Lulu, the Acclaimed Hybrid Art Space in Mexico City, Will Now Become a Satellite of China’s X Museum

The Beijing institution is funding the entire Lulu program.

X Museum in Beijing. Image courtesy X Museum.

In an unexpected art world mash-up, X Museum, the one-year old Beijing-based institution founded by collector Michael Xufu Huang, is collaborating with Mexico City art project Lulu. The team-up will result in the “transformation of Lulu into a nonprofit satellite of X Museum,” according to a statement.

As of the summer, the hybrid project space that was cofounded by Martin Soto Climent and Chris Sharp in 2013 will become known as Lulu by X Museum (unlike most recent collaborations, the “X” is already built in to the new label). Sharp will remain the artistic director while contributions will be made to the programming by the Chinese institution.

X Museum in Beijing. Image courtesy X Museum.

Lulu co-founder Chris Sharp in Mexico City. Image courtesy Lulu and Chris Sharp.

Under the terms of the arrangement, four exhibitions will be presented annually at Lulu by X Museum, including three curated by Lulu artistic director Sharp, who will continue to seek out emerging as well overlooked mid-career artists.

X Museum will be in charge of the fourth, based on an open call to artists based in China. Jointly selected by Chris Sharp and X Museum, the artist will be in residency at Lulu by X Museum, where they will create a solo exhibition.

Asked how the collaboration took shape, Sharp told Artnet News that Lulu was always a hybrid project space that supported itself through selling work, and that the collaboration would allow it to free itself of this commercial aspect.

Image courtesy Lulu by X Museum.

Image courtesy Lulu by X Museum.

“Upon deciding to open a commercial gallery under my name in Los Angeles, my intention was to close Lulu, as it would have been too much on my own,” Sharp explained. “But Michael approached me about taking Lulu over and transforming it into a non profit, and I, and my co-founder, Martin Soto Climent, really liked the idea and decided to go ahead with it. So Lulu, in a slightly modified form, lives on.”

Asked if he is following any other private museum models with this move, Huang told Artnet News that it was still trying new things. “I guess we are learning a bit from everyone, especially the public institutions on how to engage with more audience worldwide,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, art is a global language.”

X Museum founder and collector Michael Xufu Huang. Image courtesy X Museum.

X Museum founder and collector Michael Xufu Huang. Image courtesy X Museum.

Asked if he has plans for additional X Museum satellite spaces, Huang said that next steps remained in development: “We are definitely planning more spaces in other Chinese cities but I believe in fate so things will come when it’s right timing. We don’t have a concrete plan of where and when our next space will be.”

As for the financial arrangement, Huang told us: “X Museum is funding Lulu’s entire budget.”

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