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No need to leave home to enjoy the arts
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-12 09:47

Art lovers no longer need to get dressed up and go to a museum or gallery to enjoy a little culture, they can simply pick up the phone and have an art exhibition delivered to their homes.

BizArt Art Center has built up a team of delivery men who will send 42 artworks by contemporary artists from all over the country, including Xu Zheng, Yang Zhengzhong, Ding Yi and Fei Dawei, to your home or office for viewing, said Xu Zheng, one of the company's curators.

"We have always strived to create an atmosphere that welcomes, encourages and supports art in all forms and are dedicated to experimental concepts and ideas," said Xu.

Xu said he hopes the unconventional way of displaying art will break the traditional concept of the exhibition, which is held in a gallery and is always regarded as a social activity.

"Meanwhile, we also hope to give our audiences an easier and more relaxed way to enjoy our artworks such as photographs, sculptures, paintings, music and performances," he added.

"So far as I know, it is the first event of its kind ever held in the country," said Xu.

When a group of reporters and editors from Shanghai Daily viewed the exhibition yesterday, they found it challenged tradition definitions of art and left some more than a little confused.

Shi Xiujiao, a delivery man, brought 42 works of art to the newspaper an hour after a reporter called the company.

In a conference room, Shi presented the artworks to 10 reporters and editors. Viewers were asked to pick a number from a small bag and Shi would display the corresponding work.

Some of the works were easy to understand, such as photos, small paintings and sculptures. Others were more avant-garde.

When the number nine was picked, Shi played a song on a small stereo.

"It's the artwork of He An, but the song was sung by me," Shi said.

The 'artist' He An had come up with the idea of having the delivery people pick a song they like, record it and play it as part of the exhibition.

Another artist's work was strange too, though more charitable.

When his work was chosen, Shi took out a piggy bank and asked everyone to donate 1 yuan (12 US cents) for Tao Huiying, a 12-year-old girl in Nanhui District who might have to drop out of school due to poverty.

"Such presentation is very strange and something I've never experienced," said Fu Chenghao, after yesterday's presentation. "I can't recognize it as art."

Zhang Xiaoshu, who also watched the presentation, said it was very entertaining. "It can bring office workers together to laugh."

The 15 delivery men were given 10 days of training before they began putting on exhibitions yesterday, according to an official surnamed Tang from the delivery company.

Xu said none of the art in the exhibition is for sale.

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