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落脚燕郊,中国青年艺术家的理想与现实

更新时间:2016-10-31 18:51:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Seeking Lower Rent, Chinese Artists Cut Path for Themselves Outside Beijing
落脚燕郊,中国青年艺术家的理想与现实

YANJIAO, China — Artists in need of cheap, affordable studio space are often drawn to out-of-the-way or hardscrabble neighborhoods. The visual artists who flocked to SoHo in Manhattan decades ago helped resurrect what had been a deteriorating factory and warehouse district.

中国燕郊——需要便宜、租得起的工作室的艺术家们通常会被吸引到偏僻或贫穷的地方。几十年前蜂拥来到曼哈顿SoHo区的视觉艺术家们帮助复兴了这个曾经日益衰落的工厂和仓库区。

Young artists also helped revive parts of Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Bushwick, and a similar pattern has occurred in many other major cities, including Berlin, Paris and Detroit.

年轻艺术家也帮助复兴了布鲁克林(Brooklyn)的部分地区,比如威廉斯堡(Williamsburg)和布什威克(Bushwick)。类似的模式也出现在其他很多大城市,比如,柏林、巴黎和底特律。

In China, a small and decidedly nondescript city called Yanjiao, about an hour’s drive from Beijing, has been experiencing a similar influx of artists, though it is highly unlikely that they will initiate the kind of renaissance that has tourists flocking to Williamsburg and SoHo.

在中国,距北京1小时车程的毫不起眼的小城市燕郊也在经历类似的艺术家蜂拥而入的过程,虽然他们不大可能实现上述的那种复兴,吸引游客像蜂拥前往威廉斯堡和SoHo那样来到这里。

That’s because the artists’ inexpensive studios in Yanjiao lack exposed brick walls or distressed wood beams. Instead, they tend to feature concrete walls and cheap metal fittings, and they are generally in large, uninspired apartment blocks.

那是因为,艺术家们在燕郊租住的廉价工作室没有暴露的砖墙和古旧木梁。相反,它们大多由混凝土墙和廉价的金属固件构成,通常位于庞大的、平淡无奇的住宅区。

Yanjiao, with a population of about 300,000, was once known mostly as a “sleeper city,” whose residents commuted to jobs in Beijing. During the day, its wide, dusty streets are nearly empty, flanked by apartment buildings waiting for tenants to return from work.

燕郊大约有30万人,曾以“睡城”闻名,那里的居民通勤去北京上班。白天,尘土飞扬的宽阔街道上几乎空无一人,两侧的公寓楼等着住户们下班回家。

The idealistic but impoverished artists here, many of them young graduates from Beijing’s elite art schools, work and live in these apartment blocks.

贫穷的理想主义艺术家——很多是北京顶尖艺术学校的年轻毕业生——在这些住宅区工作和生活。

Driven by high rents and the constant threat of demolition in Beijing, many artists who might previously have hunkered down in the city, China’s unofficial cultural capital, are flocking to Yanjiao as a low-cost spot from which to chase their dreams.

很多艺术家可能曾经蜗居在中国的非官方文化之都北京,但那里高昂的房租和持续不断的拆迁威胁迫使他们蜂拥来到燕郊这个生活成本低廉的地方,继续追逐自己的梦想。

“The only reason for artists living in Yanjiao is that it’s cheap,” one of them, Zhang Yongji, 27, said with a laugh.

“只是因为便宜,我们才住在燕郊,”27岁的张永基笑着说。

Like many young artists, Mr. Zhang dreamed of making it big in Beijing. But after graduating from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts there in 2012, he looked into renting a studio in the city and found he could not afford one. A friend of his was living in Yanjiao, and after visiting, he decided to move here.

和很多年轻艺术家一样,张也曾梦想在北京大展宏图。但是,2012年,他从著名的中央美术学院毕业后,想在北京租一间工作室,却发现自己租不起。当时他的一个朋友住在燕郊,他去看望那位朋友后决定搬来这里。

Eventually, he settled into an apartment complex called the South Side of Hawaii, one of the city’s many sprawling, colorfully named residential complexes designed in a faux European style. (Others include the North Side of Hawaii, Hawaii Valley and Sweet Seoul City.) In 2013, he and a group of friends founded On Space, an apartment turned experimental art gallery.

