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Schedule of Artists’ Projects
Yong He Xing Market on Hongshan south road 虹山南路永合兴农贸市场 http://j.map.baidu.com/DoJQf
Zhuan Xin Market near Nordica 篆新农贸市场 http://j.map.baidu.com/I1OZf
“Kunming Markets” is a week-long event that consists of multiple art projects located in traditional markets throughout Kunming, a city of seven million in Southwest China. Each project is created by a different Chinese artist or team of artists who use visual, performance, or other media to interact with their audience in public spaces. (Click here to read about the artists’ projects.) For “Kunming Markets” the artists will present their work in a setting that has served as a center for the exchange of goods for countless generations in China, and which has been preserved particularly well in Kunming, though its presence is diminishing due the advance of modern commerce. The artists will engage the traditions and conventions of this unique setting by installing art on tables, on the ground, in booths, or in any other manner of presentation common to market vendors. Each project may last a few hours to several days.
“Kunming Markets” is sponsored by TCG Nordica, an international gallery and cultural center based in Kunming, and is jointly organized by Chinese and international curators. The curators will provide the participating artists with guidelines and resources to ensure the conceptual coherence of the event. The artists will not sell their work. They will also be encouraged to involve the audience and the site in the creation of their work and to discuss the ideas and intention behind the art with curious viewers. The two week event will stimulate dialogue around the role of art, the public, the market, and traditions through the art projects, as well as discussion forums and online media that will be accessible to the entire community.
Concepts and Goals
“Kunming Markets” aims to push the boundaries of where art takes place and who it engages. The audience of the event is a broad range of the Chinese public that is largely unexposed to contemporary art. These people go to traditional markets with the expectation of buying food and other goods, not of viewing art. The challenge for the artist is to reorient their work so that it directly relates to the audience and the setting in which it is installed, because if it does not relate, it does not communicate. This breaking of habits in artistic presentation– who views the art and where it is viewed– is critical to expanding what art can say and mean in contemporary society.
By installing art in traditional markets, the artist will be crossing long-established conventions of what happens in these places of exchange. An obvious question that any viewer can ask is, “Why are the artists working here?” This opens up both the viewer and the artist to dialogue around the context of their meeting. What is the intention of this art? What is the role of traditional markets in the community? How have changing economic and cultural norms affected markets, and how have they affected art? By working out of context, the artists can offer a viewpoint that is fresh and critical and open to immediate response by the viewers. The viewers are in position to participate in contemporary art and challenge their assumptions as to what art can and should be. The goal of “Kunming Markets” is to host these unusual situations and to suggest alternative forms for exchanging value.
About the Organizers
This event is organized by four curators, two American and two Chinese. Our role as curators is twofold. First, we are responsible for the day to day logistics of the event, including fundraising and publicity. Second and more importantly, we are here to encourage information and idea sharing both among the artists and between the artists and the community. This dialogue is the core of the event; it will provide conceptual coherence to the artwork as well as value to the participants and the community. We will create a website to facilitate artistic collaboration and communication with the public.
Who Are We Looking For
Because this project will take place in traditional markets, it is an opportunity to engage with audiences who have had little exposure to art. We are looking for artists who explore alternative spaces and new forms of interaction through their work. The art in the event will not be objects, but rather the communication and an exchange of values that arise from it.
This event will take place in the traditional markets of Kunming. We ask that all participating artists travel to Kunming during the first two weeks of August to take part in the group events. Before the event, we ask that artists participate in online discussions with the curators and the other artists to ensure that their work is well-prepared and cohesive. There may also be discussion forums that will be open to the public and a meeting with students from Yunnan Arts University during the event. We believe that this interaction with the community is central to the event.
We aim to have the event take place in the first two weeks of August. However, we may extend the duration of the event if it works better for the participating artists’ schedules. Please mark all of the days that you can be in Kunming to participate in the event. The more flexible you can be with the timeline, the better.
Status of the Budget
We currently have funds for the cost of the market spaces and art materials. We are also applying for grants to cover additional costs, such as travel and modest accommodations. Given that the budget’s size is undetermined, the participating artists will need to be flexible. Please fill out the information below to give us a sense of your needs if you were to participate in this event.
Your Estimated Needs
Housing: Are you willing to sleep in lodging provided by a volunteer?
Travel: What is the minimum cost for you to travel to Kunming?
Other living expenses: Please estimate additional living expenses (food, local transportation, etc)
Based on previous projects and the nature of this project, what do you estimate a material budget would be?
Do you have other needs not mentioned above?
Briefly describe why you would like to participate in this event and how your artistic practice corresponds to the goals of the event?
Please send a CV/resume, artist website, or other material you would like to share with us.
Mail to: “firstname.lastname@example.org”
We are planning to hold the event in the following markets: Shaobaying, Zhuanxin and Yong He Xing.