Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Art in the 'burbs

I went to Caochangdi today, out in the north-east suburbs on the way to the airport. It was farmland not that long ago but is now pretty developed and is the place for contemporary art galleries and studios, having usurped 798 when the rents went up. Our detained friend was the first to move out there in the mid-00s. It's a weird place with the air of an industrial estate and the scattered galleries are likewise utilitarian and anonymous, but with lots of space and high ceilings. Shanghart, Chambers Fine Art, Platform China, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, F2, Galerie Urs Meile, Pékin Fine Arts... they're all there.
Three Shadows

I visited quite a few, one of the most interesting being Three Shadows, owned by husband-and-wife photographer-artists, RongRong and inri. Currently the gallery is showing four excellent shows: their annual Photography Competition, a re-presentation of a Chinese photography exhibition originally shown in France in 1988, Japanese photographer Eikoh Hosoe's Photographic Scrolls (featuring Yukio Mishima) and Taryn Simon's The Innocents. The last is amazing: big photographs of individuals wrongly accused of violent crimes, set in the places where the crimes 'took place'. Really powerful.

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