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Redtory Art District in Guangzhou, China.
Redtory Art District in Guangzhou, China.

Chinese Galleries Forced to Relocate Ahead of Government-Sanctioned Demolitions

Local government authorities in Guangzhou, China, have ordered the eviction of all premises housed in the Redtory Art and Design District, a nonprofit arts initiative established in 2009 in a former canned-food factory, by November 21. Sections of the complex have been scheduled for demolition since June, reports Art Asia Pacific, and the Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA), one of the hub’s last operating art spaces, confirmed this week that all future programming has been canceled due to the expulsions.

The arts space has faced the possibility of closure since 2013, when there were rumors that the entire area would be demolished to make way for the construction of a financial hub. The area is just one of the many cultural centers in major Chinese cities that have been threatened by the country’s urban planning campaigns. The police oversaw the razing of the Roma Lake art district in Beijing this summer, as well as the ongoing evictions and demolition of spaces in the Caochangdi arts district. Government authorities have labeled buildings scheduled for destruction as “unauthorized illegal structures” and cite the crackdown on crime in city centers as a reason for the forced evacuations.

“This lack of vision is deeply disquieting,” said an RMCA spokesperson. “As the wreckers’ machinery moves in, the past dissolves before our eyes and we worry about the future.”