For the grand opening after its renovations, the UCCA has chosen Qiu Zhijie to embody that acute sort of Chinese artist, international, capable of creating relationships and carrying artistic messages throughout and outside of China. Almost a decade ago, in the catalogues of his exhibitions, Qiu Zhijie began to trace intricate maps of the relations between his various works. It is from this synthesis of research, writing, imagination and action that the Mapping the World Project was born. A system of coordinates that unite ideas, characters, objects, incidents and situations in map form, offering the public the possibility to follow a seemingly infinite choice of narratives in the continuous experimental work of the artist. Mapping the world has always, in fact, been a way for humans to acquire knowledge, a method of representing the unknown, making it more accessible. Qui Zhijie, through these maps, conceptually depicts portions of understanding, using the ancient Chinese tradition of showing imaginary locations to create a conceptual landscape. He defines himself as a “mapper” and explains that the map represents “the infinite possibilities in any single form”. Mappa Mundi is the synthesis of decades of Chinese contemporary art that the artist likens to a river. The mountains in the North represent Chinese politics, while those in the South represent world affairs. Together, these mountains constitute the historical, social and political context through which the river has made its course, arduously, finding its hard-earned space for free expression. A profound exhibition, a collective reflection in the Chinese capital itself, which celebrates the great international success of Qiu Zhijie.