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The Space

The Yuanfen New Media Art Space preserves its Bauhaus architectural tradition while continuously metamorphosing into new spaces with each exhibition as artists interact with the space creating site-specific projects. The space was originally part of the 798 Electronics Factory and produced ceramic resistors. An original industrial potter's wheel and Rapido scale from Radebeul, Germany, still in the space, bring the threads of the past into the new media fabric of the space. Immediately prior to the opening of the Yuanfen New Media Art Space, it housed the owner’s installation-cum-loft: Dave's Factory (www.davesfactory.com) which was featured in many domestic and international publications.


Yuanfen & ASR – Artists’ Social Responsibility

The tradition I grew up in, Judaism, emphasizes a concept called tikkun olam (תיקון עולם‎), a Hebrew phrase that means "repairing the world", which means striving to put right what is not right.   Within the corporate context, this spirit of trying to “put things right” manifests itself as Corporate Social Responsibility, or CSR. When I was at Microsoft, a principal part of my work was to develop and implement Microsoft China’s CSR strategy and programs.  Now, as a gallerist, I am incorporating this concept into my work in the art world, only now it will be known as Artists’ Social Responsibility, or ASR.  Starting from The Secret Language of Women exhibit, Yuanfen New Media Art will promote ASR.  For this exhibit, Yuanfen and the participating artists will be supporting the efforts of the Dandelion Women’s Network* and the Women’s Network Against AIDS – China (WNAC)** which is sponsored by UNAIDS.  In addition to being organizations doing extraordinarily important work, they echo the functions of the original secret language of women by giving a voice to marginalized individuals in society.  Yuanfen worked with Dandelion for a UNDP-sponsored event in 2008 called "The Red Scarf."  Yuanfen and the artists exhibiting at The Secret Language of Women will donate 20% of every sale of artwork to these organizations.  50% of corporate and foundation sponsorships for the exhibit will also be donated to Dandelion and (WNAC)*.


Owner

David Ben Kay – 康如松 David is a 20-year resident of Beijing having begun his study of China over 35 years ago in the U.S. A lawyer who specialized in intellectual property, David was able to expand his interests in the creative world five years ago when he entered Microsoft to lead the company’s endeavours to spread the value of creativity and innovation to both the government and the general public. At the same time, David deepened his exploration of his own creative side, moving into a space at 798 where he designed and created a unique loft which has now metamorphosed into the Yuanfen New Media Art Space. David says, “To be able to provide the platform for art and technology to come together in this space is a dream come true for me. My passion for both art and technology has found a home. I know firsthand that art and technology can both, individually, change our lives – and when you bring them together, new worlds are created.”


Artistic Adviser

Ellen Pearlman was first invited to visit China in 1987 by the Chinese Photographers Association,. In 2005 she was awarded an Asian Cultural Council Grant to make a film on sacred dance and in 2007 was a Red Gate International Artist Resident . She is a member of the International Association of Art Critics and was a finalist for the Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. Ellen was awarded an Open Academy/Arthub grant which is partially funded by the Prince Claus Trust to work with artists in Ulan Bator, Mongolia and is an Art Gallery Panel Judge for SIGGRAF Asia 09 in Yokohama, Japan. A Contributing Editor of the award winning Brooklyn Rail, Ellen is a frequent art critic for Time Out Beijing and splits her time among Brooklyn, New York, Asia and Canada. Ellen is currently a Ph.D. student in Computational Media and Design at the University of Calgary, with an emphasis on Telematic Art, or collaborations over high speed networks.


Residency Program

The Yuanfen New Media Art Residency Program provides a vehicle for participating artists to create site-specific pieces that reflect their experiences in China and in the gallery space. The Program provides the artist with the opportunity to work on site-specific projects, using the gallery space in Beijing to communicate inspired visions in new media art. The Program also encourages the participating artists to share their thinking through "Artist's Talks" to enable the Chinese academic and curatorial circles to participate in the dialogue regarding new media art. The Program, which is attached to the gallery, provides an exciting vehicle to introduce the artists' work to the Beijing new media art scene. Joe Diebes is the first artist to participate in the Program. He is open to the experience of letting his time here further inform his already evocative and thought provoking work. The current exhibit includes sound paintings that Joe created during the Program.

 

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