RMB shovels and helmets in The New York Times

the shop, located in a basement-level storefront of the Beijing CBD area was finally spotted by the New York Times. Our cute RMB shovels and helmets showed their faces ..

Link of the report:


 Here is the full report.



Store Review: The Shop in Beijing

Published: March 15, 2009

Is China’s red-hot contemporary art market finally cooling its jets? That hardly seems to matter if a seven-figure Yue Minjun or Zhang Xiaogang was never in your budget.

But for those whose predilection for experimental Chinese art has always exceeded the depths of their pocketbooks, there’s the Shop, which opened last November in the Jianwai SOHO office and retail complex in Beijing.

Not quite a store, not quite a gallery, not quite a think tank — yet somehow all of the above — the concept-heavy outlet is a project of Vitamin Creative Space, an alternative-art center founded in Guangzhou in 2002. Occupying a basement-level storefront and outfitted with blocky, tiled benches evoking a giant Tetris game, it was conceived as a “situation for understanding the relationship between art practice and daily practice,” said Hu Fang, who co-founded Vitamin with Zhang Wei, a fellow critic-curator.

What that means to the casual collector is a rotating selection of objects tied to Vitamin’s programs. So if you missed the curator Hans Ulrich Obrist’s New Year’s Eve “interview marathon” with the likes of the architect Ma Yansong and the artist Cao Fei, you could still buy the Zaha Hadid-esque fish tank that Mr. Ma brought for the event (25,000 yuan, about $3,570 at 7 yuan to the dollar) and shovels and signed helmets (1,500 yuan and 300 yuan), above, from the “ground-breaking” of Ms. Cao’s virtual RMB City project on

To be sure, it’s not standard gift-shop fare. But “while people might get confused,” Mr. Hu said, “we think they’ll get used to it and want to come back again.”

The Shop, B1-1503, Building 15, Jianwai SOHO, 39 East Third Ring Road, Chaoyang District; (86-10) 5900-4374;

Blog — Ume Freiman, March 17, 2009 @ 12:25 am

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