Beijing’s artist village is pricing the artists out now that the cost of living is rising and the art market has peaked in China:
When the art market peaked around 2005, some of the money went toward improving local living conditions. The rents rose, and facilities were improved, Zhang explains.
Today, the area hosts a state-of-the-art museum, several fortress-like private galleries, rows of studio-cum-residences, cafs, and framing and mounting stores. It’s a dazzling example of fast-track development. Artist Zhong Tianbing says huge tracts beside the main entrance are earmarked for high-end galleries, studios and an animation school. The government wants to develop Songzhuang into a base for 25,000 artists. It hopes to create a flourishing creative industry with promotional events and organized art tourism.
“Commercialization is necessary if this place is to thrive,” Zhong says. “It is another matter that more wealthy property owners and art traders will take up space, while the artists get sidelined. Songzhuang’s core spirit is changing.”
Where Creativity Battles Cost (China Daily)