Founded in 1998 in Hong Kong, 1a Space is a non-profit visual arts organization. It is operated by a program committee and governed by a board of directors. For operating capital, it relies on donations and other financial aid, whereas part of the administrative fees are funded by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The space has planned and produced more than one hundred events and exhibitions, including international exchanges, cultural fairs, interactive community events, events on art education, art appreciation, art criticism, and art publications. Previous exhibitions include “National Museum or Gallery?,” “Corner of Dialogue,” “Writing Machine Collective,” “Three Pieces of Thousand Layers Pudding,” and others.
Founded in Beijing in 2008, Arrow Factory transformed a former street-side shopfront into a space to regularly host art projects and installations. One of its objectives is to be visible to passersby twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It has held Rania Ho and Wei Weng’s Slice, Patty Chang’s Touch Would, Ni Haifeng’s Vive la Difference, Wang Gongxin’s It’s Not About the Neighbors , Kan Xuan’s Light , Lin Yilin’s Big Family: Brothers, Not Comrades , the group exhibition Just Around the Corner , Li Jinghu’s Snowman, Wen Peng’s One-Man Theater, to name a few.
Spearheaded by a dynamic team of specialized curators and producers, ArtHub Asia is a cultural and artistic constellation of independent thinkers devoted to contemporary art creation in China and across Asia. In collaboration with museums and other public / private spaces and institutions, and in close dialogue with its advisory board, Arthub Asia initiates and delivers projects through a sustained dialogue with visual, performance, and new media artists. Arthub Asia is committed to furthering experimentation, knowledge-production and diversity among dedicated artists, art professionals, scholars, and arts organizations in the region.
(Directors: Davide Quadrio, Defne Ayas, Qiu Zhijie)
BizArt Art Center
Founded by Davide Quadrio, BizArt was an independently managed non-profit center for the arts combining art with commerce, as well as an artist-in-residence program. Its inaugural show “Supermarket: Art For Sale” was held in October, 1998. At the beginning, BizArt had no fixed location. In 2000, a company office was set up on Huaihai West Road. In 2001, artist Xu Zhen joined the organization. In 2002, the original space was demolished. After moving three times, Biz-Art settled in the 50 Moganshan Road district at the end of that year. In 2007, with the support of Hong Kong non-profit ArtHub, BizArt also became a nonprofit. In September of 2010, it was disbanded and renamed MadeIn Space, an arm in Xu Zhen’s multifunctional arts company, MadeIn.
Blackbridge Offspace is an artist-run, non-commercial space in Beijing, initiated and run by Anna Hofbauer and Bianca Regl. Located in Bianca Regl’s studio in Heiqiao, it invites an artist-curator every month to visually discuss a contemporary issue of his/her interest. Curators are asked not to focus on singular positions but to find linkage between works that designate strong forms of contemporary art production.
Borges Libreria Institute for Contemporary Art
A bookstore established on the campus of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts at the end of 1993, Borges Libreria had to twice register and change campus addresses in April of the following year. In 1997 the store moved to neighboring Xin An Tower (a building in which it would eventually move seven times). Between 1997 and 2000, it held a series of contemporary art events; Cao Fei, Yang Yong, Jiang Zhi and Wang Ningde all had their first solo shows here. In 2003 the bookstore moved to 95 Yile Road, and in July of 2007, the affiliated contemporary arts organization and publishing projects became independent from the store itself, and moved to an old house at 7 Yile Alley No. 1. Beyond the publication and arts projects, there is also the “Liang Juhui Memorial Room” commemorating the deceased member of the Big-Tail Elephant group and the “Robbe-Grillet and Nouveau Roman Reference Room.” In the last two years the space has mounted major exhibitions including “Eleven Women and Her Generation” (Yang Yong), “Borges’ Tiger—Two Paintings by Deng Yifu,” and “Books—An Exhibition of Video Works by Jean-Philippe Toussaint.”
ChAR T Contemporary was founded in 2008 in Beijing by Megan and K.C. Connolly as a “curatorial laboratory” with the aim of “bringing together art and people.” The primary objective is to build a bridge between the East and West through the organization and promotion of contemporary art and cultural events. Collaborating artists include Chen Ke, Cheng Guangfeng, Lin Yi, Huang Xiaoliang, and Yang Xinguang. Previous exhibitions have include “Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World: Chen Ke’s Solo Exhibition,” “Open House,” and “Floating Chinese Musicians.”
China Art Archives & Warehouse (CAAW)
Jointly founded in 1999 by Hans van Dijk, Ai Weiwei and Frank Uytterhaegen, it was the first space of its kind in China. Originally named New Amsterdam Art Consultancy (NAAC ) in 1993, the title was changed to China Art Archives and Warehouse (CAA W) in 1999. Its space in Caochangdi opened in 2000. CAA W focuses on unearthing experimental unknown artists with potential. Throughout the years it has held various important exhibitions.
