Saturday, November 29, 2008

new, and old, and new

AT LAST i've updated my website! didn't exactly get a full makeover, but it's better, new and improved! (trust me.) the front page will look mostly familiar to regular visitors, but i've consolidated, moved some things around, got rid of some old junky things. kind of a spring cleaning, except it's almost december.

In other news, my in-laws are going to be moving from their beautiful 100-year old courtyard house in the center of beijing. all the land around them has been developed, and their house is slated to be a parking lot. it was only a matter of time before the developers came knocking at their front door. in a week they will turn over the keys and start shopping for another place to live. yes, of course they were compensated, but how could they find another place as lovely as this:


and finally, kupa studios is nearly finished with our most recent design project: a bakery in the shunyi district of beijing called Boulangerie Nanda. Nanda makes artisan organic breads and pastries. Look for it at the Lohaos Organic Supermarkets starting mid-december. if you don't live in beijing, you've probably got 5 other organic supermarkets near you that sell amazing bread, so stop whining.

[curiously, the kupa website is blocked in china. if you are a mainland viewer, here is a link to the flickr set of other kupa projects]


Saturday, November 15, 2008


just opened at the Arrow Factory!

Vive la Différence: Ni Haifeng @
Arrow Factory

2008.11.07 - 2009.01.07

《维瓦拉蒂法兰西》(差 异万岁Vive la Difference)是艺术家倪海峰创作的一件装置作品,在箭厂空间橱窗式设计的背景之下呈现了制造、消费以及商品化的问题。利用商业化的生产中废弃的 工业垃圾(织物碎片),艺术家同两个截然不同的劳动者通力合作,制作出两件独特的“高端”时装外套,将以高级橱窗展示的形式在箭厂空间展示。两件外套都有 着同样的出发点——一件由法国高档品牌“爱马仕”(Hermès)设计的服装——和同样的材质(一箱碎布),但是社会背景和制作过程却迥然有别。倪海峰选 择了与两个具有完全不同背景的团队合作——一个是坐落在箭厂空间附近胡同里的一家叫做“别具一格”的夫妻裁缝店,以为邻里居民提供缝纫制衣,缝补和洗涤服 务为生;另一个则是目前在北京的法国及澳洲设计师Aurelien Lecour和Tony Saint Hua,Le Divan高级时装工作室的创办人,他们工作在时装工业的创造性领域。两个团队当中的每一个都被要求根据一张“原创”设计的图片来重新阐释和复制各自的服 装,其结果不仅是形成了两种不同的审美反应,而且揭示了这两种完全不同但却并行的劳动模式之间的社会差异。通过有意选择经济背景有着巨大差异的合作者,将 制作的创造性行为交与他人,倪海峰着眼于一种生产的社会过程,生产的手段受到质疑,而清晰的原创者身份的概念则被瓦解了。《维瓦拉蒂法兰西》在这一平凡粗 陋的胡同环境中,寻求揭示极端奢华与凡俗的日常生活之间的视觉上的不和谐,以及隐藏在生产与展示背后的社会摩擦。“维瓦拉蒂法兰西”或者“差异万岁”不无 嘲讽地重申,在“低端”与“高端”之间,在严峻的社会现实与消费主义的乌托邦承诺之间所存在的不可调和的差异。
倪海峰(1964 年出生于舟山)的艺术实践源自对回归、交换、语言和生产等文化体系的关注。他在中国出生和成长,但目前定居荷兰,长期以来,他运用摄影、录像和装置来探索 意义的同时发生和消解,提醒人们关注常常折射出殖民主义和全球化状态中的人、产品以及商品的循环运动。他的目的在于打破现状,对抗先入为主的艺术概念,用 艺术家自己的话来说,就是要努力达到“零度意义”。倪海峰的作品在国内和国际上多次举办个展和群展。目前生活在阿姆斯特丹和北京两地。
艺术家与箭厂空间感谢Le Divan 时装工作室和“别具一格”裁缝店的卢先生在合作过程中慷慨相助。

