EX: 1/30/2012
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2012.11.18 Sun, by
Meanwhile, in Chengdu…

A brand new “yishu qu” (art district) has sprung up in Chengdu. Some 10 km from downtown on the site of the original Blue Roof art district (established in 2000 when Zhou Chunya and other artists began using old factory buildings near the airport as studios) is being built a new “zone” referred to as the “Blue Roof Art Base.” The progress of its construction incorporates a new Blue Roof Art Centre, private club and 14 studios (phase 1, completed in early 2009), further studios and public art space (phase 2, late 2009), a Blue Roof Young Artist Village (adapting old rural dwellings for use by around 50 artists, established in 2010) and a latter phase begun in 2011 which sees the adaptation of factory buildings for studio use. The development is being funded by Chengdu Blue Roof Creative Industrial Co., Ltd.

To visit the art district now is to come upon a group of 40 or so grey, regular villas lining as-yet-empty “streets” (it is projected that wine bars and cafes will later move in to build the atmosphere and lend gentrification) in an area surrounded by high fences and with views of local farmland. The villas, which incorporate living and studio space, range from 300m2-600m2 in size, and are for sale for 5000-7000 RMB per square metre. It is claimed that all have already been sold to artists, art organizations and the like — drawn perhaps by such neighbors as Zhou Chunya, He Duoling and Zhang Xiaogang, who own studios in the first artists’ residential compound nearby.

The Blue Roof Young Artist Village is said to be 70% occupied, and is apparently run as a commercial project. The Blue Roof Art Base is due to be fully completed in 2013, when its first exhibition will likely be part of the Chengdu Biennnale, co-organized by three young Chinese curators.