Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia and friends

Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, 11 November 2023 – 18 February 2024

This group exhibition is based on the pioneering vision of artist Li Yuan-chia and the LYC Museum & Art Gallery which he founded and ran between 1972 and 1983 in Banks, alongside Hadrian’s Wall. The exhibition retraces Li’s commitment to fostering creativity, his interest in play and his investment in new ways of being in the world. Through his home, Li showcased Roman artefacts, works by major figures of British modernism, local artists and contemporary practices including kineticism, land art and video. The LYC Museum  & Art Gallery’s children’s room provided a place for young people to experiment with art making, while craft workshops played host to communities of making. Much like Kettle’s Yard, the LYC also had a library, a garden, and spaces to socialise, transforming how we encounter art. Li’s practice – as both artist and organiser – is at the centre of the exhibition, along with those artists he exhibited at the LYC and those who were part of the cosmopolitan networks he enabled and enriched. Making New Worlds will also include works by contemporary artists reflecting on the afterlives of Li’s work in the present.

Developed in partnership between Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art as part of its ‘London, Asia’ project, and accompanied by a new publication produced by Kettle’s Yard and supported by Paul Mellon Centre. It is co-curated by Hammad Nasar (Curator, Strategic advisor and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre), Sarah Victoria Turner (Deputy Director of the Paul Mellon Centre) and Amy Tobin (Curator, contemporary programmes, Kettle’s Yard).