Fou Gallery 否画廊:生活和艺术互为补充

October 21, 2019 2019年10月21日

Tucked away on a tree-lined street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, Fou Gallery offers more than the usual openings, artist talks, and receptions. It’s also a space for relaxation and community, hosting private dinners, tea ceremonies, and a monthly performance series. Founded in 2013 by Echo Hé, the gallery defines itself against the mainstream New York art scene.

“Traditionally, commercial art galleries operate on a very simple business model: sell artworks to a very small group of collectors to support the gallery’s operation. Normally the gallery is in a simple white cube to make the business straightforward,” she says. “Collectors tend to buy works from big galleries with a track record of artists that have ‘investment value,’ and smaller galleries struggle to be part of the game.”


否画廊”(Fou Gallery)藏匿于布鲁克林道贝德福—斯都维森(Bedford-Stuyvesant)一条林荫小道中,这里除了举办各种展览开幕、艺术家对话和招待会之外,也是休闲放松和社区活动空间,举办各种私人宴会、茶会和每月定期的影像放映、音乐会和其他表演活动。画廊由何雨创办于 2013 年,是一家独立于主流纽约艺术圈之外的画廊。

“传统上来说,商业艺术画廊都是以非常简单的商业模式运营:将艺术作品卖给一小撮收藏家,以支持画廊运营。而通常情况下,画廊都是在一个‘白盒子’里,让交易更直接明了。收藏家倾向于从大型画廊购买具有‘投资价值’的艺术家作品,而较小的画廊则难以参与其中。” 她说。

Hé wants Fou to be different. While the gallery sells artworks to sustain itself, Fou also presents cultural, culinary, and other programming to attract a diverse group of people. The Chinese character it’s named for, 否, means negation, and is made of the components 不 (bu, no) and 口 (kou, mouth). “So, silent,” Hé explains. “We wanted to more silently promote ourselves. Plus fou means crazy in French and drunk in Scottish.”

Fou specializes in works by Chinese artists, as well as other artists working in traditional Chinese mediums. “A lot of Chinese artists in New York, especially the young generation who came here to study, can’t find places to show their work,” says Hé. “It’s hard for them to break into the community.” At Fou, artists can show their work and build relationships with their peers.


何雨对否画廊有不一样的期望。虽然否画廊也会出售艺术品来维持运营,但同时还会举办文化、美食及其他活动,吸引不同人群。中文里的“否”意为否定,由“不”字和“口”字组成。“加在一起就是沉默的意思。”何雨解释说,“我们希望默默地推广自己。而且,‘fou’在法语意指疯狂,在苏格兰语里又有喝醉的意思。”

否画廊主要代理中国艺术家的作品,以及以传统中国艺术媒介和概念创作的艺术家作品。“在纽约有很多中国艺术家,尤其是到这里来读书的年轻一代,他们比较难找到地方来展示自己的作品。他们比较难能融入当地社区。”何雨说。而在否画廊,艺术家不但可以展示自己的作品,还能认识其他艺术家。

Fernando Villela & Zhe Zhu: Time Flies So First Things First / Photographer: Eugene Neduv 《费尔南多·维利纳和朱喆:先办正事》/ 摄影师: Eugene Neduv
Liu Chang: The Light of Small Things / Photographer: Nadia Peichao Lin 《刘唱:微物之光》/ 摄影师: 林沛超
Han Qin's exhibition Ethereal Evolution / Photographer: Nadia Peichao Lin 韩沁个展《演·化》/ 摄影师: 林沛超

Liu Chang, an artist who held her first solo exhibition at Fou in 2016, is a firm believer in the gallery’s vision. “Many young artists, including myself, held their debut solo exhibition at Fou,” she says. “Instead of being limited by the constraints imposed by traditional or profit-driven galleries, artists are given the opportunity to showcase their work the way they want to here.”

Recent exhibits have showcased work by glass artist Du Meng, photographers Zhe Zhu and Fernando Villela, painter Chen Dongfan, multi-media performance artist Han Qin, and more. But the gallery also helps support collaborating artists in less tangible ways. “When I did a two-month artist residency and worked on a few exhibitions in China over the summer, I sent my portfolio to Echo,” Han recalls. “She told me that it should be updated; my two latest exhibitions weren’t in there. I was touched. It felt like I had someone truly on my side, someone who’s invested in my growth, an industry insider who can offer expert advice. It can feel quite lonely as an artist sometimes, so having a mentor like that is uplifting.”


