Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Red Gate Gallery - 20 years in Beijing

One place I take art-loving clients to is the Red Gate Gallery ('Hong Men' in pinyin), which celebrates its 20th birthday this year. Not only can you see the best in contemporary Chinese art, but the gallery itself is located in an unique historical Ming Dynasty building.

Furthermore, you could not have a friendlier curator than the Australian Brian Wallace, alumnus of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is the gallery's founder and has been chosen in recent years by Time Out magazine as one of the top 40 heroes of Beijing.

The gallery is located in the Dongbianmen Watchtower, an impressive structure and one of the few remaining parts of the old 30m-high Ming dynasty city wall (park adjacent). It is at the south east corner of the second ring road, and is easily accessible by subway, in contrast to other sites such as 798 Art Zone (see blog of May 20th, 2011) and Caochangdi.

The Watchtower is a fine example of traditional Chinese architecture, and is almost 600 yrs old. It was started in 1436 and finished 4 yrs later. 

Apart from art exhibitions, two floors are devoted to some interesting artefacts, models and historic photos about the local district.

The current exhibition is called  '20 Years - Two Generations of Artists', and here are some pictures taken from the Red Gate gallery website http://www.redgategallery.com/

Zen Quote - Amitabha

No and Keng
Oil on Canvas
Watching the Battlescene
Not a Tree but Not Not a Tree

If you are a budding artist, you could also consider applying for the gallery's residency program which provides artists, curators, writers, and academics with the opportunity to live and create work in China.
The objective is to provide facilities for artists to easily start their projects and offer a community in which they can participate as much as they like. Red Gate assists all participants to connect with the art scene, meet local Chinese artists and to source art materials. They help get you settled, show you around, tell you where to buy the best Peking Duck, which part of the Great Wall not to go to (hey, they're beginning to sound like competitiors of ChinaMango!), and where and when the latest openings are.

Thankfully not all of you are artists and would be quite happy just to visit the 'must-see' sights of Beijing, as well as other places of interest that have been described in this blog over the past couple of years.  Do get in touch if you need any help.