An art and event space hosted by Amy Cheng and Jeph Lo, TheCube is situated between the arts and the carnivalesque air of the Taipei commercial zone around the Kungkuan night market. Established in April 2010, TheCube regularly hosts exhibitions and lectures.
Established in October 2000 by Wang Ziwei in an old industrial warehouse on Dongdaming Road along the Huangpu River, DDM Warehouse is only a short distance from the Bund. Due to the demolition of Dongdaming Road, the space moved to 570 Huaihai Middle Road in 2008. At the same time, Deng Weimin took over the directorial reigns. Now semi-historical, this alternative space used to be Shanghai’s most experimental spot for art. DDM has staged exhibitions in every medium, contemporary dance performances, experimental poetry readings, independent film screenings, and so on. Recent exhibitions include the Shanghai eArts Festival’s “New Media Archaeology Project” curated by Li Zhenhua, and the 52nd Venice Biennale parallel project “Migration Addicts.”
DogPig Art Café
An out-of-the-ordinary space for arts and culture in Kaohsiung, DogPig hosts exhibitions and performances on a varying schedule, and even welcomes the public to perform their own work. In a diverse mixture of doctrines, every month it hosts different events that may involve painting, sculpture, installation, theater, performance, experimental noise music, games, and film.
Donkey Institute of Contemporary Art (DICA)
Jointly founded in Beijing in 2009 by Michael Yuen and artist Yam Lau. Invoking the unwavering spirit of the donkey, DICA dedicates itself to supporting contemporary experimental art by literally carrying art around on the back of donkey. It is at once a call for a slower, more laid-back departure from life and work and a challenge to the get-rich-quick ways of the contemporary art market. The institute frequently collaborates with Vitamin Creative Space and HomeShop, among others. Previous events include “Portable Artist’s Book Library” and “Potential Extensions to the Donkey Institute of Contemporary Art.”
Located in one of Beijing’s old hutong alleys, HomeShop is a 25-square-meter retail space cum sleeping-working-living studio. It publishes an independent journal called Wear, and has carried out a series of projects in its own name, such as “Olympics 08” and “Cultural Exchange.”
Founded in 2007 in a renovated 50 year-old apartment, InArt is run by Jamie Tu. With a focus on contemporary art, its aim is to construct a comprehensive and multi-faceted space to promote the work of young Taiwanese artists. It has hosted the experimental project “Hai’an Road Art Intervention Plan,” Fang Marvin-Minto’s solo exhibition “Bonsai 2009,” and other shows.
Jointly founded in 1988 by photographer Liu Qingdang and artists Tsang Pu and Chen Hui-Chiao out of a desire to create a conscientious, ideal and open park space to broaden the vision of Taiwanese artists and provide a platform for experimental, avant-garde and non-mainstream creativity. For distancing itself from the official and commercial systems and cultivating Taiwanese contemporary art in the long-term, it was awarded the 13th Taipei Culture Prize in 2009. Notable shows include “IT Park Opening Exhibition,” “Microwave Exhibition,” and solo exhibitions of Huang Wen-hao and Carlos de Paz.
Long March Space
Founded by Lu Jie in 2002, Long March Space merges liberal thought, academics, art and commerce into one creative structure, and at the same time is involved in the art market. Its founding act in 2002 “The Long March—A Walking Visual Display,” saw 250 artists intervene at various points along the route of the historical Long March, generating creation, discussion, and various other work that supported the social engineering of cultural development in the old revolutionary base. The recent “Ho Chi Minh Trail” is a new work of the self-titled “Long March Project.” It also maintains a commercial program, participating in international art fairs including Art Basel and Frieze.
MadeIn Art Space
Previously called BizArt Center, the name was changed to MadeIn Art Space in 2010. It is the first non-profit contemporary art space of MadeIn (Culture Ltd.), founded by Xu Zhen. The inaugural exhibition “Dedicated to the Money-Makers” saw the participation of Li Ming, Lin Ke, and Yang Junling.
Founded in 2009 by Doris Wong Wai-Yin et al., Observation Society is an independent space for the arts set in a former hair salon and with a distinctly perceptual bent. Previous exhibitions include Li Jinghu’s “Forest,” “L’Écume des choses—l’art de Wong Waiyin” and Hu Xiangqian’s solo show “Knee-Jerk Reaction.”
