Monday, December 13, 2010

water works

just an invitation for those of you lovely people who will be in beijing these next few weeks. I've built a fountain for The Third Party, a group show at Platform China.

Here's the press release:
THE THIRD PARTY – An exhibition in Three Acts | November 11, 2010 – January 24, 2011
第三方 三位一体之展 | 2010 1111 – 2011 124
OPENING Act2 THE STRANGER | 第二位“陌生人-- 开幕式: December 9, 2010 – 5pm | 129日, 下午5
Curated by 策划人: Beatrice Leanza 毕月

Location: Platform China Contemporary Art Institute, Beijing | 站台中国,北京
(see for details & directions)

Artists in Act 2艺术家:  陈绍雄 Chen Shaoxiong & 刘鼎Liu Ding , 何颖宜 Rania Ho, 何颖雅Ho Elaine W. & Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga (家作坊Homeshop), 颜磊 Yan Lei.

“How can a subject give an account of its own ruin?” (Giorgio Agamben, from The Archive and Testimony)

As the second enactment of this voyaging through the realm of the ordinary, The Stranger enters a very specific world of interaction, an intermediate zone of potentiality through which different manners of human relations come ‘to be lived rather than resolved’.
The stranger is, as described in the eponymous essay by Georg Simmel in 1908, the sociological form that represents a unity of both fixation and liberation, “a particular structure composed of distance and nearness, indifference and involvement”. His position within a given group is “determined, essentially, by the fact that he has not belonged to it from the beginning, that he imports qualities into it, which do not and cannot stem from the group itself”.  For what matters the investigation of narrative structures and aesthetic objects set out with the realization of this project, this second exhibition chooses to engage forms of artistic enunciations that dwell in the ‘negative side of presence’. More precisely, it exposes how they operate in relation to the exterior landscape by transforming or re-assembling into new spatial configurations specific orders of signification belonging to our living image- and object-scapes.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

bake shop details


2010年10月30日 - 11月21日 每周末(六,日) 13:00 - 18:00

*Special Event: Arrow Factory Bake Shop

Artisan home baking enthusiasts purvey their handmade cakes, pies, cookies, cupcakes, breads and coffee at Arrow Factory.
Oct 30-Nov 21, 2010 Weekends Sat & Sun 1-6pm

let them eat cake

for the past 2 weekends at the arrow factory we've turned the space into a bake shop. a group of artisan home baking enthusiasts have been making pumpkin pies, cheesecakes, muffins, tarts, chocolate cakes cupcakes and bread. there is free organic hand pulled coffee flowing with much good eating and conversing taking place in the hutong. see the flickr photos.

this project was conceived as an experiment. an experiment to turn the non-commercial arrow factory into an open commercial platform; an experiment to give some very good bakers the opportunity to share their goods; an experiment to open the space and have visitors inside it instead of only looking at it from the outside; an experiment just to see what happens. So far the results have been very interesting. the baked goods are selling like, well... hotcakes with almost no stock left by the end of each day. the bakers are getting more creative and confident. a friend's 6-year old made cupcakes and sold them for enough money to cover 6 months of pocket money. some neighbors in the hutong came by first to buy cakes and then again to buy cookies and then came back a third time to ask if they could have the used coffee grinds to use as air freshener. a missionary woman came by wanting to befriend us (is there something with baked goods and christians?) someone shown up with an elaborate sugar cane juice extractor on the back of their bike and started squeezing cane juice with limes. we're meeting and talking to our neighbors.

Two more weekends to go. if you're in the area, i highly recommend stopping by. But, come early enough to get pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake - those go fast.