Vive la Différence: Ni Haifeng @ Arrow Factory

Vive la Différence is an installation created by artist Ni Haifeng that presents issues of production, consumption and commodification within the context of a shop window design at the Arrow Factory. Using shreds of fabric that have been discarded after commercial factory production, the artist has collaborated with two different design teams to produce a pair of unique “high-end” fashion garments that will be presented in Arrow Factory’s space in the form of a luxury store window display. The two garments share the same origin—a dress designed by French luxury brand Hermès—and the same materials (a box of fabric shreds) but the social context and process of production is entirely different. Ni has chosen to work with two workers with incongruent backgrounds—one is a Chinese run “mom and pop” tailor shop Bieju Yige (别具一格)located in the hutong adjacent to Arrow Factory that subsists on tailoring, mending and patching clothes for the neighborhood residents, and the other is Beijing based French-Australian designers Aurelien Lecour and Tony Saint Hua, creators of Le Divan Studio who work in the creative sector of fashion industry. Each has been enlisted to reinterpret and reproduce their own dress based on an image of the unique “original” design, with the outcome intended not only to yield two different aesthetic responses, but to also acknowledge the social discrepancy between these two diverse yet parallel forms of labor. By purposefully choosing collaborators with dramatically different economic backgrounds and handing the creative act of making over to others, Ni engages with a social process of making where the means of production are questioned and clear notions of authorship are disrupted. Vive la Différence seeks to expose both the visual dissonance between the extremely lavish and the mundane everyday and the hidden social frictions of production and presentation within the humble surroundings of the hutong. Vive la Différence or “Long Live the Difference” mockingly reiterates the irrevocable differences between the “low” and the “high”, between the unwanted and the “highly desirable”, between grim reality and utopian promises of a pan-consumerist society.

About the Artist

Ni Haifeng’s (b.1964, Zhoushan) practice stems from an interest in cultural systems of return, exchange, language and production. Born and raised in China but currently a resident of the Netherlands, Ni employs photography, video and installations to explore the simultaneous creation and obliteration of meaning while drawing attention to the cyclical movements of people, products and goods that are often reflective of patterns of colonialism and globalization. His aims to subvert the status quo and counteract preconceived notions of art are, in his own words, an effort towards reaching a “zero degree of meaning”. Ni’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions locally and internationally. He lives between Amsterdam and Beijing.

The artist and Arrow Factory would like to thank the generous assistance of Le Divan Studio and Bieju Yige for their collaboration.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


for those lovely people living inside the china firewall, a gift! today you too can view the wonderfully informative website of the arrow factory in your very own homes. in addition to and, now will also link to our site. Even better news is that is NOT BLOCKED INSIDE CHINA. yay!

also, this is the LAST 3 DAYS to see Patty Chang's work Touch Would at the Arrow Factory. Everyone who is waiting for the last call, this is it.

Friday, September 12, 2008


it's from the NYtimes, but this is an amazing panorama.

just looking at it makes me questions ideas of display, artifact, history, politics, patriotism, propaganda, object, scale, perspective... laden thick with meaning and yet, a complete abstraction.

still trying to process.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

touch would

Patty Chang, Touch Would

29 July – 29 September 2008

The Arrow Factory is pleased to present Touch Would, a new work by New York based artist Patty Chang.

Touch Would is a multilayered video project that centers on the concept of translation—mistranslation, cultural translation, interpretation and performance. It takes as its departure point two concrete events, the first being a text written by cultural critic Walter Benjamin about the Asian American film starlet Anna May Wong after their meeting in Berlin in 1928; and the second a knifethrowing sequence from Song, one of Wong’s early silent films. Reimagined and reinterpreted in a contemporary context, these events form a lens through which Chang explores notions of public/private space, staged performance, and linguistic mishap. Shot in Beijing and co-produced by the Arrow Factory, Touch Would is a two-channel video work with words and actions that move around a periphery, as if to reference the elusive goals of translation and endless efforts to reach the ‘center’ of meaning. The presentation of Touch Would in Arrow Factory’s storefront furthers this ambiguity, with seats and tables that resemble a waiting room or doctor’s office positioned behind glass to imply an internal viewer.

Touch Would originates from Chang’s video piece A Chinoiserie Out of the Old West, 2006, which depicts the translation of Walter Benjamin’s text from German to English. Continuing to translate the text across land from China to Europe, Chang will enact a game of ‘Chinese whispers’ whereby each translation is folded into the next, with the meaning moving farther and farther from the ‘center’ and traversing cultural and geographical lines. Touch Would forms one stop along this trajectory. It is part of a larger constellation of Chang’s projects that explore the processes of mythmaking, constructed identities and the production of real and fictive cultural imaginaries. Chang’s earlier film projects include Flotsam Jetsam (2007) in collaboration with David Kelley, a layered narrative addressing themes of landscape and identity against the backdrop of Yichang, a town near the Three Gorges Dam project; and Shangri-La (2005) which documented her real visit to the imaginary place of Shangri-La located in Zhongdian, Yunnan Province.

