This is the first time the work has been exhibited outside China.

House of Treasures forms the first exhibition of Millennium Point’s new Arts Strategy, which aims to place contemporary art at the centre of the organisation’s public programming.

Philip Singleton, CEO of Millennium Point, commented: “This striking installation announces our intentions as a serious contender in Birmingham’s cultural scene. House of Treasures looks at pressing contemporary issues including globalisation, economy and urban planning, aligning well with Millennium Point’s standing as an internationally-engaged centre for science, technology, innovation and design.”

Singleton continued, “As the first exhibition in our new Arts Strategy, this work gives a taste of our future ambitions. We will be collaborating with artists and organisations whose work is stimulating, participatory and encourages critical debate across sectors. Millennium Point is in the unique position of having a vast central indoor space, cutting edge digital technology and, with the new Eastside City Park, a striking outdoor setting for performances and interventions. Looking ahead, my vision is to be at the vanguard of audience engagement with art and digital media in the region.”

House of Treasures is described as a reflection on contemporary prosperity and abundance, balancing a serious commentary on consumption with playful interactivity. Visitors may enter the pig through an opening in its side, finding within its belly several films by the artist.

Cao Fei is acknowledged as one of the key artists of a new generation emerging from mainland China. Known in particular for her multimedia installations and video, she mixes popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism and documentary conventions into her films and videos. Her work has been exhibited at the Serpentine Gallery (London), MoMA (New York), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and the Guggenheim Museum (New York).

House of Treasures is presented in collaboration with the internationally recognised gallery Eastside Projects, located in Digbeth, who currently exhibit a new film by Cao Fei, Haze and Fog.