Chinese artists clash with police over studio demolitions

A protestor confronts Chinese security officials in Songzhuang, Beijing. Via Art Asia Pacific

Artists in Beijing have been involved in clashes with police over the demolition of the home and studios of two artists, Shen Jingdong and Cao Zhiwen, located in the Songzhuang neigbourhood, Art Asia Pacific reports. The protestors were mostly local artists responding to Shen’s call for solidarity posted on WeChat on Wednesday morning. Over 100 police personnel faced around 100 protestors. Despite the protests, the property was razed by the afternoon and the artists’ belongings dumped onto the street. Two protestors were arrested and others injured. Although Shen bought the property in 2009 for the sum of RMB 112,500 (approx. £13,000), government officials said there would be no compensation for the demolished building or damaged property.

Since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Songzhuang neighbourhood, China’s largest artist colony since the mid-1990s, has experienced a rapid rise in property values, leading to a number of demolitions and evictions.

31 March 2017