Patty Chang (b. 1972) was born in California and received her BFA from the University of California, San Diego. She currently resides in New York. Chang is a 2008 finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize, and was recently featured in the MOMA New Directors series for her work Flotsam Jetsam (2007). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally.


张怡, 《可能接触》



《可能接触》是一个以翻译、无译、跨文化传译、诠释和表演概念为核心的多层次录像艺术作品。它以两个具体事件为起点,其一是文化评论家瓦尔特·本雅明 (Walter Benjamin)1928年与美国亚裔电影明星黄柳霜(Anna May Wong)在柏林相遇之后所写的有关这位女星的文章;其二是选自黄柳霜早期默片《爱比刀更厉》(Song) 中的飞刀片断。这些事件经过当代语境下的重新想象和重新解读,成为张怡用来探索公共/私密空间概念、舞台表演以及语言灾难的一只镜头。《可能接触》在北京 拍摄,由箭厂空间共同制作,是一部双频录像作品,台词和动作围绕外围不断游走,仿佛指涉了翻译难以捉摸的目标以及为达致意义的“核心”而付出的无尽努力。 《可能接触》在箭厂空间的橱窗式展厅中放映,更加深了这种不确定性,类似候诊室或医生办公室的桌椅摆在玻璃背后,暗示了一位内在的观看者。

《可能接触》源自张怡2006年的录像作品《西部概念里呈现的中国风味》,该片描写了瓦尔特·本雅明的著作从德文译为英文。不断地从中国到欧洲跨地域地翻 译该文本,张怡上演了一出“轻声传话”的游戏,每个译本被转入到下一个译本中,而意义逐渐偏离了“核心”,并跨越了文化和地理的界限。《可能接触》形成了 这条轨迹线上的一站,是张怡众多作品的组成部分,这些作品探讨了传奇的演绎过程、建构同一性、现实和虚构中的文化假象的形成。张怡先前的影片包括与大卫· 凯利(David Kelley)合作的《漂流物》(2007年),以三峡大坝附近的宜昌作为背景,运用多层次的叙事手法揭示环境与身份的主题;《香格里拉》(2005年) 则记录了她实地考察文学中虚构的位于云南省中甸的香格里拉。

张怡,1972年出生于美国加利福尼亚,在圣迭戈加州大学获得美术学士学位,目前定居于纽约。2008年成为Hugo Boss Prize候选人,其作品《漂流物》(2007年)入选MOMA举办的新导演系列作品。作品曾在国际上多次举办个展和群展。

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

the fever

olympics antics have descended upon the capital. in addition to all the bizarreness reported in the media, here is a brief listing of the idiocy that i have experienced first hand:
  • taking photos of foliage around town prompts neighborhood watchmen to inquire about what you're doing
  • every single available advertising space is taken by either government propaganda declaring 'Beijing 2008' with the asinine tag line 'One World, One Dream', or a logo from an official sponsor.
  • our friends who run a bed and breakfast out in huairou, an hour and forty-five minutes away from beijing, have been told that they are not allowed to receive any overnight visitors.
  • drivers have been restricted to even and odd days, depending on the final number of one's license plate. yesterday wangwei's license plate was stolen off the back of his car. his front plate remained intact. as he was driving, a cop pulled him over and threatened to fine him 200RMB because the cop said he purposely took the plate off.
i'm sure it will only get more ridiculous and annoying. the city is under seige.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

casting off tvs and dvd players?

Beijing denizens, if you are leaving town or upgrading your home
theater system please note: we at the arrow factory are looking for
donations of tvs, dvd players and sound equipment for our upcoming
exhibition. Instead of giving it to your ayi, or throwing it on the
street, give it to us! art is a good cultural cause, recycling is
environmentally friendly, and we'd be forever grateful. We'll even
list you as a donor on our website and buy you a pancake from the bing
stand next door. what a deal!

drop us a line at if you got some goods.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Patty Chang at UCCA

ok sports fans. if you are in beijing and you have some free time around 5pm, then you MUST MUST MUST come to hear Patty Chang speak at the UCCA:

A Chinoiserie out of the Old West:
An Artist Talk by Patty Chang

Thursday, June 12
Time 5:00pm
UCCA auditorium

Organized in collaboration with UCCA and the Arrow Factory, Beijing

New York artist Patty Chang comes to Ullens Center to talk about her artistic practice and the project she is currently working on in Beijing.

