Tiny gallery of American artist in
Shanghai boosts art innovation
Web Editor:International Daily 國際日報
An expat artist put on an exhibition in what might be Shanghai's smallest art gallery, helping artists especially independent artists make headway in art innovation while making money.Smaller than a bedroom, this gallery was once a cured meat shop in an old neighborhood in the Jing'an District, Shanghai.After a down year due to the pandemic, American artist Kyle Skor created a handful of pieces as an experiment, a cuter breakaway from his past intricate pieces."For a while I've been making little characters that appeared in my prior work, little horses, little people that some of my Chinese friends have begun to call Paopaoren. And so I really wanted this particularly to be the start of actually building that world, populating it with those creatures," said Kyle Skor.Independent artists who have not signed with a gallery usually find it hard to secure a space for an exhibition -- and it's even harder for those with just a few pieces.Hence, this minuscule cove helps independent artists feel free to experiment."A big gallery would sign artists who fit the preference of their target clients. An artist who signs with one may then start to fall into a fixed style that meets that preference. We try to do the opposite, and allow artists to show pieces that re-invent themselves," said Sun Kailun, owner of FlipPop Space.And the art has to be in conjunction with paraphernalia like cups, cushions and T-shirts. Items plastered with Skor's Paopaoren occupy space shelves on the back of this revolving door.Art managers consider licensing almost a must nowadays for popular artists, similar to Kaws and Yayoi Kusama's collaboration with fashion retailers.The products are easy on the wallet, and in a space like this, can generate up to 50 percent of an exhibition's revenue."In 2019, Kaws auctioned items that defied conventions of the art world for 100 million Hong Kong dollars. Many artists seem to have woken up after that shock, and started to push their art into life. The notion that art shouldn't be something you look up to, but equal to something you use in daily life," said Yao Yongmei, manager of Skor.Art consultancy Artron said the domestic art market confidence index is starting to rebound this quarter after falling to its lowest point of the year during the third quarter, noting that artists are experimenting with more ways to make money.