艺术家刘唱在 2016 年举办的首次个展就在否画廊,她非常肯定画廊一直在做的事情。“有很多像我一样年轻的艺术家,他们人生中第一次个展都在否画廊举办。”她说,“与那些被利益和传统所向导的画廊不同,在这里艺术家们并不会受到限制,他们能够有机会以自己希望的方式呈现个人作品。”

近期以来,画廊内陈列了玻璃艺术家杜蒙、摄影师朱喆和 Fernando Villela、画家陈栋帆以及多媒体艺术家韩沁等多名艺术家的作品。同时,画廊还以各种方式帮助艺术家们。“之前有一整个夏天,我都在国内进行着艺术家驻地项目和一些展览。” 韩沁回忆道,“当时我把作品集发给了何雨,她发现我在作品集中遗漏了我最近的展览信息,并让我加进去。我觉得能有人为我和我的个人发展考虑,并为我提供专业的意见,令我非常触动。有时候做艺术是一件孤独的事,但能有一位这样的导师陪伴在身边,我倍感鼓舞。”

Traditional Chinese artistic values, with their emphasis on connections to the natural world, are central to Fou’s goals. Echo believes the gallery offers an alternative to the monetary emphasis of the mainstream art scene. “Nowadays, there are two main religions: technology and money. So there is a deep need for people to go back to their hearts. And I think old Chinese aesthetics can help with that,” she says. “What I’m trying to create or present in this space is old-soul tradition. It’s about an appreciation of god—not a singular god from any religion, but a universal connection to the earth and back to the universe.”


中国传统的艺术价值强调与自然世界的连接,这也是画廊创立理念的核心。何雨认为,他们提供了一个秉持“金钱至上观”的主流艺术界以外的艺术空间。“目前人类有两大信仰:科技和金钱。因此,人们有一种更深层的需要,是回归自己内心。我认为传统的中国美学会有帮助。”她说,“我在画廊想要创造或展示的正是这种古老的传统。这是一种对神的敬畏,但这种神不属于任何宗教,而是指与地球万物的联系,对宇宙的回归。”

On the day of my visit, Michael Eade’s past is present is future was on display, and it’s hard to miss what Hé is going for by showing this kind of work. Eade’s paintings depict different versions of the Tree of Life, incorporating world mythologies and exploring different cultural relationships with nature. These images of trees and forests from around the world are paired with the real trees from the garden outside tickling the gallery’s windows. More than simply presenting art by ethnically Chinese artists, Hé’s goal is to foster real connections between art, humans, and the natural world.


去否画廊采访时,那里正在举办 Michael Eade 的《刹那》(“past is present is future”)展览。从这次展览的作品,不难看出何雨的这些艺术理念。Eade 的画作描绘了不同版本的生命之树,结合世界神话,探索人类与自然在文化层面的不同关系。这些描画树木和森林的作品与从画廊外探进屋里的真实树木相互映衬。何雨并不是单纯要推广中国艺术家的作品,她的目标是促进一种艺术与人,人与自然世界真正的连接。

The gallery also operates outside its own walls, striving to bring art to alternative locations. “For instance, we supported artist Chen Dongfan to present public art project The Song of Dragon and Flowers with a NYDOT and Chinatown Partnership, changing the 64-meter Doyers Street into a mural.” Fou also hosted a one-day program for Wix Academy’s design students, which included an art workshop and concert, and it will curate a special art program for the China Institute’s 2019 Blue Cloud Gala, which will showcase works from Yang Renqian and Liu Chang.


否画廊的活动空间并不局限于画廊本身,还会在其它场地运营,努力将艺术带到不同的地方。“比如,我们在纽约市交通管理局和华埠共同发展机构的协助下,支持艺术家陈栋帆展示其公共艺术项目《龙与花之歌》,在宰也街(Doyers Street)街面创作了 64 米长的壁画。否画廊还为 Wix Academy 学院设计专业的学生专门举办了“一天计划”,其中包括艺术工作坊和音乐会,还将协助华美协进社 2019 年的 Blue Cloud Gala 慈善晚会策划特殊的艺术项目,呈现刘唱和杨人倩的作品。

One day with Wix Design Playground / Photographer: Yotam Kellner 否画廊为 Wix Design Playground 策划的一天活动 / 摄影师: Yotam Kellner
One day with Wix Design Playground / Photographer: Yotam Kellner 否画廊为 Wix Design Playground 策划的一天活动 / 摄影师: Yotam Kellner

Hé studied business at Peking University. She was well on her way to her master’s program at the Guanghua School of Management when she realized she had chosen that path not for herself but to please others. After a stint abroad in Amsterdam, she returned to Beijing, graduated from her program, and moved into an underground artist community for a year.

