Almost art project 2018

DATE: 2018.06.29 - 2018.08.10
ARTIST: Outsider Artists

Almost Art Project (AAP) is the first art festival in China that specializes in showcasing the works of outsider artists (self-taught artists with no professional training). Since the inaugural exhibition in 2015, the annual event in Beijing has been held successfully in the past three years. Over a hundred outsider artists of all backgrounds and ages have been discovered through the platform, and more than a thousand works of outsider art have been shown at APP’s public exhibitions.

The 4th AAP exhibition has opened on June 29, 2018 at Tabula Rasa Gallery in Beijing’s 798 Art Zone. Part of the exhibits were also on display at the nearby Whitebox Art Center from Jun 29 to July 1st in celebration of the opening weekend. The exhibition at Tabula Rasa Gallery would be open until August 10th. The month-long exhibition would showcase over 300 works from 41 outsider artists, including 15 new artists who would be showing their works for the first time. The program also includes workshops and talks, which would be open to the public during the exhibition.

AAP is dedicated to the discovery of outsider artists in China. Through three years of hard work and continuous effort, it has grown into a mature platform for the display, promotion and nurture of Chinese outsider art and has earned an excellent reputation and considerable influence within the industry. The project was not only born out of its founder Sammi Liu’s passion for outsider art, but also conceived as a way to bring new possibilities into Chinese contemporary art. For the second time since 2017, the AAP festival announced an open call for submissions online this year and has received more than 2000 artworks from 92 artists since the beginning of March. Aged from 19 to 89, these artists hail from all parts of China and even abroad, and their works cover a broad spectrum of media, including installation, collage, traditional art, digital art and papercutting, etc.

This year’s exhibition would be accompanied by AAP’s annual publication, ART SU 4. As the first Chinese-English bilingual publication to focus on outsider art in China, ART SU represents an attempt to observe, discuss and study outsider art as an independent category for the first time in China. It serves as an important source of reference for outsider-art related research and has been catalogued by the Asia Art Archive.

2018 is an important year for AAP. In September 2017, Two outsider artists (Feng Cangyu and Li Zhongdong) of AAP were chosen to participate the 7th La Biennale Hors Normes in Lyon, France. From January 18 to 21, 2018, APP participated in the 26th Outsider Art Fair in New York with works of four artists (Guo Xiurong, Li Zhongdong, Wang Hua and Shao Bingfeng); it was the first Chinese art institution to participate in OAF—the largest outsider art fair in the world—since its founding 26 years ago. In February, four AAP artists were invited to participate in the exhibition “Places of Integration: Art Brut in China and Japan” by the Borderless Art Museum (NO-MA) in Japan; APP’s founder Sammi Liu gave a speech during the panel discussion as the only art curator at the event.

From a crowded roadside courtyard to an independent gallery space, AAP has celebrated three exciting years with outsider art in China. In 2018, the 4th AAP exhibition will remain committed to its mission and passion and look forward to seeing its audience again in the 798 Art Zone this summer.