Unhappy Picture for Beijing’s Art Hotbed

Asia Times looks at the impending demolition of Caochangdi, the Beijing artists’ zone founded by Ai Weiwei:

…Like other artist communities that have come before it, Caochangdi is in jeopardy. In mid-April, residents were given notices of eviction and told that the suburb would be demolished to make way for government projects, business development and, ironically, a “Cultural District”.

The notice, vague on timing and similar to one received last summer, originated from the village government office. “Following the progression of urbanization, our village has been listed for demolition and eviction, but the time has not been specified,” it read.

The threat of demolition arrives as the bohemian art zone has started coming into its own. Last month, Three Shadows spearheaded the PhotoSpring photography festival, modeled after the Arles festival in France. PhotoSpring, which involves 27 galleries and over 200 artists, drew more than 5,000 people on opening weekend and will run until June 30.

Read more about the demolition of artists’ colonies in Beijing via CDT.

May 19, 2010 9:25 PM
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