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China: Building a bridge to alleviate poverty through art


Published on Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
15 women from the remote desert region Ningxia Hui of China have had the opportunity to participate in the making of create the Heaven exhibition with local artist Wen Fang in Beijing.

The group of poor women, from a settlement the United Nations has designated as one of the planet's least habitable, had never experienced the like of contemporary art. They helped complete a 300-square-meter installation exhibition. The project fused traditional handicraft work with modern elements and was displayed at Li-Space in Beijing's Caochangdi art zone.

50 percent of the profits will go to the women, whose annual household incomes hover around 10,000 yuan ($1,551). The women also received monthly allowances of 1,000 yuan for medicine and books from Wen for three months. Moreover, French fashion brand Dior funded their five-day Beijing trip.

Does contemporary art have the potential to alleviate poverty and build a bridge between traditional and contemporary art?


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