Para/Site Art Space
Formed at the beginning of 1996, Para/Site employs one curator, one gallery manager, one program coordinator, one part-time education and development officer, and is governed by a board of directors. Apart from financial subsidies from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, Para/Site also receives active support from patrons and friends. The space’s yearly programming encompasses ten exhibitions and the publication both of exhibition catalogs and Hong Kong’s only visual arts magazine, PS. It also manages the smallest exhibition venue in Hong Kong, Para/Site Central, which is hosted by Hanart TZ Gallery. Para/Site has held Tatsumi Orimoto’s “Bread Men,” an Ai Weiwei/Vito Acconci collaboration, and over 100 other exhibitions and public performances.
Founded in early 2005 by Sun Ning, Platform China is a multi-functional arts center (and commercial gallery) dedicated to the development and promotion of Chinese contemporary art, as well as to building a platform for dialogue and exchange between Chinese and international artists. It boasts an exhibition space, a multimedia exhibition hall and international artist-in-residence studios. Notable exhibitions include the group shows “Incest-Complete Art Experience Project, No. 1,” “CONVERGENCE at E116°/N40°,” “History of Chemistry,” “We 116 Cannot Stop, to Stop is to Fail,” and solo shows by Tang Yi, Li Wei, Jia Aili, Jiang Zhi, Wang Gongxin, Wang Taocheng, and others.
Established in 2008 by Shi Yong, Xu Zhen and Jin Feng The Younger in Shanghai’s M50 art district, Shopping Gallery is dedicated to discovering and promoting talented young artists, curating exhibitions from outstanding artists and otherwise enriching the Chinese contemporary art scene. The gallery “represents” several young artists with potential. They have held the group exhibition “Quietly Appeared Commercial Salon, i.e. Useless King on the Shore of the Fools” as well as solo efforts by artists such as Yuan Yuan, Xiao Jun and Dai Qing.
Founded by curator Fu Xiaodong in Beijing’s 798 district in 2009, Space Station’s aim is to make experimental art projects happen. Notable exhibitions include Wang Wei’s solo show “Historic Residence,” Shi Jinsong’s “Taking Off the Armor’s Mountain,” “Double Fly Palace,” Shi Qing’s “Not Long Enough,” Fang Lu’s “Unrecording,” and Huang Ran’s “A Blithe Tragedy,” among others.
Art Center Over 30 people from the Taiwanese contemporary art scene banded together to establish the Taipei Contemporary Art Center, the opening of which was officially announced at the end of August 2009. At the end of February 2010, the center was opened in two old office blocks in the heart of Taipei’s old city, Hsimenting. TCAC provides artists, curators, critics, and those from other cultural fields a non-profit and communal space to convene and discuss artistic creation and cultural policy. The 30-plus founding members include artists Chen Chieh-Jen, Yang Jun, Tsui Kuang-Yu, Wang Jun- Jie, Yao Jui-Chung, Hung Tung-Lu, Chang Chien-Chi, Michael Lin; curators Manray Hsu, Meiya Cheng, Amy Huei-hua Cheng, Frankie Su, Hongjohn Lin, Lin Ping, Chen Hsin-Chun, Pan Sheau-shei, Mia Chen; and academics Chen Tai-Sung, Huang Chien-Hung, Chen Kai Huang, Huang Hai Ming, Chochun Kung, Ku Shih-Yung, and others.
With investment from Chengdu Haosi Real Estate and backing from the government, Chen Jiagang founded UpRiver in Chengdu in 1997. Managed by domestic art critics and artists, it became the first privately operated museum in China to uphold international standards. Now defunct, it held “The Inaugural Exhibition of the UpRiver Museum Collection” (September 1998), “The Creations of Alfred Aldrake” (November 1998), and “’99 Academic Invitation Exhibition” (April 1999).
Established in 1986, the non-profit arts organization Videotage is housed in the Cattle Depot arts district in Kowloon. Videotage (literally merging the two concepts of “Video” and “Montage”) is an interdisciplinary artist collective that focuses on the development of video and new media art in Hong Kong. It began as a facilitator for collaborative time-based projects, but later began to play a role in film, recording, and other forms of media production.
Vitamin Creative Space
Founded in Guangzhou in November 2002 by Zhang Wei and Hu Fang, Vitamin Creative Space is an alternative contemporary art space (and commercial gallery) dedicated to contemporary art exchange and to the exploration and integration of all forms of contemporary culture. The temporary space “The Shop” was Vitamin Creative Space’s Beijing take on a “store.” Projects in recent years include “Landscape of Sur-consuming” (2000), Antony Gormley’s “Asian Field” (2003), “Playing at Home/Playing Away: The Maze of Reality” (for the “Zones of Urgency” section of the 50th Venice Biennale), and Xu Tan’s ongoing “Keywords” project to name a few. Vitamin has now relocated to Beijing where it opened a new space “The Pavilion” late this year near the Today Art Museum.