I: project space / Beijing, China

I: project space / Beijing, China

for professionals within the fields of
Visual Art, Performing Arts, New Media, Curatorial, and Architecture

New Art coming back to town… to find an independent art space at a Hutong in Beijing

About the admirable endeavour of
2 young German ladies within the art scene in China

I: project space is a Beijing-based platform for non-commercial art projects.
It offers project-oriented exhibitions of independent art, but also functions as an artist residency to provide living and working space for artists apart from pressures of the art market.
The name I: project space (pronounced Yi) already tells: I: followed by a colon signifies an international as well as independent project space. Furthermore, the shorthand symbol ‘I’ for yìshù means art in Chinese language.


Pretty young – operating only since August 2014 – the art space already established well within the art world of local and foreign artists and galleries within Beijing, nationally and internationally.
It is located in the midst of the small lanes and narrow alleys of a typical residential quarter of China’s capitol – luring creatives and art professionals from suburban areas back to the traditional centre.
The platform provides the opportunity to research and experience the vast growing Chinese art scene for one guest artist at once to stay for 2 to 3 months, ending the term with a presentation of the created project or art works.
A special focus is on video art and performance, those new disciplines which are widely spread in other parts of the world, but still need some support and notably space for development in China.
This is of course the merit of the two founders of the organisation: Anna Eschbach and Antonie Angerer, who also set up cooperations with cultural institutions like the Swiss Ambassy, the Academy of Art, and the Goethe Institute Beijing.
The art historians moved to Beijing in summer 2014. Antonie Angerer, born in 1986 and originally from Regensburg, also studied Sinology and knew the city well from several study exchanges previously. Now, she also is assisting guest artists and visitors of the project space with local advice and translations. Anna-Viktoria Eschbach, born in Bochum in 1987, graduated from the Städel Art School, Frankfurt in curating, and the university in Tübingen. She had the expertise for starting out with I: project space from developing comparable projects with other organisations before.

Here, Anna Eschbach and Antonie Angerer rented a Siheyuan. This is a characteristic vicinity courtyard, surrounded by the 34 sqm large studio for the guest artist, general exposition space and the living area of the neighbours.
With a diverse programme it aims to foster the international exchange about art and its value to society.

The small kitchen with the lofty glass facade is the heart and centre point of life and work. This is where all preparations take place. Sometimes it is also turned into a place for a screening – like for current resident artist Daniel Stubenvoll’s first presentation of his video produced at I: project space.
A blog entry on Stubenvoll’s artistic work i:Cowboy can be found here.

Regarding governmental restraints or limitations on the freedom of artistic work, both of the directors deny any restrictive interventions. Till present, they perfectly could find their innovative way through bureaucracy and officialdom of the People’s Republic, even with founding a company as aliens in China.


Congrats for the courage and determination of these 2 young ladies, realising their dream and making it a success story. Best wishes for the future!
More info on the homepage or on Facebook.

Photos:
Jana Wolf, Michael Bodenmann and Daniel Stubenvoll;

Interview with:
Antonie Angerer and Anna Eschbach, Founding and Artistic Directors of I: project space;
Beijing/Berlin, 21st January & 27th April 2015.