Patty Chang is perhaps best known for her work as a performance artist and the videos and photographs that derive from these often provoking performances. As the principle subject, Chang's performance work often tested her own physical limits and the limits of the audience. Her more recent film based projects have taken a slightly different course, focusing on processes of mythmaking, constructed identities and the production of real and fictive cultural imaginaries. Shangri-La (2005) documented a real visit to the imaginary place of Shangri-La located in Zhongdian, Yunnan Province and included the repeated sculptural construction and reconstruction of the town's principle icon, Snow Mountain. Her most recent work (in collaboration with David Kelley), Flotsam Jetsam (2007) is a layered narrative addressing themes of landscape and identity against the backdrop of Yichang, a small town along the Yangtze River affected by the Three Gorges Dam project.

In this talk, Chang will give an overview of her artistic practice but will primarily introduce A Chinoiserie out of the Old West, the project she is currently working on here in China. Based on a 1928 text written by Walter Benjamin about the Asian American film starlet Anna May Wong, this work will take the form of several short film pieces that deal with representation, translation, mistranslation, and crossed meanings. Chang is in Beijing to film the first segment, which will be shown in late July at the Arrow Factory, Beijing.

Patty Chang is a 2008 finalist for the Hugo Boss Prize, and was recently featured in the MOMA New Directors series for her work Flotsam Jetsam (2007). Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions internationally.


《西部概念里呈现的中国风味》:张怡(Patty Chang)


2008年6月12日 下午5点


在张怡的行为艺术作品里,影像和摄影创作尤其备受注目。她的作品主要题材来源于艺术家在行为作品里对自身的洞 察和考验观众的界限。在近期影像作品里,张怡关注的主题包括传奇的演绎过程, 建构同一性,现实生活中和虚构的文化假象。2005年的作品《香格里拉》纪录艺术家在云南中甸县的一次实地考察,在文学虚构里的香格里拉重复塑 造一个具有当地代表性标志的雪山。2007年,张怡在长江的宜昌市拍摄她的最新的作品《漂浮物》(与大卫。凯利合作)。作品的背景描 述三峡大坝引起的变化,同时应用叙述的手法建立一个围绕环境和同一性的主题。

在这次讲座中,张怡将和观众分享她对艺术创作的概述, 和特别介绍她的作品《西部概念里呈现的中国风味》,作品主题来源于1928年瓦尔特·本雅明为美国亚裔女影星黄柳霜写的一片文章。 艺术家希望通过一系列短片来反映再现,翻译,误译和跨文化传译的演变。张怡在北京拍摄作品的第一部分, 近期将在北京的箭厂空间里播放。

张怡于2008年候选于Hugo Boss Prize, 她的作品《漂流物》(2007)被入选为MOMA举办的新导演系列作品之一。张怡的个展和群展在国际上备受注目。 这次讲座是尤伦斯当代艺术中心和北京箭厂空间的首次合作。


see you later.

Monday, June 02, 2008


i'd never heard of the Alxa League prefecture of Inner Mongolia until I got there.


After driving due west for two straight days from beijing we arrived at a bizarre vegas-like architectural structure that marked the edge of the inner mongolian badajilin desert. Our friend, Wu Er Shan, was scouting locations for a film and going to visit his cousins who are herdsmen in badanjilin. wangwei and i tagged along with the production crew for 12 days, riding camels, battling mosquitoes, weathering sandstorms, eating many a lamb, and drinking quite enough baijiu.

After the first day i realized a few things:
1. i have no knowledge as to how to survive in the desert
2. city people are wimps
3. camels are cool

we camped out for 3 days, rode camels through spectacular scenery and arrived in Miao Hai, where Wu Er Shan's cousins have a home and where his uncle has started to refurbish a 300+ year old temple that was destroyed during the cultural revolution. As we trodded up over the sand dunes the lake was an amazing oasis. after 3 days in the desert, the eyes adjust to see only the color of sand and sky; the white walls of the modest temple were shock.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


新作品New Works by

Wei Weng 翁维
Rania Ho 何颖宜

April 30-June 3, 2008

presented by the Arrow Factory, a new storefront space for art in in Beijing.

