Shenzhen & Dongguang 2010 - The OCT Art and Design Gallery

It has become very trendy for big corporations in China to build galleries and other cultural institutions as a show of their corporate responsibility. This is a win-win situation for the people, as the community gains a much need cultural venue, and the corporation gets to gain some cultural cache which also helps with their branding.

The OCT Art and Design Gallery - as the name suggests, is an art gallery built by the Shenzhen OCT Group, one of the biggest developers in Shenzhen (they developed Window of The World). It is a rectangular building clad fully in glass - the octagonal theme on the facade runs through into the building. Some parts of the interiors are clad in cement boards which looked deceptively like off-form concrete - a very clever yet low cost technique which was very effective.

During our visit, there was an exhibition of works by Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami. He has quite an interesting back-story, being the first art director for the Japanese edition of Playboy Magazine. At the age of 45, he contracted pleurisy and almost died. He must be very prolific as the exhibition featured hundreds of paintings, sketches and prints, even works on kimono. It was quite fascinating and I wish we had more time to take in all the works.


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