Friday, February 18, 2011

Shoreditch, China

Having experienced big cultural edifices yesterday, it was smaller independent outfits today, mainly out in the suburb of Huang Jiaoping, where the Sichuan Fine Art Institute, Tank Factory, 501 and Organhaus are. What a great area: a bit like the early days of 798 or Shoreditch. Cheap, chilly, high-ceilinged studios in old warehouses with grim (but strangely inspiring) views of smoke-belching factories. Good community spirit, lots of international exchange programmes and – almost a bonus – some very good art, created by SFAI teachers & undergrad students or postgrads who’ve stayed on and manage to make a living out of it. Local government seem happy to leave it as it is and not increase rents. They even encouraged students to paint super-colourful murals on the otherwise drab & decaying apartment blocks that line the main street. An uplifting afternoon, but after four hours of artists’ studios and a week of art art art, I have a sudden desire to watch football on TV, so back at the hotel I do.

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