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Creativity ClassArt School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China$
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Lily Chumley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164977

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164977.001.0001

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Aesthetic Community

Aesthetic Community

(p.158) 6 Aesthetic Community
Creativity Class

Lily Chumley

Princeton University Press

This chapter first contrasts two professional sites in which practice communities and aesthetic communities emerge: a giant art fair called Art Beijing, and a private meeting between a small group of young artists and a curator. It next examines the studios and cafés (kafeiguan or jiuba) in which artists and designers socialize, before showing how communities expand spatiotemporally through objects and media. Throughout, the chapter considers fantasies of sociality provoked by anxieties about anomie: memories of the community around Yuanmingyuan that was torn down during the reconstruction of the city; attempts to build a community of artists and designers turned kung fu (gong fu) practitioners; and a fantasy of a public art library, imagined by a young photographer, which never came to be.

Keywords:   aesthetic communities, professional sites, practice communities, Art Beijing, studios, cafés, sociality, anomie, sociality

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