Contemporary Chinese art, one financial crisis later

January 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

France 24 reports on how the global financial crisis has affected contemporary Chinese art.

The buoyant market for contemporary Chinese art over the last few years has made millionaires of gallery owners, household names of Chinese artists, and art collectors of many in the country. How is the financial crisis affecting the market?

China’s contemporary art-market bubble has burst. After becoming one of the hottest things in the art world over the last decade, galleries are now struggling to sell pieces, works are failing to reach minimums at auction, and artists are having to rethink their choice of career.

Many had expected a slowdown in the market after years of explosive growth, but the slump currently hitting the global economy has had a much bigger impact than anyone had foreseen.

“I think the biggest change in the Chinese art world has come from the US financial crisis,” said Qin Feng, founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing. “It has been like a tsunami. It has had a major impact on Oriental art and Asian art in general. I know two or three large exhibitions which have had to be postponed, and I have also had to postpone showings.”

Businesses in Beijing’s art quarter, Dashanzi, are all too aware of the effects of the financial crisis. The area, which helped launch the careers of many of China’s famous contemporary artists, has seen 50 galleries close in the last three months alone.

Despite the current turmoil, many believe the market will emerge from this glut stronger than ever.

Chinese contemporary art now accounts for a quarter of the global market, and the boom in recent years has attracted many foreign artists to the country to set up studios.

However, many find the overall quality of China’s artists much lower than they had expected, and many think the financial crisis may turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

“I guess it is good for Chinese art, because now a lot of young artists, or people who want to become artists might consider their decision,” said Wolfgang Stiller, a German Artist living in Beijing. “Because before it was kind of a dream thing, to become an artist and make lots of money in a short time, and that will definitely change.”

Even before the financial crisis hit, there was widespread talk of the Chinese art-market bubble bursting. While many people feel that it will recover eventually, things are unlikely to improve until the global economy is back on its feet. Just another case of art imitating life.

Alan Sondheim’s Debris Field

January 23, 2009 § Leave a comment

Architecture for a new year

Roxelo Babenco

– shapes matter less than the comfort that coheres within them.
– outside assume vagaries and opposition.
– architectures as transitional objects.
– living within the teddy-bear.
– in the Second Life installation: dynamic micro-architectures of
– deconstruction and enclosure.
– no entrances, no exits: one appears, disappears.
– what constitutes coming and going are virtual particles = people.
– virtual to the extent that one passes through doors and walls:
one passes through flats, nodes, and textures. nothing is comfortable when the transitional turns on you.
– Second Life = transitional object = preparation for virtual life.
– real life = virtual life; body = inscription; wryting = body;
– uncanny = inscription; world = word; word = idiotic.
– micro-architectures of the visible: setting up the camera image just so: harboring time of day, weather, height, distance from avatar or avatar viewpoint, location beneath the ground or water surface or clothing, location in collusion with sheave-skin,
moment of capture = arrangement of objects in flight.
– micro-architectures within objects in flight: buildings escaped from occupants,
homes escaped from families, dwellings escaped from inhabitants, bodies escaped from inscription.
– bodies escaped from inscription: debris of the body, abjection.
– abjection in micro-architecture: no place to sit, no place to lie: an avatar never lies. no place to sleep: an avatar never sleeps;
no place to declare: an avatar tells the truth.
– coordinates, program, language, protocol, code, alphanumerics,binary oppositions: the truth of anything unforsaken in the saying of it.
– micro-architectures: between code and architecture.

Alan Sondheim aka Alan Dojoji

Alan Sondheim aka Alan Dojoji
Friday, January 23 – Sunday, January 25, 2009
(10 PM CET – 01 PM SLT)
ARENA EX.IT slurl: (


It’s an archaeology of one site by another – an archaeology that constructs something new out of the ruins. It’s not ruins: It’s compressed history. It’s a history of compression, of textures, of objects, of mistakes, of failures, of errors, of misery, of language/sex/body, of avatar sheave-skin. It what happens when an insomniac gets hold of a virtual world.

Press Release: Virtual Art Exhibition in SOHO

January 18, 2009 § 1 Comment

NY ARTS New Media & Net-Art announces the first virtual-world-art exhibition in Broadway Gallery NYC, Virtual Art – visual voices from Second Life, the innovative multimedia presentations created by artists from China and the States. The exhibition is sponsored by World Art Media, and will be on display from February 15 – 28, 2009

Virtual Art

– visual voices from Second Life

Virtual Art Exhibition

Virtual Art Exhibition in Broadway Gallery

"Land of Illusion" - Lily X. Yang

Lily X. Yang – “Land of Illusion”

Honglei Li - "Peacock Flies Southeast"

Honglei Li – “Peacock Flies Southeast”

"Imaging Wall Street" - Will & Craig

Will & Craig – “Imaging Wall Street”

(photograph by John Craig Freeman)

Virtual Art exhibition unveils the latest trend and experiment in the field of new media art – creating contemporary artistic expressions with Second Life, which utilize virtual environments, paintings, animations, videos, and cyberspace performances. The exhibition highlights artistic practice  in Second Life engaging with history and contemporary geo-political realities or utopia, exposing their complicated dynamics. Featured artworks  include Beijing artists Lily & Honglei’s video installation and machinima “Land of Illusion”, American artists John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer’s interactive installation “Imaging Wall Street.”

Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

Virtual Art @ Broadway Gallery NYC

“Land of Illusion” is a visual meditation deeply concerning history, philosophy, Chinese diaspora and current development of China, meanwhile exploring the meaning of virtual online communities in terms of global dialogues regarding cultural root and fantasy of China. “It reflects on globalization’s impact on environment and individual, which often results cultural or personal identity becomes multi-layered, misplaced, or spiritually homeless, while struggling to preserve traditional values.” the two Beijing artists state.

Work on view - Machinima Still

“Land of Illusion” Second Life performance

“Imaging Wall Street” is a place-based virtual reality project that combines mapping, panoramic video, and three-dimensional virtual worlds to document situations where the forces of globalization are impacting the lives of individuals in local communities. The goal of the project is to develop the technologies, the methodology and the content for truly immersive and navigable documentary media, based in real places around the world. In “Imaging Wall Street,” John Craig Freeman and Will Pappenheimer make their way across Lower Manhattan from the Stock Exchange to the various investment banks and financial service companies which were recently bailed out by the U.S. government collecting peoples stories of loss and home as they go.

"Imaging Wall Street"

“Imaging Wall Street”

The exhibition also serves as part of a net-art platform initiative by NY Arts Magazine, NY Arts New Media & Net-Art, which is designed for promoting new media art, net-art and art in virtual world, particularly in Second Life, and bridging cyberspace and physical spaces for creativity.

Exhibition Participants:

Lily & Honglei, “Land of Illusion” Team (Scott Grant, Kristy Lee, Bill Li, Ry Daniel Shanks, Lily X. Yang)

John Craig Freeman

Will Pappenheimer

Exhibition Dates:

February 15 – 28, 2009

Gallery Hours:

Tues – Sat 10:00AM – 6:00PM

Opening Reception:

Thursday, February 19th, 6 – 8PM

Gallery Location:

Broadway Gallery

473 Broadway, 7th Floor

tel. 212-274-8993

Find more exhibition pictures on Broadway Gallery facebook.

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