MOUart Gallery, Pékin – PYM (International Supervisor) [INTERVIEW]
Here at Couvre x Chef, we talk a lot about music…but not only. We’re in art, globally speaking, with no boundaries. We also like to feature news about those we call the Little Chefs. People, who, around the world, show their creativity and develop diverse and various projects. In this context, we had an interview with our homie PYM, who actually works in a art gallery in Beijing, : La MOUart Gallery. Enjoy the reading ! TAHAW.
– Hi PYM ! First of all, I’d like to thank you for your time answering our questions !
It’s a pleasure !
– To begin with, can you présent MOUart Gallery ?
MOUart is a young gallery settled for more than a year at the north gate of 798 Art District in Beijing. Also called Art Zone, this plant situated in the North-East of the town in Dashanzi district should have been the window of industrialized China Under Mao. To build it, the Communist Party back then had asked the expertise of German architects so as to install production chains of electric Appliance such as generator etc… Then, the plant has been abunded little by little. For a bit more than a decade now, artists and galleries have been settling instead and turned the place into one of the most important artistic place in Asia among cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong etc..
Nowadays, some of the most famous galleries in the world are present like Xin Dong Cheng Art Space for Contemporary Art or the world wide known Pace gallery. We are actually based just near this one, in a part called Originality Square.
– Can you tell me more about your gallery ?
Even if most of them are Chinese, the gallery aim at discovers and promote new talents regardless their age, homeland of the way they make art. This is the reason why we can host every kind of art from paintings to installations, sculptures etc… To do this, we use a 150 meter square space and a mobile wall which enable us to adapt the configuration of the room depending on the exhibition needs from one to another. The building we’re in has a nice red bricks coat and used to be offices. Like the rest of the plant, its architecture is inspired by the German.
– How does the gallery run ? How many employees are working here ?
The engine of the gallery is a strong will to broadcast art no matter its representation. Since couple of years, we can experience a kind of productivism quest in the Art Market that we try to avoid as it’s for us synonyms a lost of sense. We are working by project, each project being an exhibition or an event different from the previous ones in its contents, scenography and duration.
To do that, we are three to work full time in this space: the owner of the gallery (Xi Que), the receptionist (Yan Nan) and I.
Since couple of years, we can experience a kind of productivism quest in the Art Market that we try to avoid as it’s for us synonyms a lost of sense.
– What can we currently enjoyed in the gallery ?
Our current exhibition is entitled Play, and enjoyed a great success among visitors. This is a solo exhibition from the Chinese artist Dai Chen Lian. His work is divided in three steps process: paintings, videos and finally theatral performances. I’m really happy because our exhibition is perfectly showing this creation process in its totality.
And it’s really important to understand his work, the paintings are his own projections (souvenirs, thoughts, dreams etc…) we are used as sketches to then be turn into short movie videos realised using Chinese shadow puppets. These videos are then the support for his theatral performances.
Next month, we’ll host paintings from another Chinese artist: Wang Yuan Zheng. But what i’m really looking forward to now, is the end of November !
– Why is that?
I’m currently working in collaboration with Xiao Jing who will be host by the end of November. Among the pieces presented, a participative one will be showed which I’m really excited about. I really believe that it is crucial that contemporary Art become accessible to everyone again, that anyone can interact with it and even, like this project, take part in the creation process.
– A participative work ? Can you tell me more ?
The idea is very simple; it can actually be compared to the Inside Out Project of JR. We invite everyone to send us portrait pictures on white background. We’re going to collect the more portraits possible all around the world and this until November 24th. These portraits will be part of an installation entitled “One million in 10 minutes and 24 days”. For more information, please go to our Facebook page.
– In which way would you say that this gallery is different from others in Beijing ?
The fact that we are a small gallery really enables us to be free and independent in our choices and in the artist selection. We don’t care about the trends or the logic of the contemporary art market because our vision is different. We do believe that this market has become too pretentious and too elitist and we modestly try to give it back to the people, even how neophytes they can be.
What’s more, so as to “export” us abroad, we way prefer bounding with other galleries or art institution so as to build friendly partnerships than running all the global art fairs which are more and more expensive both for galleries and customers.
– How long have you been working in this gallery ? What are your responsabilities ?
I’ve been working here for more than three months. Oficially, my job is “International Supervisor”, I have to manage any task or activity of the gallery when English has to be used. It can be handling the foreign visitors, insure the media covering or build new partnerships abroad.
However, working in such a small team enable me to take part in the daily decision making process and to give my opinion on the gallery’s orientation.
– What are the things you would like to put in place in this gallery? What’s its future according to you?
There are so many!
Right now, I’m working a lot on this end of November project which I particularly like. We are also discussing a proposition I’ve made about making a group exhibition in with and American gallery, we would exposed American artists and they would exposed some of our Chinese ones.
But my real letiv motiv for this year is to succeed in realising a street art exhibition. “Street expression” in China, either it is Graffitis, Dance or music, is still something really underground which have to face ridiculous consequences when performed. It’s a shame really, because real wonders are hidden in these Chinese streets and to me it would be a dream to be able to show them in broad day light.
– Is the Beijing street art scene active ? How Chinese people see it ?
It is more and more active but still too limited due to huge consequences that it represents. The official sanction for an unauthorized graffiti is a four years jail time! And even if mentalities are rising, street art is still seen here as a burned wound on the Chinese cities’ skins.
This is why I think it’s important to help it to assert its right to exist! Street Art should belong and remain to the streets, there is no sense putting it inside the four walls of a gallery, but if it can help rising it, then it may be a necessary need.
– Where can we follow the actuality of the gallery ?
We do have a website: http://mouart.com, it may be under construction soon because it needs some serious improvements, mostly for the English part. We also have a Facebook page, we actually invite every lectors to go check on that and “like” it:
– Thanks for answering to our questions; we keep in touch ! TAHAW