Talking Arts: 2024 BIGGER Art Fair Guangzhou

By Rachel Wu, April 10, 2024

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Can you believe it's already April?

The great news is that the first quarter of 2024 wrapped up with Easter coinciding with the BIGGER Art Fair in Guangzhou, making for a weekend packed with excitement.

Now in its fourth year, BIGGER is really expanding, acting as an independent organizer to foster an inspiring network among artists, illustrators, visual designers, and editors.

The gallery was bustling with over 170 exhibitors across two floors, creating an electric vibe filled with creativity and character.

The fair is not just about showcasing art books; it's more like a fantastic gathering for freelance illustrators and independent design studios from around the world.

BIGGER took the opportunity to highlight their independence by humorously crossing out the word ‘book’ in their original event title ‘Art Book Fair’ on their poster.

It's a nod to the fact that not every illustrator focuses on publishing books—many are deeply involved in commercial design or branding projects; after all, art books represent just a niche in the entire publishing business.

Despite this shift, the theme ‘paper game’, which features a series of art book exhibitions and art installations on site, reminds us that the driving force behind this passionate exploration of the boundless possibilities of paper is still a leading art book publisher.

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Image by Rachel Wu/That's

To visitors, the fair is a captivating treasure trove of affordable home decor, offering something for everyone, whether you're into city skylines, serene landscapes, or quirky characters.

From urban fashionistas and confident curvy ladies to unapologetic feminists, skeptical urbanites, AI, biosynthetic human figures, fluffy kittens, and beyond, the artwork covers a wide spectrum, showcasing intricate details to minimalist designs.

It's like stepping into a virtual world brought to life!

The venue itself creates a cozy social atmosphere, with conversations flowing effortlessly within arm's reach.

You might overhear artists discussing their latest eccentric ideas, materials they swear by (or regret using), and their plans for future projects or competitions.

If you're curious about their creative process, you'll enjoy the ‘Face to Face’ session, a mini forum where artists delve into the details of what works for them.

There's no fancy jargon or three-step success lectures, just real talks about the ups and downs of being an artist.

They might face challenges due to the slow economic environment or get bogged down by their own obsessions with trivial details.

The message is clear and easy to execute: inspiration comes from active exploration, developing your own reference database, continuously playing with ideas, and consistently drawing!

After four years of blending art with urban living, BIGGER has found its rhythm.

Despite moving away from the traditional focus on art books, they are still sowing the seeds of art appreciation in the public consciousness with their ‘re-sprouting’ plan.

It will be exciting to see how this sprout grows in the years to come, hopefully avoiding the trap of commercialization.

Here's to looking forward to the BIGGER Art Fair in 2025!


BIGGER Art Fair 

SHINING Art Gallery, No.1 Middle Island, Dongshan Lake Park, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou

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