That’s when she chose art. She interned at Pace Gallery Beijing and eventually applied to study Visual Arts Administration at NYU. “In New York, I continued to work part-time at Pace and also did an internship at Christie’s,” she says. “That’s where I found out that I did not want to pursue a career in auction houses. Monetary value becomes the main concern there, rather than aesthetic value, and there aren’t many opportunities to work directly with artists. Art becomes part of the capital game.”


何雨毕业于北京大学的商科专业。在攻读北大光华管理学院的国际博士学位时,她意识到自己选择的这条道路只是为了取悦他人,并不是自己真正的兴趣所在。在阿姆斯特丹生活了一段时间后,她回到北京,在一个地下艺术家社区生活了一年。她决定了选择艺术。之后她进入北京佩斯画廊实习,最终申请入读了纽约大学的视觉艺术管理专业。“在纽约,我继续在佩斯画廊兼职工作,后来也在佳士得拍卖行实习。”她说,“也是在那时候,我意识到自己在拍卖行工作并不是我想追求的职业生涯。艺术作品只剩下金钱价值,而且也没有办法跟艺术家合作。艺术沦为了一种资本收益。”

Hé came up with the idea of opening an apartment gallery with classmate Jiaxi Yang, and they launched Fou in 2013. The gallery moved to its current location in 2016, a historic brownstone in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in 2016. Yet finding a permanent home was not easy, and after months of searching for a suitable and affordable site, Hé was close to giving up. “I still clearly remember that winter day in 2016. I met up with Du Meng, who was also graduating from school. We both had visa problems. On that windy street, I told her if I found a new space then we had to do a show together.” And they did: Du held her first solo show at Fou.

“This is a space where life and art become indispensable to each other. And it’s not staged dependence—it’s real. From the very beginning I wanted the gallery to have a kitchen,” Hé says. She wants Fou to feel like a home, and it probably helps that it is one: the space also serves as Hé’s apartment.


后来,何雨和同学杨嘉茜一起想到了创办一间公寓画廊,并在 2013 年成立否画廊。2016 年,画廊搬到了贝德福—斯都维森的新址。要为画廊找一个永久的家并不容易。何雨曾经为了找合适又负担得起的场地奔波了好几个月,最后几乎快要放弃了。“我还清楚地记得,那是 2016 年的冬季。我遇到了同样刚毕业的玻璃艺术家杜蒙。我们俩都有一些签证的问题。那天风很大,我俩走在街上,我告诉她,我找到了画廊的理想场地。我跟她说,如果能重新开空间,我们要一起做个展览。”后来,杜蒙就在否画廊举办了自己首个个人作品展

“这个画廊是一个生活和艺术互为补充的空间。这种相互性不是假装的,而是真实的。从一开始,我就想让画廊有一间厨房。”何雨说道,因为她希望否画廊感觉像一个家,因此,这个画廊也是她的公寓。

An installation by Lin Jing at Artificial Boundary / Photographer: Lin Jing 林璟展在《仿真边界》的作品 / 摄影师: 林璟
Du Meng: The Climb, The Fall / Photographer: Liu Zhangbolong 《杜蒙:退火》/ 摄影师: 刘张铂泷

Hé hopes Fou can be a space where artists, writers, performers, musicians, scientists, architects, and creative people of different professions can meet and collaborate. She believes too much of modern life occurs on the internet, accessible to everyone but genuinely experienced by no one. “The real joy of life is not to think of yourself, but to consider the wholeness of the world,” she says. “That’s what this gallery really wants to do.”


何雨希望否画廊能成为囊括艺术家、作家、音乐家、科学家、农业研究者、建筑师,还有各行各业的创意人士相聚、协作的空间。她认为互联网占掉了现代生活的太大部分,所有人都可以出现在网上,但却没有人真正在体验生活本身。“生命中真正的快乐不能只想着自己,而是要考虑世界的整体性。”她说。“这就是否画廊真正想做的事。”

Address:

410 Jefferson Avenue #1
Brooklyn, New York
United States of America

Hours:

Closed Sunday through Monday
Saturday, 11am ~ 6pm (or appointment by e-mail)


地址:

美国
纽约布鲁克林区
Jefferson 大道 410 号 #1

营业时间:

周日至周一不对外开放
周六,上午 11 点至下午 6 点(其余时间请邮件预约

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Contributor: Johanna Costigan
Photographer: Anrong Xu
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
Additional Images Courtesy of Fou Gallery


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供稿人: Johanna Costigan
摄影师: Anrong Xu
Chinese Translation: Olivia Li
附加图片由 否画廊 提供