Newsweek tries to make a case that China is the next promised land for the arts. Just as making it big in America was the dream of British musicians, actors, writers and artists, so too will Americans come to view success in China. But the magazine’s reasoning seems slightly convoluted:
a 2007 report by Pearl Research estimated that China’s 320 million people between the ages of 16 and 30 have a spending power of more than $135 billion, and they’re eager to embrace new products, entertainment, and life experiences. […] That environment has provided inspiration for Western visual artists as well. “China gives you room for experimenting,” says the Beijing-based Italian artist Alessandro Rolandi. “Life can be hard, distances can be uncomfortable, but there is constantly something happening.” […] “China is like a Willy Wonka factory for artists,” says Joseph Foster Ellis, the first American to graduate from Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts with a degree in sculpture. The abundance of space and endless resources—in Jingdezhen, for instance, where porcelain is made, specialized stores sell only brushes for painting flowers, or one color of glaze—allow artists to create installations that would be impossible to make anywhere else. “That gives me a great sense of freedom in my art,” says Ellis. It’s an unexpected word to use when discussing China, but for artists looking for a new audience, that’s exactly what’s on offer.
All of China’s a Stage (Newsweek)