最后,他在一个名叫夏威夷南岸的小区住下来。它是这座城市很多名字起得很炫的庞大仿欧式住宅区之一(其他的还有夏威夷北岸、夏威夷溪谷和首尔甜城等)。2013年,他和一群朋友成立了On Space工作室——一个用公寓改造而成的实验艺术画廊。

In the last decade, urbanization and gentrification have accelerated in Beijing. “These forces are pushing artists to think of alternative models for running art spaces, including, yes, spaces in Yanjiao,” said Kira Simon-Kennedy, a co-founder and the director of China Residencies, a nonprofit arts organization.

在过去十年里,北京的城市化和中产阶层化进程加快。“这些压力正推动艺术家们思考开设艺术空间的其他模式,是的,包括在燕郊设立工作室,”非赢利艺术组织中国艺术交流(China Residencies)的联合创始人兼总监孟金兰(Kira Simon-Kennedy)说。

Many of China’s most famous contemporary artists emerged from so-called artist villages on the urban fringes of Beijing, where rent was low and distractions from making art were few.

中国很多最著名的当代艺术家都是从北京郊区所谓的艺术家村走出来的,那里租金便宜,而且几乎没有分散艺术创作注意力的东西。

One of the best known of these enclaves is Caochangdi Village. However, as Beijing’s city limits have expanded, many smaller artist villages have been torn down to make way for new development.

其中最出名的一个地方叫草场地。但是,随着北京的城区范围不断扩大,很多小型艺术家村被拆除,让位于新的地产开发项目。

“Art is always pushed to the edge,” said He Miao, a curator of contemporary art in Beijing. “In China, contemporary art cannot be made in cities. Where the urban meets the rural, that’s where art happens.”

“艺术总被推到边边角角的地方,”北京的当代艺术策展人禾苗说,“中国的当代艺术不可能诞生于城市,而是诞生于城乡结合部。”

Yanjiao initially attracted attention from the artistic community in 2006, when the Central Academy of Fine Arts established a satellite campus not far from the South Side of Hawaii. Art supply, printing and framing shops quickly popped up to serve the students, teachers and artists who would be living and working nearby.

2006年,中央美院在离夏威夷南岸不远的地方建了一个校区。自此,燕郊开始引起艺术家群体的注意。很快,附近涌现出很多艺术创作用品店、印刷店和装裱店,为在这里生活和工作的学生、老师和艺术家服务。

The first artists found it lonely. “When I first got here, my building was completely empty, and there were no lights at night,” said Pange Yang, 26, who arrived in 2012. “I was the only person in the building.”

搬来这里的第一批艺术家当时觉得很孤单。“我刚到燕郊的时候,我的楼完全是空的,晚上的时候一片黑,”26岁的潘戈阳说。他2012年搬来这里。“楼里面只有我一个人。”

But as word of mouth about Yanjiao spread, more artists began coming.

但是,随着燕郊的口碑散播开来,越来越多的艺术家来到这里。

“I was preparing to really do the poor, starving artist thing in Songzhuang,” a well-established artist village about a half-hour away, said Li Tianqi, 24, another founder of On Space. “But why rent a tiny shack in Songzhuang when you can have a nice studio in Yanjiao?”

“本来我是打算在宋庄做一个贫穷的、吃不饱饭的艺术家,”On Space的另一位创始人、24岁的李天琦说。宋庄是距离这里约半小时车程的一个著名的艺术家村。“如果你能在燕郊拥有一个很好的工作室,那你为什么要在宋庄租一个小棚子呢?”

No one knows how many young artists now call Yanjiao home, though the On Space founders estimate that at least several hundred have space here. Last year, the gallerists tried an informal census of the city’s artists, but ran out of time after conducting interviews with about 60 people.

没有人知道燕郊现在究竟住着多少年轻艺术家,不过On Space的创始人们估计,至少有几百名艺术家在这里设立了工作室。去年,画廊老板们尝试对该市的艺术家进行一个非正式人口普查,但是在采访了约60人后,就没时间继续进行了。

Yanjiao has also caught the eye of established artists. Its most famous tenants are the Gao Brothers, a pair of multimedia artists internationally known for their irreverent sculptures. In 2013, they bought a former factory building and turned it into an airy studio complex they call Blessgo, which they use for making larger works.

