The research paper compares and contrasts arts and entertainment development practices, cultural plans and urban plans in Columbus, Beijing Songzhuang and Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone). The paper also shows the cultural diversity that exists in the art galleries as well as the importance and value attached to the different artwork in each gallery.
Chinese and Columbus cultures have their own uniqueness and portray the contemporary art and entertainment. One of the challenges experienced by the Chinese artists that spans through history is dominance by the local and national government. The government continually tries to convert the art villages from cultural to the creative markets with the aim of boosting trade and earning money. Owing to this, the cultural orientation of the art villages continues to disappear as much focus shifts to business. There is also influence from the enterprise community in terms of capital source and market forces that destabilize the orientation of the artists as they provide a rich artwork that appreciates the diversity of the Chinese culture.
Comparing and Contrasting Arts and Entertainment Development Practices
There are several comparable and contrastable elements in terms of arts and entertainment between Beijing Songzhuang and Dashanzi Art District. Evidently, both of them have a Chinese orientation and emphasize Chinese culture and historic way of life presented in arts form. To start with, Beijing Songzhuang arts and entertainment development practices continues in the dominance of more than a thousand artists who concentrate mainly on temporary arts. Many of the artworks in the galleries get their way into the international market majorly because of the influence by the government to generate revenue and to commercialize the arts and entertainment industry. The arts materials depict originality, and the artists produce them for sale through auctions and exhibitions. In contrast, Songzhuang has minimal participation of the foreigners. Li Xianting who has good curatorial critical art perception manages it. Songzhuang is a home of approximately four thousand famous registered artists, and this makes it Beijing’s largest visual community. In contrast to Dashanzi that has its location at the airport, Songzhuang has its location in the eastern outer district of Beijing (Huang, 2011).
On the other hand, Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) arts and entertainment development practices have Bauhaus architectural style, with organization of seminars, concerts and exhibitions to provide a platform for the creative industries such as cinematograph and contemporary Chinese art. It has 140 art and culture institutes and 100 interior design, fashion and architectural consultancy and design institutes. It also has a media sector comprising of about 70 to 80 music, TV and magazines, and a tourism sector that has 13 restaurants and bars. Dashanzi happens to be Beijing's centre for tourism and art activities. The most common artwork shops present in Dashanzi include retail outlet shops, furniture knock off design shops, gift shops, restaurants, bookstores, coffee books, galleries and museums. The galleries include Ullens Center of Contemporary Art (UCCA), Galeria Continua, Long March Art Space, Beijing Tokyo Art Projects, Beijing Commune, Tang Gallery and PAGE Gallery (Sun, 2012). Others include Mao memorabilia and souvenir galleries. It represents a tourist attraction community that undergoes nurturing by the state.
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One of the most fascinating places inside the Dashanzi arts buildings is the 798-photo gallery. Guangjun Chen developed large portion of the photos present in the gallery, and that explains why it is difficult to see them. There is also 798-space that has been a venue for many activities such as fashion shows and press conferences. It has unique roofs that have been styled in Bauhaus way having curves and serrations, and there is a limited possibility of seeing them in Germany (Manzoni, 2014). Additionally, there is another important feature in Dashanzi known as Lord of Salt. This amazing restaurant offers a variety of genuine Sichuan dishes. The meals pass through the hand of a renowned chef who stays within Sichuan province. The cuisine prepared by the chef attracts so many people to come and visit Dashanzi because of the unique flavor. The chef prepares wonderfully spiced chicken that has a special taste. Another feature that is remarkable in Dashanzi is the caf?. There is a specially prepared Italian coffee at the caf? that attracts so many people. The coffee comes along with nicely prepared sandwiches and pizza of good choices. Huang Rui who happens to be the owner strongly believes that the coffee is much more superior to those in Starbucks.
In addition, there is a communication center majorly known as Long March cultural communication centre. This wonderful place is a design work of Lu Jie, the owner, and to date, he continues to gain recognition for his contemporary arts. One of the things eminently seen in this communication centre is the record of the early events led by Lu when he led a team of artists. In this record, Lu and the artists’ team followed the infamous long march route. He also established relationships with the local artists. Another amazing feature that easily arouses one’s interest is the renowned folk art exhibition. The old folk artist, Fenglian Gao, has amazing paper cuts that cover the walls. In addition, there is another wonderful element of Dashanzi called Vincent caf?. The caf? is French in nature and offers a rich style as a family restaurant that many families regard to be the best. The owner is French in descent known as Vincent, and he began learning the art of management and cooking at a tender age of 15 years while still in his home country, France. He served in one of the famous French restaurants back in his country as a chief manager before finally moving to Dashanzi. The most wonderfully dished prepared by him include savory cakes and sweets. In the restaurant, there are different options such as fruit filling and ice creams, or vegetable filling and meat. Another spectacular feature in the restaurant is the shooter that involves a mixture of three dissimilar alcoholic drinks nicely blended in a small cup.
