|Blue House Art Space
|Near the Moon Town Flower Market, South of the Third Ring Road on San Sheng Xiang|
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Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)|
For a firsthand look at Chengdu’s contemporary art scene at its most raw, check out the Blue House Art Space, a sprawling complex of studios located in way-south Chengdu. Blue House isn’t really a house, more a collection of non-descript warehouses interspersed with gardens, giant sculpted heads, a few vicious (chained) guard dogs, and country roads lined with bamboo. The atmosphere is placid and noncommercial. No stalls, no hawkers, no overpriced coffee shops.
Inside the buildings are some of Chengdu’s most famous and prolific contemporary painters and sculptors at work. One of the paradoxes of the Chengdu art scene is that it produces plenty of well-known artists, but it doesn’t produce many customers for them; far too many local artists are better known in Shanghai, Beijing or abroad than in their own hometown. Apart from the few local galleries, the Blue House is the only place in Chengdu to see much of Chengdu’s best contemporary art.
So whether you are an art connoisseur, a critic or just want a peaceful day out, wandering around Blue House, poking your head into the studios, watching the artists at work, and asking questions (such as, why do so many artists there keep such startlingly realistic BB guns around?) is guaranteed to stimulate. Some artists may be willing to sell directly from their studio, but be advised that the prices here are set by the global contemporary art market, so don’t expect to pick anything up for the change in your pocket.