Independent Art and Culture Organizations

Xi Bei


Today in China, “self-organized art space” is still a vague generalization, referring to entities ranging widely in their trajectories and modes of operation. The autonomy of an art organization is primarily determined by the institute’s capability to sustain and defend its initial objectives. As changes take place at different stages of development, organizations either adjust their modus operandi or dissolve after a short period. The map above selects non-profit art spaces and research institutions that continue to operate today. These self-organizations, independent of museums, galleries, art districts, and other commercial art institutions, provide free-spirited and experimental artists with more opportunities for artistic research and production. The alternative, autonomous, and organic attributes of these institutions have contributed as significant forces in balancing the contemporary art ecology from tilting too much into the official and commercial mainstream.