I’ve just heard that we now have Arrow Factory organizing a bake sale out of their hutong storefront space, where “artisan home baking enthusiasts purvey their handmade cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, breads and coffee.” This will take place every weekend from Oct 30 to Nov 21, from 1-6pm on Jianchang Hutong (off Guozijian Jie).
Considering the most memorable thing about most openings is the quality of the food and wine, I can do nothing but applaud this effort. Also, keep an eye out for Michael Yuen serving fresh coffee from his mobile la pavoni machine – now that’s good crema!
As Ma mentioned in my interview with him, the group show “forget art” which he has curated took place this afternoon in the Dragon Fountain Bathhouse in Caochangdi. Following his reasoning for the show, the works more or less blended into reality, so for a while the whole bathhouse was an object of artistic possibility.
Last year DICA was showing a selection of artists’ videos on the screens attached to the donkey, but this time around Michael Yuen and Yam Lau have created custom-built shelves for the cart which display a library of artists books.
After being moved on by the police from their original spot, DICA ended up on the corner of Fangyuan Xilu 芳园西路 and Jiangtai Lu 将台路 near the Lido Hotel, a busy intersection. There was a good turnout of locals on their way home from work and art-people, and many people took the time find out what was going on and thumb through the books:
Some are artists setting up programs for themselves or their peers, others are fully-fledged companies offering a wide range of art services. All see themselves as “alternatives,” but what do they mean by that and how do they sit in relation to the Beijing art-world?
These brief notes on some “alternatives” in Beijing (and beyond) were inspired by a visit to one of the groups mentioned, TCA, which led me to question just what it meant to be “alternative,” what is “alternative” a reaction against and how do these organisations go about positioning themselves?