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From gunpowder to human hair, and silk to cigarettes, contemporary artists working in China have experimented with various materials, transforming seemingly everyday objects into large-scale artworks. The Allure of Matter showcases these material transformations and explorations for the first time.

Browse Allure from Home—an archive of digital programming that builds upon the entire exhibition, including virtual tours of Wrightwood 659 and the Smart Museum of Art, object chats, at-home activities, online programs, and behind-the-scenes videos and photos.

Art and Materiality Symposium

February 7–8, 2020

Through panels and presentations, an international array of eighteen scholars and artists build on the foundation of The Allure of Matter, connecting the concept of materiality to Chinese art historically, and to contemporary art globally.

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