Friday, September 24, 2010

traffic patterns

more complete awesomeness from the beijing city department of traffic management. this time, individual animations describing how to navigate each and every highway interchange within the 5th ring road. Each and every interchange is designed differently making it virtually impossible to know how to navigate this literal urban jungle unless it is a path well traveled. the map shows each and every interchange. click on any one to see it in detail. sihui qiao interchange is one that is particularly insane (and one which we have driven many times over after missing our intended exit). click on the different possible paths listed on the right hand side of the page and watch the poor little cars try to make simple turns. hours of good wholesome entertainment. whoopeee!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the moving wall

welcome to our latest offering at arrow factory. Zhang Peili's wall been up for a few weeks now, but i haven't had time to post until now. Swing by if you're in the area:

In over two years of operation, Arrow Factory has presented exhibitions and projects that have been distinguished in part by their concrete or hypothetical relationship to the social context of its immediate local setting. 38 Jianchang Hutong, a new kinetic installation work by Zhang Peili, establishes a different approach. Shedding any direct social commentary or audience interaction, 38 Jianchang Hutong represents a careful merging with the interior architecture of Arrow Factory’s space while emphatically disassociating itself with the external social surroundings. In an almost imperceptible cycle, the back wall inside the space creeps towards the front glass façade and slowly retreats back again. Correspondingly, a pale circle of light on the wall widens and narrows as the wall moves forward and back.

The installation 38 Jianchang Hutong asks of its viewers not casual engagement, but meditative patience. As such, it can be interpreted as both a desire to attract and pull in one’s attention and an act to willfully repel and disregard it. Working primarily in the medium of video, Zhang Peili’s artistic practice has often concerned itself with the slippage between realities that are constructed or perceived and that which is experienced bodily. Putting the camera aside this time, Zhang relies upon visual strategies to create an elastic void in the midst of copious hutong life which foregrounds the incongruity of Arrow Factory to its adjacent surroundings while also prompting an acute sense of engaged disengagement.

在过去两年多的运营中,箭厂空间举办了一系列的展览和计划,因在某种程度上强调了特定地域环境这一假定背景关系而显得有些与众不同。《箭厂胡同38号》是 张培力的一件机械装置作品,它呈现了一种不同的创作手法-即摒弃了任何直接的社会诠释或观众互动,作品表现出与箭厂空间内部建筑的精心融合,同时又明显地 与外在社会环境彻底脱节。沿着几乎无法觉察的圆形光柱,空间后墙慢慢地延伸至前面的玻璃推拉门后又缓缓地退了回去,墙上一个苍白的光圈随着墙面的前后移动 而变大或变小。《箭厂胡同38号》迫使观众要有思考的耐心而不只是漫不经心的匆匆一瞥,作品在此试图引导这样一些情绪地出现-引人注目的愿望,故意的厌恶 感和一种抵制的举动。张培力原本主要使用录像这一媒介进行创作,他的艺术实践往往建构于现实与体验之间的错位关系。这一次,张培力把录像机放在一边,依靠 一种视觉的策略,在喧闹的胡同生活中营造出了一个灵活的 “空洞”。

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

one man show

next up at arrow factory: we're turning arrow factory into a tiny theater space by featuring puppet shows written, directed, and performed by artist wen peng. these small vignettes are about 10min each with subjects ranging from folk inspired allegories to dream-scapes. if you're in beijing this weekend, stop by and visit us around 8pm. each night's show will last about an hour. hope to see you then.

One-Man Theater

Wen Peng
one man, five nights, seven tales

2010.07.16-21 8pm
7.16 周五 FRI 20:00 - 20:15 盗墓者 The Grave Robber

20:20 - 20:35 梦里婚姻 A Wedding Dream

20:40 - 21:00 猎人 The Hunter
7.17 周六 SAT 20:00 - 20:15 动物的世界 Animal World

20:20 - 20:35 小武 Xiao Wu

20:40 - 21:00 乞丐 The Beggar
7.18 周日 SUN 20:00 - 21:00 观众最喜欢的两部戏+赶公猪的人
Audience choice: 2 of the most popular pieces from the previous nights) + The Swine Inseminator
7.19-20 周一,二
20:00 - 21:00 每天只表演观众最喜欢的三部戏
Audience choice (3 of the most popular pieces from the previous nights)

