藝術與區域構建｜Art and Regional Contribution：
Dimensions Art Center is located in Huangjueping, Jiulongpo District, Chongqing. This is a real place and a place with rich content. Many DAC community partners also have inextricable and long-lasting clues and emotions with this “place.” As residents here and as local non-governmental organizations here, we naturally and have a sense of responsibility to think about how to complement the organization’s power and the region’s construction and carry out the practice. Through residency programs and innovative research programs, domestic and foreign artists, curators, designers, entrepreneurs, intellectuals, etc., gathered in Huangjueping to understand regional development related issues under the linkage and organization of institutions. Local government and the public in the community interact with a large-scale composite “art and social projects,” “community aesthetic education workshops,” “exhibitions,” and other forms to respond to cultural heritage, community renewal, and industrial upgrading in the process of regional construction. There are also special projects of domestic and foreign universities and foundation projects.
DAC began to explore art participation and assisted regional construction from the region where it was located, and obtained first-hand experience and results, and tried to export relevant experience results in a model, and strive to better respond to different types of regional construction with the participation of the art community problem. The definition, concepts, responsive questions, and roles that art can play are still chaotic and slightly weak in China’s vast and changeable society at different scales. All these above attempts are still in the process.
1. 藝術與區域構建 - 駐留｜Art and Regional Contribution - Residency：
Under the vision of the symbiosis of art and society, promoting regional art and culture ecology contributes to the comprehensive development of local culture and innovation vitality. Facing the era of comprehensive deepening of international networks, rapid changes in social structure, and diversified changes in social phenomena, we need to gradually clarify the logic of the relationship between culture and art and international linkage, regional development, industrial links, and community and people’s livelihoods.
DAC Artists In Residency (DAIR) takes the artist residency program as the core content, uses artist residency exhibitions and thematic social projects as the carrier, and gathers young curators, researchers and independent studios, and other professional groups. We took action through resident research and practice, on-site interaction, activity voice, and multi-dimensional interaction between artistic content and social scene. At the same time, in project practice, we will link international organizations, local governments, public institutions, social enterprises, and media to gather resources in various fields that can promote mutual development, carry out good social collaboration and resource matching, and strive to reflect the social significance of art fully. Besides, we reflect on the primary relationship between our knowledge logic and regional construction in action, promote the vitality and innovation of intellectual groups and the diversified growth of art and culture, and realize the development of local construction and the symbiosis of art and culture.
2. 藝術與區域構建 - 創研工坊參與社區美育｜Art and Regional Contribution - Workshops & Community Aesthetic Education：
In 2019, Dimensions Art Center was invited by the Huangjueping Sub-district Office of Jiulongpo District, Chongqing City, to launch aesthetic education to the Huangjueping community residents. Five workshops on the DAC Culture Creation and Research Platform (DCCR) participated and provided 15 residents’ aesthetic education courses for Huangjueping Youdian Street, Tangjiawan, Xinshichang, and other communities. Simultaneously, the DCCR Workshop and the charity organization Seeking to cooperate with social workers, jointly designed and completed 3 residents’ aesthetic education courses in Lihua Road Community, Nan’an District. They are taking the community to improve the residents’ aesthetic quality, enrich their lives, and explore new possibilities for developing the creative industry. The artist tutors designed initially courses based on the residents’ needs. In the activities that lasted for six months, teaching and learning, curriculum products There are gains in three aspects. The most important thing is that the residents feel physically and mentally happy every time they take a short course. This also touches the artist deeply and establishes an in-depth communication between the artist and the residents.
Compared with professional academic art education, social, aesthetic education is subject to various realistic conditions and development. For example, insufficient community funding leads to short project continuity. Their participation is relatively passive, and they lack the real motivation to improve their aesthetic; they lack tutors with teaching abilities. These problems urgently need to be resolved by all parties in the practice of public aesthetic education.
At the beginning of China’s modernization, Mr. Cai Yuanpei proposed to replace religion with aesthetic education and inspire people. Nowadays, the Chinese people’s material standard of life has been dramatically improved compared to a century ago, and the Chinese people’s aesthetic ability has not increased much. On the contrary, in the materialistic world, the spirit is more empty. As an art and social welfare organization, Dimensions Art Center has an unavoidable social responsibility for residents’ aesthetic education. The residents’ aesthetic education courses carried out by the DCCR platform in the community opened the practice of Dimensions Art Center’s deep participation in social, aesthetic education.
4. 社會項目｜Social Projects：
The DAC art & society projects are designed to contribute to the development of the art and culture industry, shaping urban community life, transforming and upgrading traditional industries, and preserving cultural resources. Professionals such as urban planners, architects, scientists, sociologists, folk art craftsmen, artists, curators and local dwellers are recruited for those projects.
5. 藝術與教育 - 四川美術學院｜Art and Education - Sichuan Fine Arts Institution：
In mid-2015, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute proposed a comprehensive undergraduate personalized teaching reform plan—the specialized studio project came into being. As an essential part of this teaching reform plan, the Zengtu Cross Media Studio aims to face the new context of the times, based on China’s open society as a field for the rebirth of art, conducts the transformation and experimentation of art research, creation, and education.
In 2016, the School of Experimental Art of Sichuan Fine Arts Institute opened the “Art and Society” professional teaching and research section. This is to formally lead the undergraduate education of the experimental art subject of fine arts into a new professional scene in the context of contemporary Chinese society following the specialized studio project of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute.
The above two events are the epitome of the significant changes that art education faces in the new era of Chinese society. How to integrate art education with society, leaving the comfort zone of ivory towers and white boxes of the gallery, and how art ecology truly takes root in China’s social ecology? As a private non-corporate social organization with local art, Dimensions Art Center has gradually found its place between art education and society and becoming a link and bridge between the two.
6. 藝術與公益 - 特殊人群公益項目｜Arts and Philanthropy - Philanthropy Projects for Disadvantaged Groups：
Art itself is non-utilitarian, which is consistent with the fundamental goal of public welfare. But in the division of modern social disciplines and people’s daily experience, art, and general interest belong to different fields in terms of value appeal, working methods, and social benefits. As a non-profit social organization with a professional background in art, Dimensions Art Center has the dual attributes of art and public welfare from legal registration. In work, skill and public welfare are not near integrated, which brings significant challenges to our work, but it is also an opportunity to make efforts in this area. Artists have many talents, bringing new ways of thinking and improving public welfare’s problem-solving ability.
Artists’ responsibilities and enthusiasm for social welfare also need to be expressed in the way of presentation. It is necessary to build an intermediate platform and working methods to allow artists and charity individuals to collaborate. At present, Dimensions Art Center has been exploring this area for several years, creating a diverse working method and team, and establishing various arts and charity in the form of ongoing projects. We have carried out the following work: 1. Support the development of the artistic ability of the disabled; 2. Support the organization of art activities by public welfare organizations; 3. Support the development of the cultural and creative industry of public welfare organizations; 4. Cooperate with social welfare work organizations to participate in the building of community and governance of society.