Although 'zines have been a popular format for artists, writers and provocateurs since the '70s, in China, an independent arts press is a relatively new phenomenon. Welcoming visitors at The Factory in the Dashilar hutong design district was a collection of over 100 Chinese zines on display. The exhibition, PAPER INSTINCT, takes an interesting look at the bubbling DIY youth culture in China.
Art and literature chapbooks were displayed side-by-side with more polished lifestyle catalogs. I particularly liked the illustration and comic books, although the photography books have more cache in a multi-lingual context.
From Special Comix by Badger & Press. Click for full-sized Image.
The curators, Jiang Jian, Qing Qing Chen and Ronald Tau lead their own creative consultancy, Joyn:Viscom and are avid print consumers and zine makers in their own right.
Qing Qing Chen and Ronald Tau
18 AND 1, Collaboration Project by The Imps (Yu Cong, Ronald Tau and Mao Jingqi)
Although more catalog than curation, the organizers hope the exhibition is just the beginning for their ongoing project exploring Chinese independent publishing and the people behind the burgeoning phenomenon.