Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art announced the departure of its CEO May Xue, who has led the museum’s operations since 2011, after joining in 2008 as the director of its gift store. The institution’s future has been in limbo since its founders Guy and Myriam Ullens announced last June that they were seeking to sell the museum, among the mainland’s most respected, and no buyer has been announced at this time.
“Today we salute May Xue for her nine years of incredible service and leadership at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art. May has decided to move to a new phase in her career, and her tenure as CEO of UCCA will end on Thursday 20 April,” UCCA said in a release sent on its official WeChat channel on Friday. A museum spokeswoman declined further comment on what Xue’s departure will mean for UCCA. Xue will move to the K11 Art Foundation, according to sources close to both entities. K11 declined to comment.
Xue’s is the latest if highest-level departure from the museum since last summer, including several curatorial and communications staff. The Ullens Center’s director Philip Tinari, chief operating office Ada Zhang, and deputy director You Yang remain. Last month, it was widely rumoured that Taikang Insurance, which runs the nonprofit Taikang Space in nearby Caochangdi and last year purchased a 13.5% stake in Sotheby’s, was in the final stages of negotiations to purchase UCCA; a final announcement expected early this month did not materialise. “We can confirm that we are in advanced stages of discussion with a number of potential buyers and the talks are progressing well,” a spokesperson said at the time.