BEIJING ART FAIR
Light up your senses with fresh, cutting-edge, yet affordable art on the new frontier– that is the proposition of the GREEN Art Fair 2009. Organized by New CAE Media and Air Media, promoters of the established Beijing art fair CIGE(China International Gallery Exposition Exhibition), the GREEN (Sep 20 – 29) art exhibition will bring thousands of artworks by young artists into the spotlight at China World Trade Center Exhibition Hall in Beijing.
Miss Wang Yi Han, CEO of CAE Media Beijing Chinese Art Exposition’s Medi) and organizer of this art event, talks to Wendy Ma about the concept of the GREEN art exhibition and what differentiates GREEN from all precedent art fairs.
"One of Micke" by Zhang Hui.
Q: Why is it called GREEN? What’s the significance behind the name? Does it have to do with social responsibility and sustainability?
Because most artists who participate in this exhibition are young and emerging, the majority of them have never publicly exhibited their work before. Thus the overall style of the show will be rather fresh, future-oriented, and dynamic. GREEN signifies growth, future, and hope, which correspond to the mission of this exhibition.
Q: How is GREEN different from other art exhibitions such as CIGE? What’s so unique about GREEN?
The format of the GREEN art show is utterly different from that of CIGE. CIGE is an exhibition joined by galleries, each of them with an independent exhibition district, targeting at the relatively mature art collectors. Unlike the conventional art exhibition, GREEN is an art entity itself without district or borders. Everything is planned together and sold together. What makes GREEN most distinctive is breaking the traditional art exhibition’s format by presenting a fresh new concept.
"Birth" by Fan Xiao Yan.
Q: Who do you hope will buy the art? Who are the target audience (buyers) for GREEN? What are your expectations?
We hope to attract more of the city’s middle-class for visiting the show and purchasing artwork. While this exhibition aims to provide young artists exhibiting opportunities, its more important goal is to transmit the concept of art consumption to a wider circle of audience.
Q: How do you identify which art is suitable for the fair’s exhibiton categories? Does it always have to do with China?
This is GREEN’s first year of exhibition. All the artwork is done by Chinese artists. In the future it’s possible that GREEN will expand to the Asian or even international sphere. In the era of globalization, the growing environment as well as culture and education among artists from different countries are becoming increasingly similar. So it’s unfair to categorise the young artists’ creations georgraphically.
Q: How do you select the artwork for GREEN? What are the criteria and are there any taboos about certain sensitive subjects? Or is the fair 100% accepting of all types of messages expressed in the artwork?
One is through artist’s voluntary registration. Another one is that we dispatch representatives to the nation’s art academies and cities where artists cluster. After collecting information about numerous young artists, we select the appropriate artists. Our criteria are that the young artist’s artwork must possess a certain artistic value. Meanwhile, it should carry unique personal style. Lastly, the price tag of the artwork shouldn’t be high. We don’t place restrictions on any special topic.
"Fluttering Rain" by Cheng Ya Ding
Q: In what ways is the art by these less well-known young artists different from art done by the more established names?
So far it seems that style-wise, the work of young artists effuses a more modern, more vivacious, more carefree quality. In terms of their chosen topic it’s more personal and sentimental.
Q: How many participating artists?
So far 260.
Q: Besides giving the young artists opportunities and buyers exposure to fresh young artists, what else is GREEN endeavoring to achieve or to surpass?
"Sticky Fish" by Cui Yu
In the past few years the contemporary Chinese art market had been developing rapidly, which led to the situation where purchasing artwork became purely for investment purposes. Through GREEN, we endeavor to convey a certain type of concept and attitude towards art consumption. We hope that more people will purchase artwork for personal pleasure and appreciation, for consumption rather than for investment. Moreover, we hope that galleries can use GREEN as a search for prospective artists with whom they can cooperate.
Q: Why start an art fair now when there is a recession?
Our company has been doing CIGE for the past six years and served many galleries. We possess enormous momentum effects in the overall art market and business development. Due to the economic crisis, the art market in China has been severely affected just the same. The businesses of art galleries have withered, and many art investors have ceased buying. Under these circumstances, we need to do more to continue propelling the influence of art in the society; art exhibitions can help cultivate more art lovers, which can in turn cultivate more new consumption powers for the art market.
Q: Will the artists represent themselves like Gesai in Japan or will galleries take stalls in the fair like usual art fairs?
In a way, it’s similar to GESAI in Japan in that the focus is on young artists’ work. What makes our format different is that we employ a comprehensive, large-scale exhibition. Neither do we divide up the exhibition spaces into independent compartments, nor do the artists have to sell their own artwork at the exhibition – there will be salesmen.
"Diaries of a Fairy-tale" by Luo Cai
Q: Do you have any galleries signed up yet? If so, which ones?
There are no participating galleries in this exhibition. It’s a large-scale exhibition with only artwork.
Wang Yi Han, CEO of CAE Media, standing in front of the banner for the 2009 CIGE in Beijing
Q: Why have you chosen this location? Why not another city?
Because we’ve conducted activities in Beijing before, we are more familiar with Beijing and have found more artists and art enthusiasts in Beijing. The cultural and art scenes are also much more alive, which is ideal for organizing this exhibition. In the future we will also look into other cities that fulfill our requirements.
-Contributed by Wendy Ma
Subscribe to Art Radar for more interviews on Beijing art events