Images of the Innocent 

Organizer: Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum

Curator: Li Mu

Assistant Cutators: Zheng Yahui, Ishihara Rika

ParticipantsChang Lujia, Chen Jiakai, Chen Ruixi, Chen Zhaoran, Du Liuyang, Fu Sheng, Gao Zixuan, Jia Wenlin, Li Ang, Li Baicheng, Li Haoxuan, Li Renda, Lin Juncheng, Liu Fenglin, Liu ZhongLin, Ma Yumin, Ren Jiawei, Sun Haiying, Wang Yaxuan, Wang Yupu, Wu Kejun, Xiao Ding, Yang Bowen, Zhang Shuwei, Zhang Yingjie, Zhang Yuelin, Zheng Kaige, Zhou Haoran, Zhou Weiran, Zhou Wanjun, Zhu Yuchen, Zou YaoranIn alphabetic order

Opening: 2pm, April 1, 2018, Sunday

Exhibition dates: April 1 to April 29, 2018

Address: No. 107, Block 4, Inside-Out Art Complex, No. 50 Xingshikou Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100195, China

Free Admission


As time flies, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum is about to celebrate the eighth year of “Autistic or Artistic”. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in December 2007, and since April 2008, the date of April 2 has been designated as the World Autism Awareness Day to raise people’s awareness and knowledge about autism. As the first non-profit art institution in Beijing to pay close attention to autistic art, the Inside-Out Art Museum regularly holds exhibitions for these autistic patients, who we call “the innocent” as they live and practice beyond the rigidity of society and aesthetics. In the past seven years, we have organized five art exhibitions for the innocent. Looking back on this seven-year history, we serve the innocent with a compassionate attitude, and provide them with a platform for displaying talents, and later, we explore their paintings from a professional academic perspective to enrich and develop our thinking and vision. We realize that what the innocent and art can explore is never just a charity. This time, as we extend the academic exploration of the exhibitions of the innocent, we will continue to work with the public and community that support and care for the innocent, and humbly learn from the creation of the innocent, so as to continue to extend the existent boundary of art and examine the current issues of tolerance and prejudice from the perspective of “de-identification”.


As an important project for Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum this year, we are honored to invite Li Mu, Professor from the Academy of Fine Arts of Tsinghua University and Vice President of the Beijing Association for Rehabilitation of Autistic Children, as the curator of the exhibition. The exhibition is titled “Images of Innocence”, and will open on the eve of the World Autism Awareness Day (April 2) on April 1, 2018 at 2pm. At the opening ceremony, we will invite experts and scholars from different fields such as sociology, philosophy, and arts to attend a symposium discussing some of the topics raised by the exhibition.


As an academic institution focusing on serious art research, exhibition and publication, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum also hopes to present to the audience and society who have long been supporting us our work on public welfare and art studies. There is still a long way to go in terms of the artistic education of the innocent, academic support and social welfare system. We sincerely hope that through this exhibition, we can make our contribution to the cause.

We are used to seeing ourselves in standard forms instead of non-standard ones, which means that we can only accept those portraits that are identical to the figures in life. We are used to seeing ourselves in normal shapes instead of abnormal ones, which means that we can only accept the portraits that are in line with our value criteria. We are used to our perfect images instead of imperfect ones in paintings, which means that we can only tolerate the portraits that are ”inspired by life as well as transcend it”.


For a long period, we have used such concepts as “standard”, “normal” and “perfect” to constitute an art world that does not exist in our daily life and a living world that does not exist in the art world. The meaning of art in life is to discover, while the value of life in art is to inspire. When we conceptualize art and simplify our life, we gradually move away from the reality of art and life. When we reject “imperfection”, “abnormality” and “irregularity” in art, what we throw away is the possibility of a real art world that is constituted by innocence, curiosity, fantasy, and instinct, and the potential pathway that leads us to another real life from this art world. That is a world of ambiguity, relativity and tolerance. When we close the window of the art world, what we close is the door of our living world, because the absolute “perfection”, the absolute “normality” and the absolute “standard” are the origins of “imperfection”, “abnormality” and “non-standard”.


The unique feature of this exhibition lies in the fact that the painters work beyond “normal, standard and perfect” principles. They are naïve themselves who persist in painting naïveté. With their own imagination, obsession and instinct, they paint the world, people and events that they observe, regardless of whether they are true or false, good or evil, beautiful or ugly. These exceptional paintings show the innocence of both the painters and the painted, allowing us to experience the innocence in life and in painting, to understand its meaning, and to realize how important diversity, relativity and uncertainty are to the very world we live in.


Li Mu

March, 2018


Symposium  Innocence and Civilization

Speakers: Chen Jiayi, Gao Jin, Huang Yusheng, Liu Weimo, Luo Pengpeng, Zhang Gan, Zhang RuiIn alphabetic order

ModeratorsLi Mu, Carol Yinghua Lu

Time: 14:50-16:50, April 1, 2018, Sunday


Supported by Beijing Inside-Out Art Foundation, Institute of Social Aesthetic Education, Academy of Arts and Design, Tsinghua University, Beijing Goldstone Law Firm

Venue: Conference room, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum


When we began to understand the paintings of children with autism, we also began to learn to understand ourselves. From the difference in the style of painting to the difference in behavior, the more we understand, the more thoroughly we accept things. Not only do we accept them, but we also accept ourselves. The elimination of barriers to communication is not one-way but mutual. When tolerance gradually increases, society changes, they changes, and we also change unconsciously. It is hard to say who changes whom, as this is the self-healing of the society, which can be called civilization.




Chen Jiayi

works for Tsinghua University Schwarzman College as Assistant Dean


Gao Jin

Lecturer, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Tsinghua University


Huang Yusheng

Professor, Department of Philosophy, Tsinghua University; Director of Committee of German Philosophy, Chinese Society of Modern Foreign Philosophy


Li Mu

Artsit, Professor at the Department of Art History, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University


Liu Weimo

Born in 1985, works in the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Editor of Philosophical Research


Carol Yinghua Lu 

Director of Beijing Inside-out Art Museum


Luo Pengpeng

Dean of the Chinese Academy of Seal Art at the Academy of Chinese Academy of Arts


Zhang Gan

Professor, Department of Art History, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University


Zhang Rui

Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University