In contrast to Dashanzi and Songzhuang, Columbus arts and entertainment development practices entail theatre, dance and music. Columbus homes over 70 architecturally significant buildings endowed with fine and fascinating pieces of art performed by luminaries such as Jean Tinguely and Moore Henry (Columbus Area Arts Council, 2015). Most of the pieces of art reside in the historic downtown in large concentration. Columbus has many arts organizations and galleries that give in its richness to community art, many of which remain kept in Columbus Art District.
One of the most outstanding similarities between Dashanzi Art District and Songzhuang is that both of them face the conflict in regard to the approach of the government in terms of urbanization and the attachment of the artists to fringe areas. This interference by the local government results to retardation of the growth of Dashanzi. It is unfortunate that the local government shows determination in exploiting cultural tourism whereas the artists struggle to create a production village. In both art centers, many artists experience disappointments because of heavy commercialization of the art centers by the local government. The result of this is the increase in the value of rental space that pushes away many potential artists. In the case of Songzhuang, there is a legal disagreement between the local dwellers and the artists concerning the rights of land property. The local government adopted Songzhuang as destination for tourism, commerce, culture and arts. To make it worse, the local government intends to have more recreation infrastructure, hotels, shopping centers, galleries and museums by incorporating tourism with commerce, culture and arts capital.
Another major similarity between Beijing Songzhuang and Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) is that both of them came into existence due to the initiative of the artists as the major Chinese mainland art centers. In addition to this, both of them started as artists’ working studios and today, they mainly serve as gallery clusters and art markets that provide a home to contemporary art. Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) is situated on an area of 230,000 square meters with German’s high building standards and had its first international arts festival between April 24th to may 23rd in the year 2004 under the then director Rui Huang (Van der Borg, Tuijl & Costa, 2010). It has stylish clubs such as Yan Club and Vibes Club that form a hub for the attraction of several product launch galas and fashion shows such as the launch of Sony products. The clubs also aided in displaying of such products as Toyota, Christian Dior and Omega. Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) also helps in displaying of the Beijing ambience and serenity, and attracts several cultural dealers, critics and tourists coming from the international community.
Another similarity is that both Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) and Songzhuang Beijing Art village assist in training of the upcoming young artists through programs such as tenants mentoring. They also create space for various art fields through the well-established studio spaces and greatly assist in providing rehearsal space to the performing artists such as theatre performances and dances. This helps by creating an environment that allows for professional enhancement and exchange.
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Finally, in both Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) and Songzhuang villages, there is an interactive environment. The environment guarantees media promotion, dissemination, donation and sponsorship of the performing artists, arts education and dialogue, and criticism from the public. The environment also allows for research and archiving of the artwork such as sculptors and paintings.
Comparing and Contrasting Cultural Plans and Urban Plans
Dashanzi Art District (Beijing 798 Art Zone) cultural and urban plans and Songzhuang cultural and urban plans are compared since they depict Chinese culture. However, a different picture manifests in Columbus cultural and urban plans since the Chinese government delineated the industry of culture, which assists in generating profit through sale of cultural commodities and services. The public cultural service units and the cultural industry assist in the intensification of the well-developed socialist culture in China. This implies that the cultural values of the Chinese community represented by these two art villages have a business value focus as its integral part. The Chinese cultural industry has three basic categories, namely: the related level, the peripheral level and the core level. The cultural practices that define the core level include videotaping, broadcasting, television, news publishing and entertainment, education, tourism, computer service and internet. The most important cultural activities in the Chinese art villages include architectural design, libraries, museums, film production, television, fine arts, music, drama and literature. The Chinese culture is gradually changing from a cultural industry to creative industry.
On the other hand, the Columbus Art District has an official recognition from the state due to its great importance and significance because it homes many rich arts collections of the city. It also preserves the Columbus culture through extensive architectural design displays and entertainment. It acquired the government’s recognition as an Indiana Cultural District. The Columbus Art District has over three hundred and sixty cultural assets and arts programs, and focuses on engaging the pubic in matters of art, growing the talents of the public in matters of art, shaping the public interest in art and attracting the pubic to various arts galleries. The pillars of the Columbus Art district include the education corridor, commerce corridor, entertainment corridor and architecture corridor. The Indiana Cultural programs began in the year 2008, and to date, the growth as witnessed is tremendous and progressive. Columbus is the 15th biggest city in the country, with a population of about 0.8 million dwellers, and over 90% of the city dwellers love football as fans and act as a test market for the majority of companies offering such products as fast food.
The three major things that define Columbus Art District include entertainment, culture and art of the Columbus community. On the other hand, Songzhuang Beijing and Dashanzi Art District both act as producers and products of urban transformation. Proper urban conditions entail the existence of consumers of a given culture, available cheap land and supportive government and collaborative property owners. However, the political regime in China encourages an unbalanced relationship among government forces, enterprises and artists through the poor mechanism of interaction. The reason for this is the fact that the government dominates the market while the available enterprises support the art and culture through provision of capital source to the artists of differing categories. It is unfortunate that the artists’ role suffers subjection at a faster rate to the government authority and the forces that control the arts and entertainment market. In other words, there is an unfavorable influence on the artists by the government and the forces of demand and supply in the market.