Somerset House


5pm — Midnight

No Prior Booking Required

Xu Zhen will present the first mass performance of the on-going project Physique of Consciousness, in the courtyard of Somerset House, presented in collaboration with hundreds of participants taking part from across London, produced by MadeIn Company.

Described as the first “cultural fitness exercise” ever made, Physique of Consciousness takes the form of a performance comprising movements derived from dance, gymnastics and different forms of exercise, alongside spiritual and cultural rituals. Physique of Consciousness plays with the history and politics of mass exercise in China, alongside ideas of health, well-being and spirituality and the industries around them that we consume today.

Those wishing to participate need to register here. Participants will be asked to watch the video in advance to ensure they feel confident to take part. 

Xu Zhen, Physique of Consciousness 2011, Video, 52 min. Produced by MadeIn Company


Xu Zhen (born 1977, China) is a conceptual artist based in China, who plays with his personal identity to address conventions of creative production, authorship and brand. Recent solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Graz, 2015, Witte de Witte, Rotterdam, 2015, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, 2014, the Minsheng Museum, Shanghai, 2012 and Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland, 2011, alongside group exhibitions such as 14 Rooms, curated by Klaus Biesenbach and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

MadeIn Company is a contemporary art creation corporation founded by Chinese artist Xu Zhen in Shanghai in 2009. Derived from ‘Made In’, two words that refer to manufacturing (with country of origin not specified), the name also phonetically translates into Chinese for ‘without a roof’ (‘méi d ı·ng’), thereby suggesting openness to the company’s art activities. MadeIn is organized as a creative company to produce independent artworks and exhibitions. In 2013, MadeIn Company launched the brand “Xu Zhen”.

To read more about the artist, visit the frieze archive.


The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court
Strand, London WC2R 1LA

The Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is at the heart of Somerset House.
Pedestrian access to Somerset House and the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court is available from Victoria Embankment, Waterloo Bridge (via a new footbridge link) or from the Strand.

Public transport

Plan your journey using Transport for London’s Journey Planner or call Transport for London on 020 7222 1234.

London Underground

The nearest underground stations are Temple, Covent Garden, Charing Cross and Embankment.


The nearest mainline rail stations are Charing Cross, Waterloo and Blackfriars. Plan your journey with National Rail.


Buses servicing the Strand include numbers 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 23, 77a, 91 and 176. Get Bus Countdown information from Transport for London.


Somerset House does not offer on site cycle parking. Please do not attach your bicycles to railings, gates or to the fabric of the building. There are a number of cycle stands close to Somerset House.

The nearest Santander Cycle Hire docking stations are located on Victoria Embankment and the Strand. You can also use Cyclestreets to plan your cycle journey.


The River Bus Service can be taken to Embankment and Savoy piers. Plan your journey with Thames Clippers.


There is a very limited number of parking spaces available near Somerset House. The ParkRight app for mobile, developed for the City of Westminster, can provide you with real time parking space occupancy information.


Partners and Supporters