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Swell Times

If any of you find yourselves in Ho Chi Minh City, swing by San-Art Independent Artist Space and check out "Swell Times," an exhibition of two artists - myself and Kuala Lumpur (MY) based Roslisham Ismail aka ‘Ise’.

i'm showing a small fountain, some photos and a video of a new inflatable in progress! here's the official press release:

''Swell Times'
Artist: Roslisham Ismail aka Ise (Malaysia)
Rania Ho (China/USA)
Date: July 1 - August 5, 2010
Venue: San Art

‘Swell Times’ presents the work of two artists - Rania Ho based in Beijing (CN), and Kuala Lumpur (MY) based Roslisham Ismail aka ‘Ise’. This exhibition is an exploration of the ideas behind ‘perfection’. In our highly globalized world, visual information is ubiquitous, but context for the images (where taken, who by, and what it means) is not always fully communicated nor understood. Without these original contexts, new interpretations are projected upon these images, creating a fresh lexicon of ‘mashed up’ symbols made relevant for local conditions. ‘Swell Times’ interrogates these mixed signals and the underlying conflicts created by these new interpretations. For Rania and Ise, this piecemeal sensibility is particularly true in Asia, where adopted signs and symbols are often absorbed and (mis)understood. These unfamiliar visual symbols are re-framed into our own surroundings, twisting space and history into a multi-layered kaleidoscope. It compels those of us who live here to piece together our own connections, meanings and identities out of the swirling shards of information.

Working with found imagery, such as cosmetic surgery advertising, Ise presents a series of new collage works that explore social interactions and status through the machines people use and own. His work also examines the way character is increasingly determined by looks as opposed to ideas and aspirations. These comical, near sci-fi creatures are an amalgamation of objects, signs and symbols that ask questions of the nature of beauty, social relations and cultural stereotypes.

Rania Ho presents video documentation of a handmade inflatable garden, fabricated out of nylon fabric, and pumped up with air. This work in progress entitled ‘El Jiardino Aristocratica’ (The Aristocratic Garden) is a collection of temporary sculptures inspired by the connotations of status that accompanies highly groomed gardens of Europe. The video depicts ‘El Jiardino Aristocratica’ being inflated on a conspicuously manicured green patch in Beijing, which is next to a highway on-ramp. Along with the video is a small sculptural piece called ‘Fountain,’ a fountain created from mundane household items; and a series of photos entitled ‘Nature Photography’, depicting the flora and fauna found in Beijing’s public spaces just before the opening of the 2008 Olympic games. By poking fun at our admiration and judiciousness towards disciplining nature, Rania Ho questions how ideas of ‘perfection’ are formed.

‘El Jiardino Aristocratica’ is part of Rania Ho’s ongoing practice of handcrafting familiar objects out of low-cost, commonly found materials. Coupling new and old, with high and low technology, this garden pays tribute to the perhaps ‘inappropriate’ re-use of materials, creating new platforms for re-thinking what is ‘natural’ and ‘perfect’.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

night light

we've got a new piece up at arrow factory. Euan Macdonald has made an effervescent night light installation for the rooftop. if you happen to be wandering around after it gets dark, swing by and soak up some of the glow.

An installation and artist book by Euan Macdonald
2010.06.23 – 08.15

Arrow Factory is pleased to present a light installation by Los Angeles artist Euan Macdonald. Taking a cue from the abundant LED lights that line skyscrapers, office buildings, and highway underpasses throughout Chinese cities, Macdonald has chosen to illuminate the space atop Arrow Factory with gleaming blue lights that radiate upwards into the sky. With this, an isolated and insignificant corner of the city is mysteriously accentuated and embellished. Macdonald’s gesture—transplanting the visual language of glitzy, brightly colored lights that adorn contemporary architecture onto the low-rise neighborhood of Jianchang Hutong—might appear resoundingly formal but is imbued with the artist’s continuing interest in inventing, capturing, and recreating the enigmatic and inexplicable phenomena of our lives. The title Take the Dark Out of the Night Time not only alludes to the mystical qualities of light and time but proposes an action that is neither fully rational nor achievable.

