When Huang Rui first set up the 798 Space Gallery in 2002, shortly after returning to China after years of exile for his anti-Communist regime art, he knew he could be getting himself into more trouble. In a new documentary, Project 798—New Art In New China: A Documentary by Lucius C. Kuert Rui and others look back at those troubled days as a golden time for Chinese art and the 798 area, which the Chinese government has co-opted as an arm of their tourism campaign, thus blunting the cutting edge art that once sliced open its thin façade to reveal the darkness within. Project 798 bravely shows us the consequences of art selling out to the powers that be as well as the continuing battle of Chinese contemporary art to hold onto a sense of social consciousness despite the powerful forces aligned against it. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Blunting the Cutting Edge."
[Many thanks to Microcinema for providing me with a review copy of Project 798—New Art In New China: A Documentary by Lucius C. Kuert.]