燕郊也吸引了一些著名艺术家,其中最出名的是高氏兄弟。这对多媒体艺术家在国际上以不敬的雕塑闻名。2013年,他们买下一间厂房,改造成宽敞的工作室,称之为Blessgo,用来创作大型作品。

Referring to the quickly gentrifying 798 Art District in Beijing, Gao Zhen, the older brother, said in an interview, “In 798, we still won’t be allowed to exhibit certain works of art, and you just can’t completely let go of your worries because even renting studios in 798 isn’t completely stable, with demolitions and relocations.”

哥哥高真在采访中提到快速中产阶层化的北京798艺术区时说:“在798,他们还是不允许我们展览某些作品,而且你没法完全放心,因为在798租工作室都不稳定,有拆迁问题等等。”

The siblings still maintain a studio in the 798 district, but plan to eventually relocate entirely to Yanjiao.

兄弟俩在798艺术区依然拥有一间工作室,不过打算最终彻底搬到燕郊。

Most artists in Yanjiao work in more humble circumstances. Much of the city’s surplus of residential space takes the form of cheap, unfinished apartments called maopifang. Little more than concrete shells, they are perfect for artists looking to create studios on a shoestring.

燕郊的大部分艺术家在更简朴的环境中工作。这座城市多余的住宅空间很多都是没有装修的廉价毛坯房,基本上就只有混凝土主体,非常适合那些想以极低成本设立工作室的艺术家们。

Because of the dominance of residential space in Yanjiao, its atmosphere differs markedly from the gritty industrial hipness of Caochangdi or the more touristic 798, where cafes, boutiques and galleries have sprung up alongside artists’ studios. In Yanjiao, virtually nothing comparable has appeared.

由于燕郊以住宅为主,所以它的气氛与草场地粗犷的工业时髦气息或798更像景点的氛围迥然不同——798的艺术工作室周围涌现出很多咖啡馆、时装精品店和画廊。在燕郊,基本上没有此类事物。

But many of the Yanjiao artists have embraced its decidedly suburban aesthetic.

不过,燕郊的很多艺术家很喜欢这种纯粹的郊区美感。

Zhang Zhanzhan, a painter, has completely transformed his maopifang over the years, covering the concrete floors with whitewashed pine slats and the empty doorways with colored fabric. Pictures of his chic studio have been viewed by thousands of users on WeChat, a Chinese social media app.

这些年,画家张占占将自己的毛坯房进行了彻底改造,用粉刷成白色的松木板覆盖混凝土地板,用五彩斑斓的织物覆盖空空的门廊。他那时髦工作室的照片在中国社交媒体应用程序微信上得到了成千上万用户的浏览。

“I once went to drop off some paintings at a Beijing gallery, and the person there asked me if I was the artist with the ‘Tokyo-style studio,’” he recalled.

“有一次,我去北京送几幅画,有人问我,你是那个‘东京风格工作室’的艺术家吗?”他回忆说。

Yanjiao’s days as an affordable outpost may be numbered. Rents have more than tripled since the first artists moved in, mainly because of property speculation, and the number of unfinished maopifangs has dwindled.

燕郊作为负担得起的艺术家聚居点的日子可能也不多了。从第一批艺术家入住到现在,租金已经涨了3倍多,主要是因为地产投机,也因为毛坯房的数量在逐渐减少。

Moreover, despite the city’s now solid reputation as an offshoot artistic community, Beijing’s big-city allure remains.

此外,尽管现在这座城市作为分支艺术社区的名声已经确立,但北京的大城市诱惑依然存在。

While a fresh wave of graduates from the capital’s art academies move into Yanjiao each summer, many older artists have already left.

尽管每年夏天都有新一批北京艺术院校的毕业生搬到燕郊,但是很多年长的艺术家已经离开。

Last year, On Space decided not to renew its lease, because most of its events are now held in collaboration with organizations in Beijing. Zhang Yongji is going back to the capital to pursue a master’s degree.

去年,On Space决定不再续签租约,因为现在它的大部分活动是和北京的一些组织联合举办的。张永基打算回首都攻读硕士学位。

“This is a very temporary place,” he said. “We’re all here still hoping to someday make it in Beijing.”

“燕郊还是一个暂时停留的地方,”他说,“我们都还是想什么时候能在北京功成名就。”

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