beijing

“Public Service Announcement”

Arrow Factory, Beijing

A traveler arriving in Beijing in search of art is sure to be struck first by the size of the city’s enormous squares, temples, galleries, and museums—which corresponds in contemporary art to the prevalence of room-filling

installations, large-format pictures, and, until recently, high prices paid for works of art. “Small Is the New Big” is the title curator Pauline J. Yao gave in 2009 to an article in which she differentiated the work of the Arrow Factory—a noncommercial exhibition space she has been running with artist colleagues Rania Ho and Wang Wei since 2008—from the hype of contemporary Chinese art. Situated in a modest storefront in a residential quarter in the northeast of the city center—and far from the art ghettos on the outskirts of Beijing—the Arrow Factory stands out from the chic art spaces of the periphery in ways that are not just spatial and geographic. Its program of

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