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Art takes a beating as funds dry up

[ 2009-03-24 13:52]     字号 [] [] []  
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The global economic meltdown has hit the city's art exhibition industry. Several big international events are attracting fewer funds than before or even being postponed, exhibition organizers said.

The Guangzhou Photo Biennial (GPB), slated from May 18 to July 19 in Guangzhou, received fewer funds from international, especially European, sponsors, Wang Huangsheng, director of the Guangdong Museum of Art, said.

"The economic downturn had a huge impact on our sponsors who helped develop the exhibition in the last two sessions by raising most of the funds," Wang told China Daily.

"Since there are less sponsors, we have to cut costs this year. The expenses on inviting big international artists will be cut," said Wang. The museum is still working hard to find local sponsors, he added.

The museum usually runs 60-70 art exhibitions each year, needing approximately 5 million yuan ($731,000) from sponsors, Wang said.

"But this year, we have allotted only 1 million yuan for organizing such events," he added.

"Art events, which depend on sponsorship by companies instead of governments, can hardly avoid the impact of a global economic downtown," said Wang. He cited the example of Beijing's 798 art village, a center featuring primarily non-government-funded art events, where many shows were cancelled.

"A growing number of artists there even moved out of the center because of the economic meltdown," Wang said.

In another case, the biennial art exhibition - Get it Louder - organized by the Modern Media Group, has been postponed until next year, curator Ou Ning told China Daily yesterday. The show was sponsored by big international brands like Chivas and Pepsi since it began in 2005.

"We were preparing for the third session since last year. But following the economic downturn, the event was scaled back for lack of sufficient financial support from sponsors," Ou said.

Ou, also one of the curators of the Shenzhen-Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism, said the exhibition will be held this year as planned with government support.


1. When is the Guangzhou Photo Biennial (GPB) being held?

2. How many exhibitions does the Guangdong Museum of Art usually run each year?

3. What is the name of Beijing’s art center where many shows were cancelled?


1. From May 18 to July 19.

2. 60-70.

3. 798 (art village).

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Art takes a beating as funds dry up

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Art takes a beating as funds dry up

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.