Cui Jie
New Model Village


Supported by the M Art Foundation, this publication accompanies Cui Jie’s 2022 solo exhibition New Model Village at Focal Point Gallery, presenting an international view of pioneering modernist architecture and art in Essex through newly commissioned paintings and prints, establishing connections between these practices and the worker towns and villages of Shanghai.

The publication showcases Cui Jie’s research and interest in Essex’s New Towns, specifically Harlow and Basildon, and the public sculptures commissioned during that time. Jie also draws connections between these developments and the history of Caoyang New Village in Shanghai, built in the 1950s as China’s first workers’ village.

Designed by Alexander Conway and Fraser Muggeridge Studio, the publication features insightful essays by Dr. Wenny Teo, Senior Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and Zhou Jianjia, the founding partner and principal architect of YeArch Studio (YEAS) and PhD candidate at the College of Architecture and Urban Planning, Tongji University. An interview with the artist and Katharine Stout, Director of Focal Point Gallery, is also included. With images of new works and installation views, archival material, and essays by Wenny Teo and Zhou Jianjia, this publication documents Cui Jie’s first solo institutional show outside of China.

Cui Jie (b. 1983, Shanghai, China) specializes in oil painting, exploring the modernization and development of city landscapes. The unified style of contemporary architecture is a recurring theme in her work, discussing the past and present. Graduating from the China Academy of Art, Cui Jie expresses nostalgia for the past and utopian exploration for the future landscape. She has been featured in Phaidon Press’s publication Vitamin P3 and exhibited in various venues, including Para Site, Hong Kong (2021); Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei (2020); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020); X Museum, Beijing (2020); and the Center for Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester (solo; 2019). Cui Jie’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; Rubell Family Collection, Miami; Kistefos Museum, Jevnaker, among others.