Celebrated Beijing hutong gallery Arrow Factory announced via its official website on September 26 that it will be closing its doors at the end of September after 11 and a half years.
Image via 箭厂空间ArrowFactory/WeChat
The news comes as art districts and galleries are struggling to survive in the capital city, with a number of artists evicted from the popular Luomahu and Huantie art districts earlier this year in July. It also follows the ominous warning by Pace Gallery founder Arne Glimcher after the art space was forced to shut its Beijing space that same month: “It’s impossible to do business in mainland China right now and it has been for a while.”
Arrow Factory was previously celebrated by Artsy in May 2018 for maintaining despite a spate of hutong shutdowns in the city. The space was founded in 2018 by husband and wife duo, Rania Ho and Wang Wei, and curator Pauline J. Yao, helping to drive more art spaces away from more established areas like 798 Art District and into hutong neighborhoods.
In their WeChat post, simply entitled ‘再见’ or ‘Goodbye,’ Arrow Factory said:
We chose this neighborhood in part because of its everyday qualities. Over time these features have left their mark on us, and we can only hope our mark has been left behind too. While we have always accepted that our existence was tenuous—subject to rising rents, gentrification, and usual government scrutiny—we did not expect what would actually occur: a layering of top-down policies disguised as “neighborhood improvements” that would slowly asphyxiate our hutong, making our work untenable. We have instructions to shutter our display window permanently making it impossible to continue with our current format at this location.
[Cover image via 箭厂空间ArrowFactory/WeChat]