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Posted inArt

China’s Instant Messenger and Why New Media Types Need It

It’s a well-known truism that the internet in China is lousy. But business has to be done and file transfers have to be made. New media artists in particular, who can work with large complex files, would be at a loss if they relied on Western sites like YouSendIt (blocked), DropBox (blocked) and even Skype (routed through servers outside China). Any file over 50 MB can literally take hours to download from the web, if not longer. What’s a file-heavy new media artist or denizen to do? Enter Tencent QQ, China’s top instant messaging system.

Posted inArt

A Taste of Beijing’s Large New Media Art Triennial

Last night, the National Art Museum of China (中国美术馆) launched Translife (延展生命), their triennial of new media art from around the world. Curated by Zhang Ga (张尕), Translife is divided into four parts and three floors: Sensorium of the Extraordinary, Sublime of the Liminal, Zone of the Impending and, outside, The Weather Tunnel.

Posted inArt

Beijing’s Williamsburg, Caochangdi

If Beijing has a Chelsea, 798 Art Zone, then surely it has a Williamsburg. That “alternative” neighborhood is Caochangdi (草场地). According to legend, Ai Weiwei moved out here in early 2000 to set up his studio and the China Art Archives and Warehouse. It was a strange move at the time, but galleries and artists soon followed, and the area is now home to a number of well-known spaces.

Posted inArt

The Father of 视频艺术

Zhang Peili (张培力), frequently dubbed the father of Chinese video art, has a retrospective ongoing at Shanghai’s Minsheng Art Museum (民生现代美术馆). Dubbed Certain Pleasures (确切的快感), the show extends over two floors and three main gallery spaces, showing Zhang’s videos and high conceptual work.

Posted inArt

Where Art, Design & Tech Naturally Mingle, Xindanwei in Shanghai

It’s just a typical day at Xindanwei (新单位), a coworking space with a name that means “New Work Unit” in Chinese. Downstairs, Patrick Jost of vvvv.org is giving a talk … On the second floor, the EF Life Club are leading a workshop on self actualization through art, … On the roof is a meeting of marketing gurus enjoying the summer air. And in between can be found mini-meetings in corners, in hallways, on the stairs. Founded by Liu Yan, Aaajiao (aka Xu Wenkai) and Chen Xu in 2009 as a coworking space, Xindanwei has quickly become the center of Shanghai’s burgeoning technology and art community.

Posted inArt

Critiquing America from China

Joseph DeLappe, known best for his performances situated in first person shooter (FPS) games, has unveiled the beginning of a new series of work at Where Where Exhibition Space (“哪里哪里”艺术空间) in Beijing’s Caochangdi neighborhood.

Posted inArt

WTF Art Guide to Asia: Beijing’s 798 Art Zone

I get lots of emails from people these days asking about the Beijing art scene. What’s it like? How does it compare to New York and Los Angeles? In a country of 1 billion people, with a number of different art centers, there’s of course no simple answer. But if America’s art mecca is Chelsea in New York, then China’s is almost certainly 798 Art Zone (798艺术区) in Beijing. And with that comparison comes the inevitable complaints of commercialization and the loss of soul.

Posted inArt

Seeking Truth Through Karaoke In Chinese Communist Art

There’s Communism in the air here in Beijing! With the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party having just passed (per official accounts, the Party was founded July 1, 1921), China is in the midst of a country-wide celebration—and one that presents the perfect opportunity to take a look at some examples of crowd-sourced and “official” Party-related art.

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