I've just set up a ping-pong table made of cardboard that levitates ping-pong balls! Wei has created a stunning mural on the back wall. Wah! If you happen to be anywhere near the Confucius Temple in Beijing, come on by. The works are on view almost any time of the day or night.

here are some photos:

the view from outside the storefront at night:

Thursday, April 03, 2008

calling all capitalists

超级城: 一期
The Contractors Super Complex-City Phase I:
Hands-Free Strategy for Creative Business Practicing
at the Long March Space

2008 年 4月5日

5 April 2008
Long March Space
4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing

联系电话 CONTACT: 1352 284 2430 或 or 1381 169 6303 或 or

On April 5 2008, The Contractors will open a platform for trade, promotion and business inside the Long March Space. This special occasion is the launching of Super Complex-City Phase I: Hands-Free Strategy for Creative Business Practicing, an irreverent take on the runaway capitalist economy within China.

Between 3-6pm the Long March Space will transform into a lively marketplace with vendors from all over the city gathering to peddle their wares amidst the artworks. Anyone with a business card or anything to sell is invited to participate, and those with nothing to sell are welcome to come browse and spend their money.

包工头乐队是一个多元素的项目组合。乐队的灵感来源于中国迅猛的城市化进程与建筑文化的当代传奇。包工头乐队的主要表演形式包括艺术活动的介入,新媒体计划和资讯的重新整合。 应长征空间的邀请,包工头乐队将在展厅里为观众搭建一个交易的平台, 并展示乐队最新开发的项目:超级城一期,创意产业的自动实践。演出现场在提供多种贸易,广告和洽谈机会的同时,也将积极反省中国资本经济中的倒卖行为。

2008年4月5号,下午3点−6点, 长征空间的展览空间将会成为一个开放的倒卖现场。

征空间地图Map to Long March Space
or for more info

Sunday, March 30, 2008


finally updated my website with some (relatively) new work. finishing up a kupa design project. rented a storefront with some friends to turn into a small exhibition space. getting ready for the contractors extravaganza at the long march space on april 5. see post below.

too much information in too few lines. i know, and not even a photo to go with it. more later.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Contractors Super Complex-City Phase I

i know i used this photo before, but it's really appropriate this time.

for those of you in Beijing on April 5, 2008, COME ON DOWN!

The Contractors are seeking vendors, small businesses and anyone who wants to sell, promote or advertise their products/services to come to a Saturday market on the 5th of April 2008 from 3-6pm in the Dashanzi Art District of Beijing.

Space for vendors is free and all merchants keep 100% of their profit. All vendors are responsible for their own equipment. Vendors can set up tables, or just wander in the gallery space with their wares. The Contractors will only provide a site with an influx of domestic and international visitors. Vendors are asked to respect the space and the art, keep a safe distance away from the works and clean up after themselves at the end of the day. Space will be allotted on a first-come first-served basis.

Take buses 401,402,909,988,991,405,418 or 813 and get off at the Dashanzi (大山子) bus stop.

DATE: 5 April 2008
TIME: 15:00-18:00
ADDRESS: Long March Space 4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing


地图 Map to Long March Space


包工头乐队现筹办大山子艺术区百货热卖现场活动, 热烈欢迎各类产品展销,推销行业的卖主参加!!!

“包工头乐队”作为活动的主办方,在所提供的艺术空间里免收入场费, 各位卖主将享有全部的销售利润, 卖主负责提供参加活动期间的展品展销设备。 卖主在买卖过程中,可以摆放桌子或者在展场空间里自由移动。卖主保证所用场地清洁, 不损坏公共设施,不侵犯场地内的艺术作品。 场地面积有限, 先到者优先。


2008 年 4月5日

联系 :

Saturday, January 26, 2008


包工头乐队祝您 恭喜发财 新春快乐!
The Contractors wish you a glorious, happy and prosperous
Year of the Rat!
[here is an alternative link for those within the great firewall of china]

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


And now presenting... our new studio! whoohoo!

wang wei and i are slowly moving into our new workspace in Chaochangdi, in the north of Beijing. the whole area is sort of turning into the next "hip" art district which i have mixed feelings about, but i alone can't stop "progress", so we march on. we've got 150 sq.m of internet-free fun. why internet free? we figured we'd get more done without the distraction of the rest of the world.

more posts to come about studio warmings, mini-exhibitions, and other yet to be defined studio related... things.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

olympic fevah


ok sports fans, here it is. we're vacating our artist-designed and handsomely-built apartment and putting it up for rent during the olympic games this august to those interested parties who are coming to beijing and got the FEVAH. details if you follow this link.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

one dream

the best moments in beijing are when reality far exceeds your imagination. this seen on a digital marquee adorning the front of the silk market shopping mall is one such moment. it takes the "one dream one world" olympic motto to totally new heights, and is by far the most honest representation of what china is today. you don't really know what people are thinking when they come up with stuff like this, but regardless, it's pure f*#king genius.