Held at the Fudan University Teachers' Club, '83 Experimental Painting Exhibition' opened on 5 September 1983 and was curated by the artists themselves. The exhibition was the first to publicly showcase abstract art in China and featured ten artists with five works each. The exhibition space at Fudan University bridged the artists with the academic circles of the time, opening up discussions related to their work and connecting art with philosophy and science.
While the exhibition was proposed to remain open until 9 September, it was closed after one day by the officials on 6 September, and the show was heavily criticised due to the rise of the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign of the time. Huang Ke, who was from the Theoretical Study Department of the Artists' Association criticised the exhibition and eight artworks in 'Liberation Daily'. The harsh criticism later affected many of the artists in terms of their daily lives and artistic practices. However, the exhibition and the artists were supported by the Fudan University Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Society who wrote in his congratulatory message; "The value of art lies in innovation. It takes passion and courage."