Beijing’s highly anticipated X Museum has pushed back the March opening of its inaugural exhibition, “X Museum Triennale,” due to concerns over the coronavirus. The March 21 launch of the Tadao Ando–designed He Art Museum (HEM), located in the city of Foshan in China’s Guangdong province, has also been postponed. The announcements follow the temporary closure of several other museums and public spaces across China and Hong Kong.
“I don’t want to risk the health of our guests, our staff, and also our construction team,” X Museum cofounder and collector Michael Xufu Huang, formerly of the private contemporary art museum M Woods, told the Art Newspaper. He also said that the triennial, which will feature work by thirty-three artists, including Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, and Xiaoshi Vivian Vivian Qin, will possibly be delayed until mid- or late April.
A statement from HEM, a private project of billionaire He Jianfengthe founder of the electrical appliance manufacturer the Midea Groupdeclared that its opening ceremony would be rescheduled in order to “minimize the risks of transmission.” “HEM is closely following the measures from the Chinese government and World Health Organization,” the statement reads.
The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Since the first case was reported on December 31, 2019, the virus has reached every province in the country and has continued to spread. According to the New York Times, as of Tuesday there have been more than 420 deaths in China, and the Chinese government reported that 20,438 people are infected. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global public health emergency last week. In an attempt to contain the virus, China has barred people from traveling to and from Wuhan, and airlines have reduced flights to the country.