Euan Macdonald, Take the Dark Out of the Night Time, 2010. LED installation. Courtesy Arrow Factory, Beijing
Arrow Factory is an independently run, alternative art space in Beijing that is located in a small hutong (“alley”) in the city center. It is housed in an existing storefront, which it has transformed into a space for site-specific installations and projects designed to be viewed from the street, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The modestly sized, fifteen-square-meter space occupies a former vegetable stand, signaling an economy of means that informs our practice and promotes artistic collaboration, exploration, and experimentation across different cultural contexts and the viewing public. Arrow Factory is committed to presenting works—by local and international artists—that are provisional in nature, highly contingent upon the immediate environment, and that form meaningful responses to the diverse economic, political, and social conditions of our given locality and everyday living experiences.
Founded in 2008, Arrow Factory was initiated as a response to the current conditions facing contemporary art production in Beijing. At present, contemporary art is largely defined by its commercial nature and increasing confinement to purpose-built art districts in the remote outskirts of the city. This raises many questions regarding art’s physical removal from the urban fabric of the city, not to mention the severing of an artwork’s ties to the very social and political conditions it allegedly represents. For Arrow Factory, meaning making is an activity that occurs through interacting with the pre-existing givens of a site, and adopting a strategy whereby the social frame does not so much “surround” as much as it becomes part of the work.