Take the Dark Out of the Night Time is viewable seven days a week from dusk to dawn. A small artist’s book will be published in conjunction with Take the Dark Out of the Night Time.

2010年6月23日 – 8月15日

箭厂空间隆重推出洛杉矶艺术家尤安·马唐纳的灯 光装置作品。从中国城市中布满摩天大厦、办公楼以及公路地下通道的大量LED灯获得了启示,马唐纳选择了用向上射向天空的闪烁的蓝色灯光,照亮箭厂空间的 空间顶部。于是,城市中一个与世隔绝的、毫无价值的角落被不可思议地强调了,并得到美化修饰。马唐纳的姿态——将用来装饰当代建筑的耀眼而色彩鲜明的灯光 形成的视觉语言,移植到箭厂胡同低矮建筑的环境中——也许看起来相当的形式化,但充满了艺术家一直以来对于发现、捕捉、再造我们生活中离奇而难以解释的现 象的关注。《为夜晚清除黑暗》这个标题不仅暗示了光明与时间的神奇本质,而且提出了一个既不合理也无法实现的行动。

每周七天,从 黄昏到黎明,都可以观看到《为夜晚清除黑暗》。一小本艺术书也将配合《为夜晚清除黑暗》出版。

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Arrow Factory's latest offering. come by and get some cheap toilet paper, or salt, or washing powder while it lasts!


李景湖的《雪人》是一件特定现场的装置作品。他以一种轻松的心态,用成卷的卫生纸在空间里堆积起一 座硕大的“雪人”,这个“雪人”将在一个月的时间里随着货品的不断售出而在人们的视野中逐渐消失。将箭厂空间转变为一个出售食盐、洗衣粉和廉价低端卫生纸 的临时商店,通过一种短期经济关系的建立,《雪人》触及了本地日常生活用品的定价、购买和销售这一错综复杂的过程,通过在一个日益活跃的社区商业环境中引 入郊区批发市场的价值系统,从而达到渗透并适度扰乱当地经济的目的。

李景湖继续其早期创作中对日常物品形态特征的关注,在这里仅选用白颜色的日常消耗品,并将它们塑造成雪人这 一对他来说有些异想天开、充满童趣的形状,而实际上就在几天前艺术家刚刚见到了平生中的第一场大雪。就像在现实生活中人们并不指望雪人能永久保存一样,李 景湖靠隔壁店主的帮助在一个月当中出售这些商品,直至“雪人”全部消失。巧合的是,他所购买的卫生纸品牌恰好叫做“天天见”,这个短句道出了这件作品观念 的两个边缘:雪人短暂而稍纵即逝的存在,以及每天与这些生活消耗品的无奈遭遇。

李景湖在广东东莞生活和工作,那里是导致中国“恶”名远扬的“世界加工厂”之一,他的艺术实践基于 自己在这座南方工业城市中的日常经验与历练。在亲眼目睹了该地区发生的所有变化—从改革开放直到当下的经济萎缩,李景湖对于周遭普通市民的日常生存模式保 持浓厚的兴趣,他的创作手法一直在寻求弥合艺术与生活之间的分野, 而箭厂胡同对于艺术家此次作品的实践似乎是一个非常适合的场所。

Li Jinghu Snowman


Snowman by Li Jinghu is a site-specific installation and event that takes a lighthearted approach towards the consumption and distribution of everyday consumer products. Using everyday items such as packaged toilet paper, Li creates a larger than life size snowman, which will steadily ‘melt’ over time as the items are sold off at bargain prices. At once sculptural installation and interactive event, Snowman explores the intricacies of pricing, buying and selling of everyday goods within a localized setting while transforming Arrow Factory into a temporary shop for salt, washing powder and cheap low-grade toilet paper. Effectively relocating a wholesale market from the remote outskirts of town to the city center, Snowman attempts to infiltrate and disrupt the local economy by introducing wholesale prices amongst a growing retail environment.

