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Stranded Utopia搁浅乌托邦

This collection of works was captured by me using a mobile phone during my time living in Songzhuang. Known as the largest artist colony in China, Songzhuang boasts 220 galleries and 50 art museums that exceed 1000 square meters in size. During the peak of contemporary Chinese art, almost half of the prominent names in the art scene were associated with Songzhuang. Their rapid rise to success transformed this serendipitous village into a synonym for contemporary Chinese art and provided a certain degree of protection for its existence. Today, the population of Songzhuang consists mainly of students preparing for art exams. Advertisements for art studios, posters for art galleries, and enrollment brochures for art schools can be found everywhere, creating an illusion of an artistic utopia.

For me, going to Songzhuang was my first attempt to pursue art and also my first experience living away from home. Although art permeated every aspect of the place, it was also elusive. I often found myself grappling with contradictions and struggles. These photographs capture fragments and symbols of daily life, as well as the relationship between individuals and their environment, exploring the complex reality of Songzhuang. They reveal the tension between the reality and dreams within this artistic community and present the existence and stories of those who remain unnoticed, struggling, or have left. Through these images, viewers are prompted to contemplate the societal background and individual destinies that lie behind them.




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