art galleries


art galleries
(private, commercial)
Up until the mid 1990s, there were very few private or commercial contemporary art galleries in China, with the majority of buyers being expatriates from the diplomatic and journalistic communities, as well as patrons from Hong Kong and Taiwan. Since then, with the increase of interest and market value, there has been an explosion of new galleries for contemporary art opening up in most major Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Chengdu, Kunming and Guangzhou. In Beijing, the first privately owned contemporary art gallery was the Red Gate Gallery at the Dongbianmen Watchtower, founded by Australian Brian Wallace in 1991. On its tenth anniversary, Red Gate expanded its role within the local art community by hosting foreign artists in China through its affiliation with the Beijing Art Academy and its recently established artist-in-residence programme. Located in a traditional 150-year old courtyard house across the moat from the East Gate of the Forbidden City, the CourtYard Gallery was established in 1996 by Handel Lee, a Chinese-American lawyer, and is currently directed by Meg Maggio. In 1999, Hans van Dijk joined with collector Frank Uytterhaegen and artist Ai Weiwei to found China Art Archives and Warehouse, focusing mainly on installation and media art.
In Shanghai, the first private gallery devoted entirely to Chinese avantgarde art was ShangART, established in 1995 by Swiss gallerist Lorenz Helbling. Since then many other galleries have opened, including: BizArt founded in 1998 by Huang Yuanqing, Davide Quadrio and Katelijn Verstraete, the first art centre in Shanghai specializing in media art; and Eastlink Gallery founded by Li Liang in 1999. Many of these galleries show a broad range of contemporary Chinese art and have been instrumental in providing more public exposure to local Chinese and international audiences. In the late 1990s, however, alternative, non-profit (or even semi-commercial) spaces have emerged as experimental grounds in between galleries and art museums, heightening the competition for cutting-edge contents. Another recent phenomenon likely to impact the local art market in the near future has been the establishment of branch galleries with main operations based outside mainland China, such as the Schoeni Art Gallery of Hong Kong in Beijing, the Soka (Beijing) Art Centre of Taiwan, the Beijing Tokyo Art Projects owned by the Tokyo Art Gallery (see 798), and Shanghai Contemporary, Albrecht, Ochs and Wei, a collaboration between gallerists from Frankfurt, Berlin and Shanghai. These new overseas galleries are soon likely to profit from the foreseeable relaxation of customs restrictions and scrutiny by the Ministry of Culture on the sale of foreign artworks into China.
BizArt: www.biz-art.com
China Art Archives and Warehouse: www.archivesandwarehouse.com
CourtYard Gallery: www.courtyard-gallery.com
Red Gate Gallery: www.redgategallery.com
ShangART: www.shangart.com
Shanghai Contemporary, Albrecht, Ochs and Wei: www.shanghai-contemporary.com Soka (Beijing)
Art Centre of Taiwan: www.soka-art.com.tw
ALICE MING WAI JIM WITH MEG MAGGIO

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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