Taking up his earlier concerns with the formal qualities of everyday objects, here Li selects only white color products and sculpts them into snowmen—a whimsical and imaginary form for the artist, whose first encounter with snowfall occurred just days before he began his installation. However, as in real life, snowmen are not intended to last. The artist has engaged the assistance of a neighboring shopkeeper to sell the items everyday for approximately one month until the snowmen gradually disappear. Coincidentally, the brand name of the toilet paper Li purchased is called 天天见“Tian Tian Jian” (literally ‘seen everyday’), a phrase which speaks to the work’s two conceptual edges: the fleeting, ephemeral presence of snowmen and unfaltering daily encounters with these common products.

Living and working in Dongguan, Guangdong, one of China’s infamous ‘world factories’, Li Jinghu’s artistic practice is highly informed by his own upbringing, everyday experiences and imaginations within and beyond this southern industrial city. Having witnessed the changes that have occurred in the region—from reform and opening until the most recent economic downturn—Li has developed a keen interest in the patterns of daily existence and the lives of ordinary citizens that surround him. Arrow Factory’s hutong is a fitting location for an artist who has grown accustomed to working away from the art centers of Beijing and Shanghai, and whose practice seeks to melt away the borders between art and life.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

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someone didn't get the memo

An article in the NYT about the chinese economy has this amazing ringer at the end. after a whole discussion of why china won't devalue the renmenbi, it mentions an incident during the climate change conference in copenhagen:

"[Wen] had not deliberately skipped the meeting, as some at the conference charged. Mr. Wen’s absence from that session, which was attended by President Obama and other leaders, has been touted by critics as a symbol of China’s intransigence on climate issues at the conference, which ended without reaching many of its key goals.

“Why was China not notified of this meeting? So far no one has given us any explanation about it, and it still is a mystery,” [Wen] said.

hmmm. maybe someone should notify the distinguished leader that no one told me is not really an acceptable excuse anymore once you become the Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China.

Friday, February 19, 2010

channel me- week 2

sports fans!

channel me's second installment at the arrow factory will commence sunday (feb 21, 2010) at 16:00! music, cooking, the fashion police, oh my! and that's not all- wangwei and i will be organizing the 健身乒乓球世界杯 Exercise Ping-Pong World Cup Competition. what is that, you ask? well, here's the brief:

Fierce competitors from all over the globe will gather at the Arrow Factory Sunday Feb 21, 2010 at to compete for the Exercise Ping Pong World Cup Championship.


The single elimination matches will take place using a small folding table with spices and bottles lined up across the middle as a net.


1. Competitors will first sing as much of their national anthem as they can remember.


2. Competitors will pick their paddle of choice. There will be at least 5 choices of paddles ranging from rice scoopers, spatulas, pot lids, trivets, etc.

选手挑选比赛用拍, 球拍共有五种选择:日记本,铅笔盒,炒菜的铲子,乘米饭的铲子,塑料或木制小案板等。

3. Competitors will serve 3 times.


4. whoever gets to 6 points first wins.


Competition lasts until the final round. Only a Gold medal will be awarded.


At the awards ceremony, all present sing the chinese national anthem, regardless of their country of origin and regardless of the winner's nationality.


all competitors should arrive at the arrow factory by 5:30pm to register. competition starts around 6:15pm. all nationalities welcome - ideally you can also sing a portion of your national anthem.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy tiger

happy new year! it's only the first day of the new year and i think we've had more than enough dumplings, fireworks, more food, and more drink. only 2 more weeks to go. i also managed to get a VPN working and can finally connect with the outside world. hello all. apologies for the silence.

we've got a new work up at the arrow factory. Nie Mu has turned the space into a tv production studio making programs and "narrowcasting" the video on a monitor inside. Her project, entitled Channel Me, just finished the first program today and will be filming every sunday for the next 3 weeks. i'll post photos of the event soon, but in the meantime, here's a link to the info: